Intensive training in conflict prevention and peacemaking concluded in Africa

“With this training, my capacity has been built in such a way that my focus will now be on the interest-based, problem-solving approach. When we have an interactive forum, I will now listen better, take a deeper look at issues, and ensure that some solutions that will address underlying root causes are preferred, rather than glossed over and hurried up processes.”

November 2012, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - The Eleventh Regional Training Programme to Enhance Conflict Prevention and Peacemaking in Africa was organized from 13 to 22 November 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From more than one hundred and fifty applications received, the thirty-six selected mid and senior level officials deepened their knowledge and strengthened their skills in conflict analysis, negotiation and mediation through their participation in the training.

Participants came from across the continent and included three Ambassadors, officials from Offices of Presidents and Prime Ministers, from Member States of the African Union Peace and Security Council, as well as Ministries of Foreign Affairs, from the African Union (AU), and sub-regional organizations including the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and African Union and United Nations peace missions on the continent. 

Participants also included a staff member from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a West African city mayor and several representatives from civil society organizations promoting women’s active participation in peace processes and the constructive use of media to deal effectively with conflict and to promote coexistence.  For the second time, the UNDP-UNITAR collaboration on the project: Support for the Implementation of the Peace and Security Agenda of the African Union Commission enabled inviting an increased number of participants from the African Union Commission, regional economic communities and Member States of the AU Peace and Security Council. 

The intensive two-week training began with discussions on root causes of conflicts and analyzed how conflicts begin, escalate, are resolved and transformed. Participants conducted conflict analysis of several cases and engaged in practical negotiation and mediation simulations. Three current and former Special and Personal Representatives and Envoys of the UN Secretary-General shared their knowledge, strategies and good practice presenting case studies on their peacemaking work. A visit to the African Union Headquarters was organized with presentations on the African Peace and Security Architecture and the work of the Situation Room conducted by key staff from the AU Peace and Security Department. 

The training concluded with a dialogue on a common vision for peace in Africa. UNITAR is most grateful to the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden for making the holding of this 2012 regional training programme to strengthen capacities for peace possible.