Aswan Forum Preparatory Workshop: Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace in Africa
13 November 2019
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Addressing the needs of countries and communities affected by, or emerging from, conflict is among the most complex challenges facing Africa. Restoring/building state authority (and its ability to perform its basic functions), building trust in a new political order and governance structures, repairing the social fabric, and addressing the root causes of conflict (to prevent relapse), are complex and long-term processes that span peacemaking, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and development mandates and efforts. They require comprehensive, integrated and inclusive politics and policies; sustained funding and engagement; as well as coordination among a wide array of local, national, regional and international actors, across the peace-development-humanitarian continuum.

Mindful of the above, and in response to the changing dynamics of conflict and the emergence of new threats, the international community’s toolbox of conflict management and resolution is undergoing a process of adaptation, transformation and reform, aimed at ensuring integration and complementarity of efforts across the entire peace continuum.                    

Peacekeeping, in particular, has been high on the agenda of reform, with several initiatives on both the international [e.g. Security Council adoption of Presidential Statement S/PRST/27/2017, the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative and the subsequent Declaration of Shared Commitments] and regional levels (e.g. The Cairo Roadmap on Enhancing the Performance of Peacekeeping Operations: From Mandate to Exit).

With regards to peacebuilding, and with several milestones on the horizon, the international community has an opportunity to take stock of progress achieved and identify challenges and implementation gaps. Internationally, 2020 will mark the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations (UN) peacebuilding architecture. This occasion will coincide with the third five-year periodic review of the architecture as mandated by the General Assembly and the Security Council. At the continental level, 2020 is expected to witness the revitalization of the African Union (AU) Policy on Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD), the operationalization of the AU Centre for Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (AUC PCRD), together with the conclusion of the APSA Roadmap 2016-2020, and a review of progress made towards meeting the objective of “Silencing the Guns” by 2020. 

To advance this conversation, and acting in its capacity as the Secretariat of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development, CCCPA--in partnership with the African Union Commission, the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), and the Egyptian Embassy in Addis Ababa--organized the fifth and final Aswan Forum Preparatory Expert Workshop, titled “Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace in Africa: Towards a Coherent Approach to the Peace Continuum”, on 12-13 November 2019.

The workshop initiated the regional consultations in Africa in connection with the 2020 review of the UN peacebuilding architecture. As such, it served as a platform to take stock of the progress achieved and challenges facing the operationalization of the new peace “continuum” paradigm on the continent, through, among other things, the reinvigoration of the AU PCRD and the new AU Peace Support Operations (PSO) doctrine. It also provided a platform to examine the opportunities for further enhancing the UN-AU peacekeeping and peacebuilding partnership, with particular emphasis on ongoing regional efforts to align the PCRD and PSOs with the global transformative agenda aimed at addressing the root causes of conflict and instability.

Specifically, the workshop produced actionable policy recommendations (i) on enhancing the PBC’s advisory role, in particular to the Security Council during the formation, review and drawdown of peacekeeping operations and special political missions mandates; (ii) in support of the regional dimensions of peacebuilding; and  (iii) on enhancing practical partnerships with regional and sub-regional actors, in particular, the AU.

The Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development is an Egyptian initiative, owned by Africa, and supported by the international community.

This event was made possible in part by the generous support of the governments of Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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