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Zanzibar Women's Conference on a Culture of Peace and Non Violence

The Pan African Women's Conference on a Culture of Peace, Zanzibar, 17-20 May 1999, has so far brought together some 300 participants from 50 African countries and some 10 non-African countries.

African women ministers, parliamentarians, researchers, educators, journalists, civil servants and peace activists have given testimonies of the hardships within which they are living, notably in those countries still in conflict or coming out of conflict. More importantly, they discussed strategies and concrete measures for women to influence policy making levels and build a gender-sensitive Culture of Peace in Africa.

The main themes discussed were the impact of violent conflicts in Africa; the role of women in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peace-building in Africa; and, capacity-building and networking for a Culture of Peace in Africa - innovative and practical measures.

The Conference was organized by UNESCO in partnership with, for example, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and other United Nations agencies as well as the African Women's Committee for Peace and Development. It was officially opened by UNESCO's Director-General, Federico Mayor; the Vice-President of Uganda, Speciosa Wandira KAZIBWE; the President of the African Women's Committee for Peace and Development (AWCPD); the Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity, Salim A. Salim; and, President Salim AMOUR of Zanzibar,

A final Zanzibar Declaration and Women's Agenda for a Culture of Peace will be presented to the governing bodies of UNESCO, the United Nations system, the OAU as well as other political and financial bodies for approval and financial support.

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