Common Initiative to Establish a Network for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace in Africa
At the initiative of the UNESCO and the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research, representatives of 26 foundations and African peace research institutes met on September 20th and 21st, 2013, at the African Union Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. These organisations, which are located in more than 20 African countries, have decided to establish a network for the promotion of a culture of peace in Africa in order to coordinate their respective operations and to implement joint projects.
The meeting, organised by the UNESCO, the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research and the African Union, coincided with the observance of the International Day of Peace (21st September). The meeting was part of a follow-up to the Pan-African Forum on “Sources and Resources for a Culture of Pace” held in Luanda (Angola), in March 2013. This Forum adopted an Action Plan for a Culture of Peace in Africa and launched a continental Movement for a culture of peace in order to raise awareness and mobilize campaigns at national level under the motto “Make peace happen”.
In this context, the participants decided to create a “Network of Foundations and Research Institutions Promoting a Culture of Peace in Africa” with the objectives of coordinating all actions in order to ensure a common understanding and mutual practices and resource fostering; strengthening the visibility of the organizations and activities among citizens and institutions; contributing to the implementation of the Luanda Action Plan as well as the AU 2063 Agenda through the elaboration of joint programmes.
Among the projects proposed during the meeting, the following were agreed upon: a research-action program on endogenous mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflicts in Africa (University of Peace / Africa and UNESCO Chair for a Culture of Peace / University of Cocody, Abidjan); the implementation of a web platform for the creation of a community of practices among members of the network (UNESCO Chairs for a Culture of Peace and Sustainable Development, Florence University, Italy); and the launch of an initiative for African youth and the culture of peace (Omar Bongo Ondimba Foundation).
An interim Secretariat, composed of 12 participants and coordinated by the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research, shall be responsible for drafting the meeting’s report, elaborating appropriate legal instruments for the establishment of the Network, preparing the first meeting for the establishment of the Network, mobilizing resources and funding for the Network, creating a web page and a roster of specialists in the field of culture of peace and of network’s potential members.
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