07.06.2012 - Africa Department

International Forum for Reflection: "A culture of peace in West Africa, a necessity for economic development"

Within the framework of its intersectoral and interdisciplinary action program for a culture of peace and non-violence, UNESCO will organize, in partnership with the Center for Long Term Strategic Studies (CEPS) an International Forum for Reflection on the theme: “A Culture of peace in West Africa”. The Forum will be held during two days, on June 4th and 5th 2012, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

This Forum, the first of several, is organized by the Africa Department of UNESCO within the framework of the Organization’s action program for a culture of peace and destined to answer the needs and expectations of African countries, especially the ones in a crisis, conflict or post-conflict situation. These sub-regional preparatory Forums should lead to a regional Forum for the Culture of Peace in Africa, organized in connection with the Africa Union Heads of State Summit and governments, scheduled for 2013.  

The Abidjan Forum is jointly organized by UNESCO and the CEPS in cooperation with the Côte d’Ivoire government. It will focus on the culture of peace in West Africa linking it with the issues of economic development and social cohesion. The expected objective of this Forum is the identification of a certain number of actions for the culture of peace in Africa. These actions may then be taken into account in UNESCO’s new Programs and Medium-Term Strategy covering the 2014-2021 period.  

Numerous conferences and meetings will be held during the Abidjan Forum. They will be dedicated to several topics issues such as: the cultural, religious and ethnic diversity and identity; the role of traditional actors in the endogenous mechanisms of conflict prevention and resolution; the role of the economic actors; the role of the African civil society and diaspora.  

The Forum will involve the participation of distinguished speakers, including: Mrs. Lalla Aïcha BEN BARKA, the Assistant Director-general of the Africa Department of UNESCO; Mrs. Edith CRESSON, former French Prime Minister; Mr. Loic TRIBOT LA SPIERE, General Delegate- CEPS; M. Charles KONAN BANNY, President of the Commission for Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation in Ivory Coast; Mrs. Hadja Saran DARABA, Secretary General of the « Manu River Union » ; M. Christian ADOVELANDE, President of the West Africa Development Bank (BOAD) ; M. Doudou DIENE, former UN Special Rapporteur  on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance.  

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