A Joint Workshop in preparation of the launch of the theme of the year 2020: “Silencing the Guns: Creating conducive conditions for Africa’s Development” is slated to be held from the 28th – 29th November 2019 at the African Union (AU) Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The two-day seminar is a collaborative effort between the ‘Silencing the Guns Unit’ within the Bureau of the Chairperson of the AUC; the Department of Political Affairs of the AUC; the Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security; and the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) through its Women and Youth Caucuses as well as the Committee on International Relations, Cooperation and Conflict Resolution.
The objective of the workshop is to consult members of the PAP including women and young Parliamentarians on how to galvanize the Silencing the Guns 2020 Campaign Strategy that Africa could use to support the peace agenda. Members of the legislative arm of the AU are also expected to be briefed on the journey so far and the way forward as they engage with other stakeholders on priority actions that can be undertaken in order to silence the guns within the continent.
The Rt. Hon. Roger Nkodo DANG, President of the PAP says this joint workshop will build the capacity of members of the PAP to advance the Silencing the Guns Agenda at regional and national levels through advocacy towards national parliaments, executive branches and their respective constituencies, for the development and implementation of National Silencing the Guns Programs – in line with the mandate of the PAP.
He says part of the core mandate of the PAP is to promote peace, security and stability on the continent. We firmly believe that the women and young Parliamentarians have a critical role to play in leading the process of building long lasting peace and stability in Africa; given their skills as mediators and decision makers as well as their experiences in building trust and dialogue.
In July 2019, the African Union Executive Council adopted the theme: “Silencing the Guns in Africa: creating a conducive environment for Development” as the theme of the year 2020.
The theme coincides with the deadline set by the Assembly of the Union, in its solemn declaration, adopted on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the OUA/AU, “to rid the continent of wars, civil conflicts, human rights violations, humanitarian disasters and violent conflicts, and to prevent genocide”.
The Assembly also pledged “not to bequeath the burden of conflicts to the next generation of Africans and undertake to end all wars in Africa by 2020.
The Pan-African Parliament President believes that the Joint Workshop will empower African legislators with the tools to promote the peace agenda in the context of the theme of the year 2020 as the PAP joins other AU organs to assess the status of the objective to silence the guns in Africa by 2020, as envisaged in the Agenda 2063 First Ten Year Implementation Plan.
As part of this Joint Workshop, participants will share experiences and analysis in order to contribute to the priorities of the AU, including stability, economic growth, public service delivery, poverty reduction, fighting corruption and confidence-building, which are all structural causes of conflict on the continent.