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African peace and security actors gathered to follow CMI-UNOWA training on Conflict Analysis for Mediation Strategy Design

By UNITED NATIONS

DAKAR, Sénégal, June 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Peace and conflict resolution experts from West Africa and beyond are gathering in Saly, Senegal, for a one-week training from 23 to 29 June 2014 on Conflict Analysis for Mediation Strategy Design. The training is organised as part of a partnership between the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) and the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA).

The programme includes a special emphasis on gender and inclusion matters, and focus on the case study of Guinea Bissau, which is undergoing an important democratic transition this year.

In the 2012 UN Guidance for Effective Mediation, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon emphasises the need for preparedness among mediators and their teams when conducting mediation efforts. In the region, both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union call for efforts to develop expertise and professionalism in preventive diplomacy through research, training and capacity building.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Said Djinnit, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and Head of UNOWA, expressed appreciation to this opportunity to support the development of a local architecture for preventing conflicts and electoral-related violence in the sub-region.

“The United Nations is committed to supporting the full involvement of women in preventing electoral-related violence in countries throughout West Africa. Without any doubt, we are making progress, and the participation of women in mediation efforts in West Africa should be a model for other parts of the world,” Mr. Djinnit stated.

Mr. Itonde Kakoma, CMI's Head for Sub-Saharan Africa, noted that “the persistence of low and high intensity conflicts in West Africa and the continent in general requires the development of preventive diplomacy capacities. This training is a concrete way in which CMI and UNOWA are attempting to address these needs identified by the UN, ECOWAS and the AU.” He especially commended the caliber of the participants from the West Africa region and the continent.

Training participants include members of the Working Group on Women, Peace and Security in West Africa, jointly coordinated by UNOWA and UN Women, as well as other mediation and conflict resolution professionals from all over the African continent.