Quaker Network for the Prevention of Violent Conflict
Le Réseau de quaker pour l'Empêchment de Conflit Violent

Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)

The GPPAC Process
Brief Presentation at the QPN Meeting
Gitega, 7th October 2005
By Frédéric Kama-Kama Tutu, Peace Tree Network (PTN)

Background to PTN

Peace Tree Network, PTN in short, is a relatively new effort to bring together organizations involved in peace, justice and reconciliation issues in Eastern Africa, the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa. It traces its origin back to 1998 when a number of peace actors in the region felt the need for the creation of a regional peace hub to provide a platform for solidarity amongst them. Consultations amongst these actors culminated in a workshop held in Nairobi in 2000 on “The challenge of partnership – towards an alliance for peacebuilding”. The workshop led to the creation of Peace Gate which has been renamed Peace Tree Network.

As a regional body, PTN is committed to the vision of peaceful coexistence amongst peoples and states of the region. It is a forum for solidarity amongst peace actors and a search for just, sustainable, humane and peaceful alternatives at local, national and regional levels.

Our participation in the GPPAC process has been in line with our vision, mission, objectives, and core activities as described in our brochure.

Brief on the GPPAC Process

(Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, www.gppac.net)

§ GPPAC arose in response to UN SG Kofi Annan's urging NGOs/CSOs with an interest in conflict prevention to organize an international conference of local, national and international civil society on their roles in conflict prevention and future interaction with the UN in this field (cf. his report of June 2001 on Prevention of armed conflict). The GPPAC worked, since then, over the past three years towards the global conference. Since 2002 over a 1000 organizations and actors in 15 regions worldwide have engaged in consultation, dialogue and research. 15 regional conferences were held out of which 15 regional action agendas were developed. It is now an international network of organizations working in conflict prevention and peace building.

§ GPPAC is supported by a number of governments and international NGOs, donors. To mention a few: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands; WVI, Cordaid, Novib/OXFAM Netherlands, among others

§ GPPAC structural set up has an International Steering Group (ISG), Regional Initiators, country focal points who organized consultations. For Africa three regional consultations were held in each of which 60-80 participants from CSOs, Governments and Inter-Governmental Organizations, UN, INGOs etc attended. The Regional Action agendas complemented the All-Africa Action Agenda. The Regional Initiators for Africa are: WANEP for West Africa, ACCORD (Agency for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes) for Southern Africa and NPI for East and Central Africa. The next post-GPPAC meeting of the ISG is scheduled for October 2005 in the Netherlands-with the aim of developing a work programme for 2006-2009.

§ The GPPAC process culminated with the holding of a global conference in UN Headquarters in New York from the 19-21 July 2005 attended by some 900 participants from all over the world.

§ Essence of GPPAC: emphasis on prevention, CSOs and their legitimate role in conflict prevention and peace building, also looked at interaction of the UN with CSOs, CSOs with Governments in this field
GPPAC Primary objective

To create a fundamental shift in how the world responds to conflict by developing a common platform for effective action in conflict prevention from local to global levels

GPPAC Specific objectives

· explore the role of CSOs in conflict prevention and peace building
· identify mechanisms for interaction between CSOs, UN, regional organizations, governments
· establish regional and international conflict prevention and peace building networks
· produce regional action agendas and a global action agenda
· articulate policy change agendas aimed at enhancing the shift to prevention
· awareness raising on conflict prevention and peace building

The All-Africa Agenda for Action, Key Challenges and Changes Required

§ Addressing structural and exacerbating causes of conflict such as abject poverty, unsustainable debt, global trade injustice and poor management and governance (poverty, imbalanced trade rules, external debt, resource exploitation, proliferation of illicit weapons, spending on arms and militias, porous borders and fragile States...)

§ Long term support for the ongoing peace making and reconstruction efforts in Africa in order to prevent a relapse to conflict (inability to sustain agreements, justice and reconciliation, focus on belligerents, financing post-conflict peace building...)

§ Backing Africa's democratic reforms and economic development initiatives with the necessary institutional, technical, financial and moral support (democratic practice and peace, corruption and mismanagement, citizenship, gender parity and inclusion)

§ Supporting the development of the capacity for operational prevention within Africa through capacity building of regional inter-Governmental bodies and the African Union (enhance capacity for peace making and prevention, lack of coordination of existing efforts)

§ Promoting multilateral and holistic approaches to global security threats (domination of the debate by the "war on terror", misdirected and unilateralist in nature, support and commitment to UN reform and its key organs, enhance the supremacy of international law...)

§ Recognizing and promoting the role of CSOs, including grassroots and faith communities and women movements in promoting a culture of peace, building capacity and skills in conflict resolution and promoting dialogue and reconciliation in conflict settings (great opportunity to provide link between leadership and grassroots initiatives, recognition of role of CSO

Some of the Recommendations

Recommendations to CSOs: self-regulation and ethical conduct, gender inclusion and sensitivity, collaborate/network/learn from each other, enhance capacity for research and informed analysis, engage more with governments and inter-governmental organizations; African diaspora to form strong and coordinated pressure group to lobby and advocate for African agendas; CSOs to continue sensitizing the populace on their fundamental human and civil rights.

Recommendations to the UN, African Governments, Inter-Governmental Organizations: support to the AU by the international community and the UN; increase investment in development assistance in order to attain the MDG; adopt radical measures to cancel, reschedule or restructure debts owed by African countries; UN and international community should enforce laws that protect political, social and economic rights-especially of women, children etc; AU to set up a revolutionary strategy to address the problems of the African youth; African government to subscribe to the instruments that promote good governance and respect of human rights, ie NEPAD's APRM initiative; African leaders should institutionalize democracy and respect institutions and refraining from amending constitutions to stay in power (other recommendations related to enhancing capacity for operational conflict prevention and peace building, long term support for post-conflict reconstruction processes, dealing with external causes of conflicts such as naming and shaming external perpetrators and economic beneficiaries of violent conflicts in Africa, responding to global security threats including threats posed by poverty and widening gaps between the rich and the poor, and threats posed by malaria, HIV/AIDS, recognizing and promoting the role of CSOs such as institutionalizing mechanisms for consultations with and inputs from CSOs on issues of conflict and peace.

Synopsis of key issues from GPPAC Global Conference in New York, July 19-21 2005: (the action agendas were presented to the UN Assistant SG Stephen Stedman)

§ Guidelines, Ethics and accountability (understanding of social change, emphasis on soft power, improving legitimacy)

§ Peace media and media strategies

§ Gender perspectives and women's equality (gender perspective and women's participation in conflict prevention and peace building, crimes against women...)

§ Youth as peace builders (inculcate peace education curricula, peace education through media, facilitate youth participation in decision-making within an intergenerational partnership, support to led-organizations, to prevent recruitment of young people into armed groups…)

§ Faith based initiatives for conflict transformation and peace building (considering religion as an opportunity also to promote peace-religious beliefs also serve as foundation to fight intolerance and extremism, advance peace education and training, support intra and inter religious dialogue...)

§ Trauma, healing and the path of reconciliation (call for the creation of regional centers in each of the economic commissions of the UN to focus on these issues, emphasis on the role of humanity, community, society, individuals and families...)

§ Development, conflict and peace building (i.e. the role and unintended consequences of pursuing the MDGs in situations of violent conflicts needs further research and exploration, development actors need to explicitly assess conflict implications of their development ventures, critical look at role of local businesses in peace building, conflict sensitivity in private sector related activities...)

§ Small Arms and Light Weapons and conflict prevention

§ Peace education and conflict resolution education (work ongoing)

§ Civil society networks (develop infrastructure to make organizations more accessible to civil society networks, develop greater understanding of these networks, support and advice to networks on how to engage effectively with the UN, IGOs, Governments, donors... post-conference GPPAC processes)

§ Early warning and mobilizing early response (shift from preventing armed conflict to promoting lasting human security, information available from EW systems be made accessible and not just be limited to State and international officials, adoption of a multi-stakeholder approach in determining EW and implementing early responses)

§ Multi-track dialogues and other official and civil society interventions (need to overcome the overwhelming asymmetries of power between the State and civil society, take timely action to influence government's and armed groups’ choices as well as those hostile to peace initiatives…)

§ crucial questions which need further research, time and reflection (how to give dialogue the significance it deserves?, linking dialogue initiatives at formal and informal levels, enhancing women's participation in formal and civil society dialogues and peace making efforts…)

Recommendations and key issues on how to take New York GPPAC recommendations forward

Ø Take ownership and authorship of making the linkages between poverty, debt, unfair trade etc with conflict

Ø Put pressure on Governments and Inter-Governmental and Regional bodies to provide space for CSOs to play meaningful roles in the region's peace processes... review peace processes and CSO engagement

Ø Monitor, document and publicize the impacts and implications of the war on terror on our region and respective countries

Ø In order to recognize and promote the roles of CSOs in conflict prevention and peace building CSOs need to enhance their credibility and raise their profile and speak with more authority on such issues by equipping themselves with the necessary skills and transfer those skills to others

Ø Discuss and agree on roles and responsibilities and comparative advantages of CSO actors (at national, local, regional/global levels) in conflict prevention and peace building and build a common agenda for peace

Ø In countries where they do not exist establish conflict prevention networks or forum in which all actors in the field come together, review current engagements and enhance relevance, refresh mandate

Ø Capitalize on areas of peace-what systems and coping mechanisms and local initiatives exist which keep violent conflict at bay, or if tensions are apparent do early warning and transform conflict or prevent violent conflict well before it happens

Ø Engage the media, write about what CSOs do, do videos

Ø Review and publicize UN-CSO, Inter-Governmental-CSO collaboration and joint engagement in the field at regional and country level

Ø Initiate or enhance cross border/country CSO collaboration (Ethiopia-Kenya, Ethiopia-Sudan, Uganda Sudan, Ethiopia-Eritrea...) of activities in the field

Ø CSOs continue to fight for increased space to engage in all matters of public interest and welfare and coordinate activism at all levels-including initiating and enhancing changes in legislative bases regulating CSO roles and the interaction and cooperation between civil society and the State

Ø Continue sensitizing the African populace and its nations' citizenry on their human and civil rights.

Frédéric Kama-Kama Tutu,
Peace Tree Network,
Shalom House, St. Daniel Comboni Road, Off Ngong Road, Dagoretti Corner
P.O. Box 21573 Adams Arcade,
00505 Nairobi,
Tel: +254.20.3872666 / 3875288 / 3874000
Fax: +254.20.3877892 / 3877979
E-mail: [email protected] (office) or [email protected] (private)
Website: www.ptn.or.ke

Frédéric Kama-Kama Tutu delivering his presentation in Gitega.


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