"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Summary of Breakout Session on Peace and Stability, Breakout Session on Governance and the Rule of Law

[Date] November 16, 2012
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Summary of Breakout Session on Peace and Stability

Chaired by UNOSAA and AUC

1. There was a general consensus to merge the elements on 'peace and stability' and 'safe and secure society'. Presentations during the break out session focused on the views of the African Union and the AU Peace and Security agenda as well as on the structures and content of the background notes prepared for the session.

2. The AU presentation highlighted the 5 pillars of the APSA – the PSC, the Continental Early Earning System, the African Standby Force, the Panel of the Wise and the Peace Fund, as well as the MoU between the AU and the RECs, and also raised other additional elements of its peace and security agenda, including integrated border management; SSR; DDR; arms management and control, SALW, landmines and nuclear weapons; maritime safety and security; and post conflict reconstruction and development.

3. The interventions focused on the following issues:

a) Support to and financing of existing African initiatives, including the APSA, institutional capacity development of the AU Commission and RECs, and African peacekeeping efforts. It was reiterated that Africa knows what its agenda is, but lacks the financial and other resources to implement and/or advance some of its programmes and projects, especially at AU and RECs level. In this regard, the main recommendation is for TICAD V to continue to support the AU agenda and programmes.

b) Adopting and supporting holistic approaches to conflict prevention, crisis management and post conflict reconstruction, in a manner that reflects the nexus between peace, security and economic development and the cyclic nature of post conflict reconstruction as a tool for conflict prevention in itself. Here it was stressed that both hard and soft security issues need to be addressed, including in relation to:

i) Strengthening the response component of conflict early warning;

ii) Supporting the African Standby Force with logistics, equipment and financial resources as well as African peacekeeping operations;

iii) Enhancing prevention efforts, including by establishing an AU conflict prevention fund;

iv) Promoting judicial reform and access to justice;

v) Supporting SSR as a tool for stabilisation;

vi) Addressing socio-economic concerns, which are often the root causes of conflict: As social discontent consists of causes of conflict, we should address socio-economic development questions, such as poverty reduction, inequality, and disaster risk reduction. In particular, we must focus on demographic trends in Africa, in particular the "youth bulge" and the threat posed by high levels of youth unemployment.

vii) Addressing the role of women in peace and security. Women are more than half f the population, but they are disproportionately affected by conflict. Yet in peace processes, women are largely absent. TICAD should support training for women mediators and peacemakers. TICAD should also contribute to the "decade of African women 2010-2020".

viii) Post conflict reconstruction and development: Fifty percent of post conflict countries return to conflict within five years, the importance of providing assistance for consolidation of peace was emphasized. Considering of the fragility of post-conflict countries, it is important to support institutional capacity building, the early recovery of social and economic infrastructures, socio-economic recovery and development, development of governance institutions, etc., as well as the assistance for neighbouring countries. We need to pay particular attention to the question of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants, providing them with skills, and also assist in the process of returns of displaced persons – this highlights the link to the pillar, inclusive and resilient society.

ix) Promoting and protecting human rights including with regard to respect for the freedom and dignity of African peoples. Such holistic approaches should also include a strategic communications component, incorporating the press and other media, as a tool for conflict prevention and information sharing on homegrown African initiatives and solutions. TICAD V should include concrete actions to support these issues.

x) Climate change: this is an increasingly important causal factor in conflict, as it relates to population movement, conflict over water, land, pasture, increased food prices and food insecurity.

xi) Cross-border issues: It is important to address cross-border issues, such as terrorism, transnational organized crime including illicit trafficking of drugs, small arms and light weapons, human trafficking, money laundering, etc., which cause social destabilization and conflicts. It is important to assist African states to enhance their capacity for effective border management, in order to improve their efforts to dismantle transnational criminal networks.

xii) Piracy: Piracy is a symptom, not a cause, and the solution to addressing it lies not on the high seas but on land. It requires political will and effective legal frameworks to address the issue, and it also requires that states have institutions to effectively address associated problems, including illegal dumping and illegal fishing. TICAD should also consider providing capacity building for coastal countries, including of coastguards, etc.

xiii) PKO: Participants underscored that UN PKO mission (70% of budget and effectives of UN PKO mission are accorded to Africa) and AU peace missions contribute considerably to African peace, security and stability. These efforts need to be supported.

c) Culture of peace: this is essential to the promotion of durable peace, and should be addressed through education, and also through programmes addressed specifically at the youth, including through sports, etc. TICAD should support the AU's Year of Peace programme, which institutionalizes efforts to promote culture of peace.

d) UN Security Council:Though the UN Security Council retains the primacy for the maintenance of international peace and security, in some cases it is unable to deploy peacekeeping missions. It is important to enhance consultation and cooperation to realize the reform of the UN, including the Security Council, and to support AU efforts to ensure that AU peace missions are funded from UN assessed budgets, if they are part of the international peace agenda of the UNSC.

e) Civil Society: Civil society has a key role to play in promotion of peace, including at the grassroots level. TICAD should continue to encourage CSO involvement in the programme. A key CSO constituency is the African diaspora, which can be leveraged to bring their technical and financial support to countries emerging from conflict, in particular.

f) Private Sector: Although, private sector can play important role in reconstruction of Post conflict countries, certain business practises can be a cause of conflicts in some cases. It is important to assure the responsible investment and appropriate management of resources. In this context, it was suggested to encourage the private companies working in Africa to join the UN Global Compact.

Breakout Session on Governance and the Rule of Law

Chaired by UNOSAA and AUC

1. The session began by noting that the AU's governance capacity is not as developed as its peace and security capacity. Nonetheless, the AU is developing its capacity in this area, including through the APRM and on-going work to establish an African Governance Architecture (AGA).

2. The African Governance Architecture is centred on the Charter of Democracy, Elections and Governance, and includes a focus on:

a) Strengthening of electoral processes and elections management bodies in member states to ensure transparent, fair and credible elections. It also aims at strengthening the capacities of the AU and RECs in election observation.

b) Public service reform programme to ensure responsive and accountable service delivery to citizens.

c) Anti-corruption initiatives, which aim to ensure the implementation of existing regional and continental anti-corruption instruments.

d) Human rights and rule of law, including support to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights based in Banjul, Gambia, which is a key mechanism through which ordinary citizens can interact with the AU.

3. Civil society participation was also stressed as crucial for strengthening governance, including with regard to creating the political space for and ensuring full and active involvement of women, youth and minority groups in governance processes and institutions.

4. Interventions focused on the following:

a) Enhance African capacity to conduct free, fair, transparent and credible elections. Democracy should not be limited to elections, which often fuels the cycle of conflict and violence. In this regard, education is crucial in having a literate electorate.

b) Support for the APRM: including through outreach activities to encourage countries to accede to the instrument; provision of financial and technical support to the APRM secretariat and African research institutions and think-tanks working on governance issues; support to national implementation of recommendations and plans of actions; and capacity building to enhance civil society engagement in the follow up of the APRM. It was stressed that the APRM should maintain its character as a voluntary African-oriented and resourced process. It was noted that 2013 marks the 10-year anniversary of the APRM and this will provide an opportunity for stock-taking.

c) Strengthening anti-corruption institutions and initiatives: this should include a focus on both the state and private sector, tackling both the 'supply and demand' aspects of corrupt relationships, bearing in mind that most of the corrupting parties and public funds that are appropriated out of Africa are actually located in the West. At the private sector level, accession to and implementation of the global compact principles is instrumental. TICAD V can promote forums for exchange of experiences among different countries to share their experiences in tackling corruption. It should support efforts to protect anti-corruption officials and whistle-blowers.

d) Human Rights: Enhance African capacity to promote and protect human rights, including through support to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. In this regard, mainstream human rights concerns regarding the stigma and discrimination facing people living with HIV and AIDS as well as ensure access to services for vulnerable groups. Make reference to SCR 1983 on HIV/AIDS in the context of conflict as this relates to peacekeeping operations and vulnerable people in conflict situations, bearing in mind Japan's contributions to peacekeeping.

e) Addressing socio-economic root causes of conflict as a governance imperative: this reflects the inter-linkages between peace, security and governance and this has an instrumental value for conflict prevention and is also crucial for diversity management, which is a tool for good governance and conflict prevention. Mainstreaming socioeconomic issues and diversity management into all governance process, from planning, programming, budgeting and monitoring is crucial for ensuring equitable access and distribution of resources.

f) Governance of the security sector: this should include a focus on strengthening civilian oversight, including through the roles of parliament and civil society. TICAD V should aim to support national, regional, continental and international efforts to strengthen democratic control and oversight of the security sector in Africa.

g) Promote the role of technology in democratising the political spaces in Africa: it was however noted that political will remains crucial for promoting good governance and development.

h) Assist African media: to objectively report on the status of society and in raising awareness of current and future opportunities that can attract investments. TICAD V should support initiatives that promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression.

i) Support the role of political parties and civil society, to ensure that they are democratic and accountable, and to address especially the participation of women in all governance processes, bearing in mind that governance is not just an issue for the State but also includes a focus on the relationship between the state and its citizens.

j) Support to Parliaments: bearing in mind their role in domesticating international instruments. TICAD V can specifically support the Pan-African Parliament.

k) Strengthen local democracy, decentralised governance systems and the role of traditional or cultural leaders in these processes, especially with regard to dispute resolution and access to indigenous justice mechanisms at the local level. TICAD V should support these mechanisms as well as support the of documentation of cultural justice processes, promotion and protection of cultural expressions and inter-cultural dialogues, and can assist in combating illicit trafficking of cultural goods and facilitating return of such goods.