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The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Mediation and Support Unit (MSU) and the European Union Mediation Support Unit (EUMST) kick started a two-day peer-to-peer experience sharing and transfer of knowledge workshop this morning at Sheraton Hotel, Kampala.
Delivering opening remarks, the IGAD Peace and Security Director Mr. Siraj Fegessa welcomed participants and stressed the need for IGAD mediators as well as regional and international mediators to learn from each other and also sharpen their skills and adapt to new ways and technology to bring peace to the region and the world.
“IGAD is thankful to the European Union for their continued support in strengthening the capacity of IGAD and more specifically in enhancing the capacity of the Peace and Security Division to promote peace and stability in the Horn of Africa through the support of the EU Trust Fund with a budget of 40 million Euros,” Amb. Fegessa said.
European Union Head of Delegation to Uganda H.E Ambassador Attilio Pacifici highlighted the timely and necessity of good peace mediation worldwide and conflict prevention. He assured delegates of this being high on the EU agenda in peace mediation and conflict prevention in Africa, with a particular focus on youth. Amb. Pacifici commended the AU, UN and most notably IGAD for taking the leading role to get the member states to join efforts to achieve peace and security despite the challenges. He applauded them for taking on opportunities that have translated into several concrete actions on the ground namely; Somalia, South Sudan, and horn of Africa.
On behalf of the Government of Uganda, Hon. Philemon Mateke, State Minister of Foreign Affairs for Regional Cooperation reminded the mediators that dialogue and mediation have been used over time as tools for conflict prevention, resolution and transformation hence the need to learn from them and adopt to new techniques, including the inclusion of women and youth in formal peace processes for lasting peace.
The meeting is being attended by IGAD Roster of Mediators, EU Special Envoys to various processes, members of the IGAD Member States Ambassadors, members of Pan Wise, EU representatives, ACCORD, United Nations – Department of Political Affairs and AU to mention but a few. The objective of the two-day meeting is to provide a space for reflection on insights of the IGAD and EU regions as well share recent mediation processes by the respective Special Envoys and Mediators to learn and share from the diverse nature of conflicts settings, experiences and changing environments represented in these experiences in order to examine roles of mediation support mechanism of IGAD in context of other institutions namely the European Union and United Nations.
Themes discussed at the Danish Kingdom supported meeting are; the nexus between early warning and mediation intervention; mediation from design to exit; employment of dialogue in conflict mediation; navigating geo-politics context in mediation; promoting national ownership of peacemaking interventions; lessons learnt in international mediations.