Training on Mediation, Conflict Resolution and Women in Peace and Security
Opening Ceremony, 18 December 2017
Opening Statement by Mr. Robert De Raeve, Chargé d'Affaires a.i., Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Zambia
Ambassador Chalwe Lombe, Permanent Secretary
Senior Government Officials
Representatives of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
First of all, allow me to express my gratitude to the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the invitation to today's opening ceremony for the Training on Mediation, Conflict Resolution and Women in Peace and Security.
Zambia and the European Union enjoy a strong partnership in the area of peace and security. In line with the Global Strategy for the European Foreign and Security Policy, the EU wants to position itself as Africa's key partner for the operationalisation of the African Peace and Security Architecture and for supporting regional strategies, hence contributing to ongoing African efforts for finding "African solutions to African problems".
The EU therefore welcomes Zambia's increasingly active role in peace and security in the region and on the continent as a whole. We congratulate the Government of Zambia for the assumption of the Vice-Chairmanship of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security in August 2017 as well as for its ongoing membership in the African Union Peace and Security Council.
There can be no development without peace. The EU is the strongest supporter of Africa in the peace and security area: more than €2.6 billion have been channelled by the EU to the AU and to Regional Economic Communities through the African Peace Facility since its creation in 2004. Overall financial support from the EU to peace and security in Africa of course goes far beyond the African Peace Facility, if we look at national or regional cooperation.
Ladies and gentlemen, we believe that deeper strategic political cooperation on security is needed with the AU and its Member States, including Zambia: more political engagement to prevent conflict and to fight terrorism and organised crime; more efforts to bring our development and security work closer together; and more investment in national and regional security capacity. The EU is therefore pleased to be supporting the organisation of this week's training in the context of Zambia's increasing responsibilities in the area of peace and security.
The nature of conflict has changed over the years, and peacekeeping has been increasingly applied to intra-State conflicts and civil wars. The conflicts of today are often deeply rooted, and many of them are complicated by regional dimensions that are key to their solution. They are also increasingly intensive, involving determined armed groups with access to sophisticated armaments and techniques. Moreover, even though in the majority of cases it is women and children that are the most severely affected by conflict situations, women continue to be insufficiently represented in formal peace processes, although they contribute in many informal ways to conflict resolution.
Against this background, this week's (and the one in early January) training will introduce you to three essential aspects of your work in the area of peace and security, namely: conflict resolution; mediation; and women in peace and security.
Distinguished guests, I would like to reconfirm the appreciation of the European Union for the opportunity to participate in today's opening ceremony, and for the quality of the ongoing political dialogue between Zambia and the European Union. We wish you a very good and productive week.
Thank you for your attention.