On 4 March 2009 ACCORD and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, with the participation of the African Union, hosted a seminar in Addis Ababa entitled “Mediating Peace in Africa: Securing Conflict Prevention”. The seminar, focusing on the role of mediation in Africa and in the developing African Peace and Security Architecture, brought together representatives from the African Union, African Union Member States, civil societyl, development partner governments, and interested parties
, to review the changing role of mediation in conflict prevention and management on the African continent. It also looked at the manner in which mediation on the continent and within the African Union can be strengthened.
The seminar, taking place over a one-day period, was attended by prominent African mediators and mediation experts, including H.E. Erastus Mwencha (Deputy Chairperson: African Union Commission), H.E. Ambassador Salim Ahmed Salim (Member of the African Union Panel of the Wise), H.E. Ambassador Nicolas Bwakira (African Union Representative to Somalia), H.E. Ambassador Mamadou Bah (African Union Representative to Burundi), H.E. Ambassador Youssouf Mahmoud (United Nations Executive Representative to Burundi), H.E. Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo (South African High Commissioner to Nigeria) and Mr. Aziz Pahad (the former South African Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs). The meeting was also attended by H.E. President Martti Ahtisaari (Former President of Finland and 2008 Nobel Peace Laureate) and the Honourable Minister Alexander Stubb (the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland).
Following the seminar, a reception was hosted for members of the diplomatic community resident in Addis Ababa. The reception, hosted by the Ambassador of Finland to Ethiopia and the Permanent Representative of Finland to the African Union, H.E. Ambassador Kirsti Aarnio, was attended by H.E. President Mohamed Ben Bella, Chairperson of the African Union Panel of the Wise. H.E. President Ahtisaari spoke at the reception.
A report of the seminar proceedings will be available shortly on ACCORD’s website.