In 2006, the Joint Secretariat “United Nations – African Union” requested AWEPA to facilitate parliamentary activities related to the Pact on Security, Stability and Development of the Great Lakes Region. The aim was to allow the ownership and the ratification of the Pact by the country members of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). Furthermore, parliaments had not been sufficiently involved in the process and parliamentarian action was required for the ratification of the above mentioned pact. AWEPA, in collaboration with the Executive Secretariat of the ICGLR, facilitated meetings of the Steering Committee in charge of the creation of a Parliamentary Forum. This Forum was formed with the aim of working on a framework of dialogue between parliamentary institutions while supporting the efforts of their governments for achieving the goals of the Pact. Since its creation in 2008, the Forum addresses content issues which are discussed by the Heads of State and Government in the context of conflict management.
The main objective of the Programme is to contribute to the prevention of conflicts through parliamentary diplomacy and capacity building of the Forum’s secretariat. In 2012, the Forum focused on illegal exploitation of natural resources as well as active or latent conflicts.
In addition, AWEPA facilitates the meetings of the Executive Committee and the Plenary Sessions of the Forum, in compliance with the objectives of the Pact on security, stability and development. The 3rd Plenary Session of the Forum took place in January 2013.
The following outcomes can be attributed to actions carried out in 2012 as part of the support programme to the Parliamentary Forum of the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGLR-PF):
- AWEPA contributed to the organization of the statutory activities of the Parliamentary Forum. The Executive Committee meeting held in November 2012 had the task of establishing an agenda for the Plenary Assembly to be held three months later.
- the AWEPA Programmes in DRC, Rwanda and the Great Lakes region as a whole created a synergy which facilitated the meeting of DRC and Rwandan parliamentarians in the framework of the Parliamentary Forum;
- a delegation of DRC and Rwandan parliamentarians met in the Executive Committee of the ICGLR-PF and agreed on the ambitious agenda of the Plenary Assembly. At the Assembly, Congolese and Rwandan delegates met for the first time to discuss the volatile situation in eastern DRC. Furthermore, the venue allowed delegates from North and South Sudan to further dialogue in view of finding constructive and peaceful solutions.
- in order to contribute to peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region, meetings between DRC and Rwandan parliamentarian delegations have been scheduled to continue taking place in the future.
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