The southern Egyptian city of Aswan witnessed the launch of the first edition of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development, taking place on 11 and 12 December 2019. The forum provides a high-level and multi-stakeholder platform discussion on the interlinkages between sustaining peace and sustainable development in Africa.
The Aswan Forum brings together heads of states and governments, leaders and high-level officials from national governments, international and regional organizations, working across the spectrum from peace and security, to development, and humanitarian issues, together with financial institutions, the private sector, and civil society, as well as practitioners and prominent experts for a discussion on the threats and challenges in Africa, as well as the opportunities ahead.
In the second session of the forum “Silencing the Guns in Africa: Owning the Prevention Agenda”, Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, UN Assistant Secretary General, Special Advisor to the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) spoke about the challenges that encounter financing development and mentioned that “Conflicts whether they are of old or of new typologies, involving non-sate actors, are often born close to and across national borders. As part of prevention, African states need to invest more on their common borders and serve each other as good neighbors”.
UNDP recognizes the importance of strong crisis prevention mechanisms to maintain nations on resilient development pathways. Its Strategic Plan 2018-2022 adopted as a pillar to “build resilience to crises and shocks”. One of the 6 signature solutions of UNDP Strategic Plan is to “Enhance national prevention and recovery capacities for resilient societies” which will focus on the issues of conflict prevention, peacebuilding and mitigation and crisis response, to help countries avoid crises and return quickly to stable development after crises occur. “Analyses indicate that peace and resilience indicators are highly correlated. Yet, some African states lack a culture of resilience and the topic does not receive enough attention”, Dieye highlighted.
The forum also discussed key practical aspects such as the financing of post-conflict economic recovery. “Although this is still not sufficient, we see positive developments in bridging the financing gap in situations of fragility, including the presence of emerging donors like the Islamic Development Bank and the use of new instruments such as Social Impact bonds”, Dieye noted.
Acting as a strategic partner of Aswan Forum, UNDP supported the forum and build on its global experience and vast expertise on sustainable development, peace and security in Africa. “UNDP Egypt has a long partnership with the International Cairo Center for Dispute Resolution, Peace Keeping and Peace building. The spotless organization, the quality of the debates demonstrate the important role Egypt plays in Africa”, said Randa Aboul-Hosn, Resident Representative of UNDP Egypt.
The Aswan forum was supported by the Government of Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, UNDP, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Banque Misr, EFG Hermes and the African Development Bank, among others.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).