“SILENCING THE GUNS 2020” FEATURED PROMINENTLY IN AFRICAN UNION PAN-AFRICAN PEACE FORUM

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[Africa News\"Silencing The Guns 2020"]
Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, the AU High Representative on Silencing the Guns: “I believe that peace, security and socio-economic development should be pursued simultaneously. One cannot exist without the other.”
Mrs. Aissatou Hayatou, the STG Operations Manager: “Silencing the Guns is at the nexus of peace and development. It is not just about guns, it is about what drives people to resort to guns. We need to address those underlying issues."
Photo: African Union

The Office of the AU High Representative for Silencing the Guns, in partnership with AUC Department of Political Affairs, and Special Envoy for Women Peace and Security hosted the women and youth caucuses of the African parliament in Ethiopia to shore up efforts aimed at "silencing the guns" in Africa.

The two-day high-level forum for women and youth parliamentarians from the 235-legislative body, is a precursor to the launch of ‘Silencing the Guns’ as the AU theme of the Year 2020. At least fifty (50) women and youth legislators are attending the meeting, organized jointly by the Office of the African Union (AU) High Representative for Silencing the Guns in Africa, the AU Department of Political Affairs and the Office of the Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security.

“I believe that peace, security and socio-economic development should be pursued simultaneously. One cannot exist without the other,Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, the AU High Representative on Silencing the Guns said in his opening remarks. He urged the Pan-African body, which is the African Union’s legislative arm, to persuade AU Member States to develop and implement National Action Plans on silencing the guns. “I cannot over-emphasize your oversight role over national legislative bodies. I urge you to use your platform, to lobby African governments to commit to tangible action on peace and security,” Amb. Lamamra added.

Women and youth play a key role in peace-building and security on the continent and their contribution to silencing the guns is critical in achieving a conflict free Africa. The Bureau of the Women’s Caucus of the Pan-African Parliament is keen on ensuring that women participate actively in peace and conflict resolution initiatives.

Silencing the Guns is at the nexus of peace and development. It is not just about guns, it is about what drives people to resort to guns. We need to address those underlying issues,” noted Mrs. Aissatou Hayatou, the STG Operations Manager.

During the two-day meeting, the women parliamentarians will deliberate on the role of parliamentarians and lawmakers in silencing the guns at national level and recommend actions to the Silencing the Guns campaigns. The workshop will also deliberate on the root causes of conflict such as governance and socio-economic disparities.

Dialogue and non-violent communal problem-solving are not new to Africans. It is deeply rooted in our culture. Therefore, I share a responsibility to look after fellow Africans and to help find solutions that will benefit our continent and my own home country,” noted Hon. Amina Abdou Souna, the Chairperson of the Pan-African Parliament’s Committee on Education.

As part of AU Agenda 2063, the AU Heads of State and Government adopted the Silencing the Guns by 2020 initiative as a flagship project that aims to end all conflicts in Africa by 2020. While good progress has been made in reducing state-driven conflicts, recurring conflicts in several regions is rolling back gains already made in achieving lasting peace.

In 2020 the African Union will reinforce its efforts to silence the continent’s guns, focusing in particular on addressing the underlying root-causes and facilitating socio-economic development on the continent.

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