Great Lakes: meeting between the ICGLR and CSO’s on peace and security

The Great Lakes Project will be co-hosting a regional meeting attended by the Regional Civil Society of the International Conference of the Great Lakes (ICGLR) and regional civil society representatives linked to GPPAC in Kampala between 16th and 17th of September. The meeting will take place alongside the Regional Steering Group meeting of GPPAC. It will present regional peace and security frameworks, in particular the ICGLR structure and pact as well as the Peace and Security Framework, and the role of Civil Society critically explored.  In addition experiences and exchanges on Early Warning Early Response mechanism will be organised with inputs from Kenya, Uganda and other regional approaches. 

The ICGLR has developed programs and structures that touch on peace and security on a variety of levels and which allow for involvement of CSO's. The Regional Civil Society Forum brings together organisations from all member countries to input into the agenda of this intergovernmental organisation. Under the Governance program CSO's have collaborated with the ICGLR to strengthen the tracing of mineral resources. The Women's Forum together with women organisations across the region have helped to have a declaration on Gender rights adopted. And more recently the Youth Forum was instrumental in having a summit on Youth and unemployment arranged. 

The AU, ICGLR, SADC, UN and eleven regional countries developed a plan of action for the Peace and Security Framework for the DRC and the region. In this plan civil society was allocated some specific functions. How these are supposed to be concretely fulfilled is still unclear. In addition awareness about the Framework among civil society is very limited. The GLP has therefore collaborated with the office of the UN Special Envoy to organise regional engagements on the framework. More needs to be done to strengthen this engagement, this includes clearer directions on practical goals to achieve.