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Wednesday, 05 February 2014

Africa and EU cooperate to deal with children affected by armed conflict

The African Union (AU) hosted a three-day seminar to discuss on Children Affected by Armed Conflict (CAAC) and the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The meeting, bringing together some 100 senior officials and experts from various AU Member States and international institutions including Regional Economics Communities, the European Union and United Nations agencies monitored the implementation status of national strategies addressing CAAC-related issues in Africa and agree on the way forward.
Children, Women and Peace-related issues are key for African nations and more broadly the African Union. Most conflicts taking place in Africa are disproportionately affecting women and children. This violence harms families, impoverishes communities and reinforces other forms of inequality.
Though Africa has made significant progress in ensuring that the legal framework and related rights protecting vulnerable civilians is developed, a lot remains to be done. With this kick-off event, engagements will now move from engagements to concrete actions: “We sincerely hope that the workshop will trigger a longer-term process of collaboration and exchange of experience, based on the needs and common interests identified in the course of the meeting”, stated Mr. Nicola Bellomo, 1st Counsellor to the European Union (EU) Delegation to the AU.
Keeping the momentum, the seminar came at an important moment as the AU develops the normative framework to initiate field practice. This is part of the overall integration and mainstreaming of child protection within the African Peace and Security Agenda.
Participants reviewed Member states efforts in the development and adoption of national action plans on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 . They strongly emphasised the need to reinforce women’s participation in peace negotiations and mediation. In this respect, partnering up with civil society was strongly recommended to further their cooperation to achieving the goal for an increased role of women in that crucial area.
In the framework of the Africa-EU partnership, there is a strong commitment to support the agenda for protection of children and women on the African continent. “Children and gender-related issues need to be properly mainstreamed within the on-going support to AU Peace and Security activities. If specific activities are developed in conjunction of the existing framework, concrete results will be sustainable in the field” as mentioned by Mr. Jorge Gallego-Lizon from the EU Delegation to the AU.

Source: Africa-EU Partnership