KAMPALA- The Global Peace Leadership conference kicked off yesterday with speakers from 16 countries sharing experiences on conflict resolution and exploring mechanisms for sustainable peace, especially in the volatile Great Lakes Region.
The three-day conference that includes countries such as United States, India, Nigeria, South Korea, Tanzania, and Kenya under the theme, “Moral and innovative leadership: new models for sustainable peace and development,” which ends tomorrow, is organised by US-based interfaith NGO, the Global Peace Foundation.
Speaking at the opening of the conference in Kampala, the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, said the theme complements the ongoing regional effort for peace, security and development in Africa’s Great Lakes region, which is a hotbed for conflicts.
“It further echoes the urgent call for countries to build consensus on responses towards pressing regional challenges guided by a shared vision, principles, aspirations, and innovative value-based approaches to peace building, security and development,” he said.
The region comprises Uganda, DR Congo, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan, Angola, Somalia, Mozambique, Angola, and Zambia—with conflicts simmering in at least five of the countries.
Dr Rugunda said a harmonious agreement on new models for sustainable peace and development from the conference deliberations is key to guaranteeing a safe and prosperous future for the region.
“As you aware, amid great development potential, the Great Lakes region has for many decades been characterised by identity-based conflicts, violent extremism and a refugee crisis. I would like to thank the leaders in the region and international community for standing with us and supporting us in our quest to resolve these conflicts,” he added.
The head of conflict prevention and early warning, Amb Fred Ngoga Gateretse, cited impunity, jobless growth and the slow pace of political federation as the biggest problems working against peace in the region.
“We also need more investment and trade than aid,” Mr Gateretse said.
Museveni to be awarded
President Museveni will today be honoured with the 2018 Global Peace Award for being a vanguard of peace efforts especially in Africa.