21-08-2017, Durban (South Africa): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) yesterday inaugurated its 2nd High Level Retreat on Mediation focused on Experience-sharing between members of the IGAD Roster of Mediators and members of the Pan-African Network of the Wise (PanWise) in Durban in partnership with the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD).
Ambassador Tesfaye Negassa, Member of IGAD Roster of Mediators, with Ambassador Tewolde Gebremeskel, Director of Peace & security Division-IGAD, chaired the opening session with Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, Senior Political Advisor-ACCORD, and Ms. Karin Hernmarck Ahliny, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden in South Africa.
The purpose of this High-Level Retreat is to create a platform for experience-sharing between members of the IGAD Roster of Mediators, the African Union’s Members of the Panel of the Wise, and members of PanWise from the Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) such as the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), the International Conference for Great Lakes Region (ICGR) and Southern African Development Community (SADC).
This retreat will provide an opportunity for IGAD Roster Members to gain exposure beyond the IGAD region. Further, the Retreat will enable the IGAD Roster Members to share their depth of knowledge of the IGAD region with other mediators, while also learning from the experiences from other regions.
The main objective of the Retreat is to provide a platform for experience-sharing, further deepening mediation knowledge and practice between the IGAD Mediation Roster Members and the PanWise Network.
Ambassador Tesfaye Negassa, in his opening remarks, welcomed on behalf of IGAD Chairperson the cooperation between IGAD Roster of Mediators and Members of the Panel of the Wise Network. He extended his heartfelt congratulations to the organisers of this retreat and the host country, the Republic of South Africa. He appreciated the role played by the IGAD building competences on mediation through trainings and high-level retreats to contribute to the values forms of preventive diplomacy and enhance peacebuilding as well as importance of applying various forms of dispute resolutions mechanism.
Ambassador Tewolde in his opening remarks welcomed the IGAD Roster of Mediators, members of the Panel of the Wise Network from the African Union, COMESA, SADC and ICGLR. He appreciated the long standing and productive partnership between IGAD and ACCORD on conflict prevention, peace-making and conflict resolution. Amb. Tewolde lauded the commitment of the members and former members of the Pan Wise Network to come and participate in this important second retreat of IGAD. He concluded with the hope to see a rich discussion and exchange of opinions with aspiration to see IGAD Roster of Mediators co-opted into the Pan Wise Network.
Mr. Nhlapo commended IGAD for “its effort in building a normative capacity on mediation, as well as in strengthening its relations with other institutions working in the area of conflict prevention & mediation, and in assisting member states build their architecture on conflict prevention, peace-making and peace building”. “We have this opportunity to look at preventive approaches in the form of preventive diplomacy together with other conflict prevention mechanisms in Africa”, he added.
Sweden provides financial support to the retreat.