Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has proposed a five-point agenda for building peace partnership, which include Concentric circles and National ownership.

Others are Inclusion, Institutions and Framework of rule of law and human rights.

With regard to Concentric circles of partnerships, Dr Chambas said partnerships were best built along communities, states, regional and global basis.

On National ownership, he said while global and regional norms and actors were helpful, partnerships for peace should be driven by national priorities, dynamics and contexts to make it sustainable.

Mr Chambas, also the Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), was speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations Ghana’s second public lecture in Accra.

It was on the topic: “An Agenda for Building Partnerships for Peace in West Africa and the Sahel: Challenges and Opportunities”.

He said the agenda proposed herein for building peace partnerships were not prescriptive dictates.

In the final analysis, partnerships were context-specific emanating from, and dependent on several variables; stating that rather, the proposed agenda for peace represented key principles that enhanced the prospects, viability and sustainability of building partnerships for peace.

He said national mechanisms were key, such as a national peace architecture and that national ownership extended beyond the role of the state and the government, and includes all major elements of the social contract.

Touching on “Inclusion,” he said it should include and involve all the communities and stakeholders, not only ethnic but gender and the most vulnerable.

Mr Chambas said such partnerships must be underpinned by the principles of inclusion and meaningful participation of all stakeholders including women and the youth, civil society and other peace actors.

Concerning “Institutions,” Dr Chambas said partnerships for peace should contribute to the enhancement of institutions at various concentric circles of engagement such as community, national, regional and global.

On “Framework of rule of law and human rights” he noted that partnerships for peace were best placed within the framework of rule of law and human rights.

He said while conflict prevention was normatively attractive, it did not possess the ‘shock-and-awe’ of peacekeeping and, therefore, did not readily attract the requisite financial support.

He said that ultimately forestalled attempts to generate a national or regional response to threats to peace and security.

He noted that in addition, partnerships were often predicated on unequal power relationships; adding that consequently, the interests of the stronger and bigger partner could prevail at the expense of the other.

Dr Chambas said building partnerships for peace within the context of disparity in resources, power and interests, might further complicate existing, or generate new conflicts.

“To be sure, not all partnerships are benevolent. We must be mindful of the conflicting nature of some partnerships as well as their medium and long-term implications,” he stated.

He said the Region was witnessing the increased use of militia groups by national and international actors, with mixed results at best, especially within the context of the fight against terrorism.

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