Participants at the three-day pilot training in Accra
WACSI, KAIPTC and GIZ promote R2P norm among civil society actors and multidimensional peace support personnel in West Africa
Civil society actors and international peace support personnel from across West Africa committed three days; from June 5 – 7, 2012 to reflect on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) norm and the tactical avenues for its implementation in West Africa. This reflection platform was possible thanks to a pilot training on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) for civilian actors and multi-dimensional peace support personnel across West Africa.
This training which attracted the media, an outcome of years of research and deliberations between WACSI, the Koffi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), the German International Agency for Development (GIZ) and the International Coalition on the Responsibility to Protect (ICR2P) successfully ended on June 7, 2012 at the WACSI training Centre in Accra, Ghana. The training enabled participants to deepen their understanding on the R2P norm and critically reflect on the feasibility of implementing the norm as well as the actors involved in its implementation in the sub-region. It also created an opportunity for civil society to assess their role in promoting agendas related to the norm in West Africa.
The goal of this training was to deepen the understanding of civil society actors and multidimensional peace support personnel on the norm. “Civil society remains integral and a driving force to establish consensus on a norm as controversial as R2P; thus, building their capacity to re-establish their role to advocate is quite significant”, underscored the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony; Justice Emile Short, Board Member of WACSI and Former Commissioner of the Commission of Human Rights and Justice, Ghana.
Cross section of military personnel and civil society actors at the training
In attendance was over forty participants from civil society organisations (CSOs) from Senegal, Mali, USA, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Togo, Sierra Leone, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, representatives from the Standby-Force of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS), the Training Centres of Excellence in Mali, Nigeria and Ghana and the various United Nations Missions. The three-day training was facilitated by Dr. Danjibo Nathaniel, R2P expert and Senior Lecturer on the Peace and Conflict Graduate Studies programme of the University of Ibadan and Dr. Jide Okeke, Senior Researcher and R2P expert of the Institute for Security Studies, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Representatives from the Ghana Police Superintendents Joseph Darison and Samuel Punobyin expressed their satisfaction for being invited to take part in this training. They lauded the initiative and pointed out that, “such initiatives should be promoted through various platforms, including the media to emphasise the essence for collaboration amongst stakeholders responsible to ensure peace in Ghana and the sub-region.” They appreciated the intensive discussions that characterised all seven sessions of the training.
Ms. Barbara Bangura from GEMS Sierra Leone, stated that the training is quite timely. “It is relevant to Sierra Leone and Africa. I hope we will be able to come up with functional ways of making the norm visible and to implement it across the sub-region. It is vital for our communities and countries as this will contribute substantially to nation building”.
Addressing participants at the end of the three-day training, the Executive Director of WACSI, Ms. Nana Asantewa pointed out that intense deliberations on R2P have enabled participants to highlight the need for awareness raising, capacity building for civil society, military and West African Community on the norm. She emphatically stated that WACSI, an implementing partner of the pilot training and a regional capacity building Institute will inculcate recommendations by participants to enhance the training toolkit and will promote the norm by fostering capacity building, commencing with a Training of Trainers who will proceed to spearhead trainings across West Africa on the norm.
This training, composed of seven sessions, introduced and deepened knowledge of civil society actors, military personnel, policy makers and diplomats on the development and practice of the R2P norm globally and established guiding frameworks for its domestication in West Africa. Specifically, it has been developed to facilitate the education and promotion of R2P in West Africa.
View pictures from the training here.
Follow an exclusive interview on the training here.