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<xTITLE>CountDown To Global Conference</xTITLE>

CountDown To Global Conference

by Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict
July 2005
These excerpts updating us on a most important global organizing effort – cumulating in a major conference at the United nations on July 19-21 are from the newsletter of Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict – June 2005.

For three years now, the Global - Partnership has been working towards the Global Conference, “From Reaction to Prevention: Civil Society Forging Partnerships to Prevent Violent Conflict and Build Peace.” On 19 -21 July,2005 hundreds of civil society representatives will converge on UN Headquarters in New York to present the Global Action Agenda to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and engage in three days of networking, capacity-building and developing implementation plans for the Global Action Agenda.

The Global Conference is the culmination of three years of work involving over a thousand civil society groups and individuals from all corners of the globe. It is also a beginning, a moment for mobilisation and agenda setting, for a larger, global initiative of people building peace. The Conference is a unique opportunity to develop the plans and methods for the implementation of the Global Action Agenda, and consolidate a truly global network of people building peace.

To make participation in and contribution to this network of people building peace available to a wider scope of civil society and other organizations, we hope to provide those unable to participate in the Conference with the means to get involved and stay informed of Conference events, as they happen and afterwards.

Through the new, innovative www.peoplebuildingpeace,org portal, conference participants will be blogging and posting messages during the conference to keep their own organisations and others in touch and aware. Developed with our partners: The Advocacy Project, www.peoplebuildingpeace.org will be a central meeting point for Peacebuilders and activists in the months to come.

One or more of the interactive panels at the Conference may be webcast.[potentially 'Mobilizing Early Response: learning from past experience to improve future practice’, featuring Jan Egeland, UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Xanana Gusmao, President of Timor Leste.]

Immediately "after the Global Conference, highlights from the Conference and overviews of the Global ActIon Agenda implementation plans will be posted on both www.peoplebuildingpeace.org and www.gppac.net, in addition to ongoing blogging.

KEY AIMS OF THE CONFERENCE

1. To promote a global and regional policy change agenda aimed at achieving a shift from reaction to prevention of violent conflict and to obtain initial commitments from civil society organisations (CS0s), the UN, regional bodies, and governments to that effect.

2. To develop plans, including specific, practical initiatives, for implementing; the Global Action Agenda including:

-Enhancing effective networks of local, regional and international civil society to mobilize action for “prevention and peace building”

-Promoting improved interaction ~ among C50s, the UN and governments in the area of conflict prevention and peacebuilding; -Increasing human, institutional and systemic capacities to prevent violent conflict; -Consolidating recognition amongst publics, policymakers and opinion formers of the legitimate role of C50s in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

3. To increase awareness about the contributions and highlight the challenges faced by C50s working or peacebuilding and prevention in the respective regions and local contexts.

UPDATES ON REGIONAL PROCESSES (Summary)

On the final stretch of time before the Global Conference in July ; 2005. five regions of the Global Partnership organized regional conferences and finalized their Regional Action Agendas. While drafts or previous recommendations of all action agendas were used, where possible, for input into the Global Action Agenda), the final documents will undoubtedly drive programs of action in these regions for years to come -and serve to reinforce developing and established regional civil society networks.

Each region took its own path in developing its Regional Action Agenda; in the case of the Caucasus, for example. the final Regional Action Agenda was the outcome of a process of merging the separate agendas of the north and the south of the region, respectively; in the Middle East and North Africa, it was the product of ongoing work in working groups between regional meetings.

The content of the Regional Action Agendas clearly diverged as well. The Western Commonwealth of Independent States " focused directly on conflicts and potential conflict in their region, citing as a sub-regional priority the unresolved Transdniestria (Moldova) conflict as the great threat to the stability of the region as well as the potential problems posed by the return of the Crimean Tatars to Ukraine. Their thematic priorities focus around improving new state relations and managing potential; conflict, citing xenophobia and migration, as two important issues in the region. The Middle East and North Africa Action Agenda, by contrast, takes a deeper view of regional challenges, and focuses on addressing long-term structural issues in the region, advocating, for example for strengthening local CSO capacity, developing training programs for media and spokespeople, and exploring indigenous and traditional ; conflict resolution practices. All Action . Agendas, however, emphasize the importance of strengthening civil society’s capacity to address challenges in their region and the need for effective partnerships with' the UN governments and regional organisations.