UNOWAS Organized a Regional Seminar on the Contribution of Religious and Traditional Leaders to Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention and Resolution in West Africa and the Sahel
Dakar, 17 December 2021- The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), organized on 16 and 17 December 2021, a regional seminar on the "Contribution of religious and traditional leaders to peacebuilding, conflict prevention and resolution in West Africa and the Sahel".
The objective of the seminar was to create a framework for exchange to promote the contribution of religious and traditional leaders to peacebuilding and the promotion of the values of tolerance and justice.
In his opening remarks , the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mahamat Saleh ANNADIF, underlined the preponderant contribution of traditional and religious leaders in raising awareness of the discourse of peace, and in entrenching social cohesion in a subregion plagued by many challenges. "You are a major player whose contribution to conflict prevention and resolution must be supported to better consolidate peace in the sub-region," he said.
During two days, participants shared their diagnoses on the social and political reality and exchanged on the necessary measures to be put in place to enable them, in coordination with local and national authorities, to make a more effective contribution in processes aimed at resolving conflicts and establishing peace.
Participants also highlighted the diverse experiences of conflict prevention and the effectiveness of holistic approaches based on political, social and economic inclusiveness as a mechanism for the emergence and strengthening of alternatives to violence and conflict.
At the end of their work, the religious and traditional leaders made a call to national and regional authorities, and to various partners inviting them to support the recommendations formulated by the seminar for an effective contribution to the consolidation of peace and to conflict prevention in West Africa and the Sahel.
Within its mandate and capabilities, UNOWAS committed to regularly hold a platform to follow up on the implementation of the recommendations contained in the declaration.
A report comprising the topics and various approaches discussed during the seminar, as well as the recommendations proposed by the participants, will be communicated by UNOWAS.