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Highlights of draft protocols and programmes of action

Delegates to the fourth and final preparatory meeting for the international conference on Africa's Great Lakes region analysed draft programmes of action to be tabled before a heads-of-state summit to be held in Nairobi later this year. Below are highlights of the four themes to be covered during the international summit, during which the final version of these protocols and programmes will be adopted: 1. Peace and Security: one protocol, three projects. The draft protocol on nonaggression and mutual defence seeks to achieve six objectives: resolving and preventing armed conflicts; curbing all threats to security and development; ensuring the sovereignty and security of states; ensuring the inviolability of borders; preserving the rights of populations and the peaceful settlement of disputes; and prohibiting the use of state territories for acts of aggression and subversion against neighbouring states. The projects under this theme cover: joint security management of common borders; coordination of activities and capacity building for to fight the proliferation of small and light weapons, as well as a project on cross-border crime and terrorism. 2. Democracy and good governance: one protocol, four projects. This draft protocol has three sections - judicial cooperation; prevention and repression of the crime of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity as well as all forms of discrimination; and democracy and good governance. The projects under democracy and good governance deal with: a regional centre on democracy, good governance, human rights and civil education; a regional initiative for the prevention of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and rape as a weapon of war and for curbing impunity; a regional initiative for curbing the illegal exploitation of natural resources; and a project relating to different consultative forums, such as justice and security, women, youth, vulnerable groups and civil society. 3. Economic development and regional integration: two protocols, 13 projects. The draft protocols here are on the specific reconstruction and development zone and on the illicit exploitation of natural resources. Under this theme fall several projects, including: a draft concept note of the operational aspects of the Special Reconstruction and Development Fund, and other projects such as regional microcredit support facility; a concept paper on trans-border development basins; and a food security project. Other projects include: the revival of the Economic Community of Countries in the Great Lakes (CEPGL), and a regional mechanism for certification of natural resources. Under infrastructure development are projects such as the Northern Corridor; Trans-African Highway (Mombasa -Lagos); Lobito Corridor project; Southern Corridor project; a prefeasibility study of the Northern Corridor railway extension; a feasibility study on the rehabilitation and navigability of the River Congo basin; rehabilitation and connectivity of Inga Dam; a feasibility study on the regional oil pipeline; a methane gas project (Kivu regional pipeline project); and the East African Submarine Cable System. 4. Humanitarian and social issues: two protocols, six projects. The draft protocols are on sexual violence against women and children and on protection and assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs). The projects covered under this theme include: protection, assistance and durable solutions framework for humanitarian and social issues; environmental restoration, rehabilitation of human settlement, disaster preparedness and response; and resumption of basic social services, HIV/AIDS, malaria and infectious diseases, skills development, assistance and psychosocial support to groups with special needs. [See also: The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region: www.icglr.org]

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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