The promoters of the Forum 2010 are agreed :
The crises provoked by globalisation, the continued existence of substantial inequalities between continents and the demands of peacebuilding on our planet require urgent actions to guarantee the human security of all peoples.
The year 2010, which corresponds to the fiftieth anniversary of the independence of most francophone African states, arrives at a moment when civil-military relations are continuing to focus attention.
In most West African countries, even if there is evidence of considerable effort, there remain, alas, hotspots of tension fed by regular violence between defence and security forces and civilian populations.
This is why Western Africa, with its complex future, represents the ideal framework within which to undertake a reflection about the building of a relationship between the military and civilians, capable of laying out the bases of a lasting peace.
The defenders of human rights are not losing hope of seeing the burgeoning of a new environment distinguished by the pre-eminence of the concept of human rights., an environment in which the safeguarding of the rights of the person in the economic, food, health, environmental, physical, community and political (the protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms) fields will be broadly guaranteed.
The responsability for the organization of the conference, which will take place at Dakar from november 8th to12th, is with the General Staff of the senegalese armed forces. The Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for Progress of Humankind is acting as a partner and co-organiser.
By this Letter of the Month we want to inform you about the Forum and give interested experts the possibility to make proposals for the workshops (see chapter V).
I - GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE FORUM
The working session of the Forum will take place from 8 to 11 November 2010 in Dakar.
The work of the Forum will be undertaken in alternating plenary sessions and workshops. It will be led by high level experts drawn from a variety of standpoints. The number and the breakdown of sessions will be determined by a scientific commission composed of representatives of the different partner organisations which are organising this important international meeting.
The forum will bring together approximately one hundred and fifty (150) experts and foreign invitees including all the defence and security forces of the ECOWAS countries, the African Union, the Office of the United Nations in West Africa, high level international experts, university academics, as well as organisations from civil society. The remainder of the audience will be provided by the defence and security forces of Senegal (Armed Forces, Gendarmerie, Police, Fire, Customs, Water and Forestry, Prisons Administration etc).
II - CONTEXT AND JUSTIFICATION OF THE FORUM
Since 1960, the date when the country gained independence, Senegal has distinguished itself, in Africa, by the wealth of its initiatives dedicated to building a stable and modern state. This requirement, borne in unison by all the institutions which the independent Senegal has done its utmost to establish, is translated at the level of the defence and security forces (FDS) in general and by the armed forces in particular, by the early adoption of the concept of a solid link between the armed forces and the nation, understood as being the positive interaction between military personnel and the civilian environment.
It is in this way that, for several decades, the FDS have distinguished themselves, over and above their core missions of defence of the national territory, in a variety of development activities wholly consecrated to the well being of the population. Whether based in their barracks, or on internal or external operations, the FDS have always been a source of substantial help to the population in vital areas such as health and education.
Even better, they have sometimes directly undertaken, as genuine development actors, wide ranging actions for the benefit of local administrations, thanks to the versatility of their military engineering units (construction of landing strips, bridges, bore holes, opening up of land and river lines of communication).
The year 2010, which corresponds to the fiftieth anniversary of the independence of most francophone African states, arrives at a moment when civil-military relations are continuing to focus attention. In most West African countries, even if there is evidence of considerable effort, there remain, alas, hotspots of tension fed by regular violence between defence and security forces and civilian populations.
However, despite this sporadic and often murderous flaring up of violence, the defenders of human rights are not losing hope of seeing the burgeoning of a new environment distinguished by the pre-eminence of the concept of human rights., an environment in which the safeguarding of the rights of the person in the economic, food, health, environmental, physical, community and political (the protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms) fields will be broadly guaranteed.
III – FORUM OBJECTIVE
It will therefore be a question of sharing this experience, gained through several decades of peaceful civil-military relations, with our brothers in arms of the sub-region. For this reason, the Dakar international symposium will be an opportunity for exchanges about the place and role of FDS in the promotion of human security.
Through these exchanges, the desired result is to deepen civil-military relationships in order to institute a new style of dialogue between civilians and the military to reinforce the ethical foundations and the stability of republican institutions.
The Forum will be structured around the following themes and sub themes:
THEME 1 : Rule of Law and Defence and Security Forces (DSF)
1.1 Democratic control of DSF by the Institutions
1.2 Maintenance of order and human security
THEME 2 : Relations between DSF and the Nation
2.1 The Armed Forces, embodiment of the nation
2.2 The contribution of DSF to multinational and humanitarian operations
2.3 Civil-military relations in emergency situations
2.4 The place of communications and the media in consolidating the DSF-nation link
THEME 3 : Security Sector Reform (SSR)
3.1 From a military to a global approach to human security
3.2 What model of armed forces for West Africa?
3.3 Ethics and deontology – the educational challenge
3.4 Post conflict resettlement and integration of DSF members
IV – OUTCOMES EXPECTED
The expected outcomes are:
+ A fertile dialogue between the forces of defence and security in West Africa and civil society, intended to lead to the promotion of peaceful relations, mutual trust and transparency between military personnel and civilians in the ECOWAS region.
+ the setting up of a network of defence and security forces in West Africa charged with creating the basis of anew civil-military relationship oriented towards seeking a durable peace.
+ the production of a reference document to include the main recommendations destined for the defence and security forces and civil society in the area.
This beneficial dialogue is not an exercise undertaken in isolation by African countries. It fits into the process of launching a new dialogue between the military and civilians through the ‘International Network of Military for Peace with Security’ led by the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Man (FPM), an independent foundation governed by Swiss law and based in France.
In effect, in pursuit of its consideration of the role of armed forces and their integration into modern civil societies, the FPH wishes to participate in the taking forward of this dynamic in West Africa.
Following its fruitful attempts to initiate dialogue in Latin America since 2005, notably with a major international conference in Bogotá in 2009, and in Central Asia in 2007/2008, the FPH has decided to support the promotion of dialogue at the heart of a network of military personnel in Africa, side by side with existing civilian networks, such as the Alliance for the Refounding of Governance in Africa (ARGA).
The organisation of the Europe-West Africa Forum 2010, in partnership with the forces of defence and security and numerous other institutions will provide the basis for a closer cooperation between the different actors in both the security sector and society in general.
V - CALL FOR PAPERS
Interested experts can submit their candidature by e-mailing - before 31st of may - their CV and an abstract of maximum 3 pages of the proposed intervention the the following adress: email@example.com
The print version of the intervention has to be forwarded before 1st of september.
The final selection of contributions will be operated by the scientific commission.
Official invitations will be sent to selected candidates.