The Life & Peace Institute (LPI) recently attended a consultation in Addis Ababa between civil society organizations and the UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region—Mary Robinson. The consultation at the end of January, was hosted by Oxfam liaison office to the African Union. The purpose was to deliberate on, how civil society can contribute to peace process in the DRC and the Great Lakes Region.
LPI Programme Director Jenny Svanberg, Country Director Pieter Vanholder and Hannah Tsadik, Regional Representative for LPI’s regional programme attended the consultation on behalf of LPI. Pieter Vanholder actively contributed to the dialogue by sharing results from LPI’s work with communities affected by the conflict in DRC and the Great Lakes region. He highlighted the importance of including civil society and communities affected by conflict in the implementation of agreed on frameworks and also in negotiations and decision-making stages of the peace process.
Furthermore, Pieter provided the Special Envoy with a policy brief developed in collaboration between LPI DRC and LPI regional programme. The brief calls on the Special Envoy and her office to devise a more comprehensive and inclusive peace process that pays a particular attention to land, power and identity related dimensions of conflict in the Great Lakes Region. It puts forth recommendations on addressing root causes of the conflict in DRC, based on a decade of participatory action research LPI has undertaken in DRC and the Great Lakes Region.
Ms Robinson welcomed the policy brief which she will “read with interest “. She also expressed her willingness to look into ways for further dialogue between her office and LPI in the coming months.