Cairo, Egypt - The Cairo Center held its second International Advisory Board (IAB) meeting on 10 April 2017.
Attending this year’s meeting were Chairman of the Board Amre Moussa, former President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda of the Republic of Zambia, former President Joaquim Chissano of the Republic of Mozambique, former Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita of Djibouti, Dr. Mary Chinery-Hesse of Ghana and Dr. Sukehiro Hasegawa of Japan.
The meeting provided an opportunity for Board members to take stock of CCCPA’s programs and activities during the last two years, and to provide strategic counsel to the Center’s management on future activities. In addition, the meeting also provided a unique opportunity for CCCPA’s staff to gain unique insights on drivers of peace and security in Africa and beyond and suggestions for dealing with them. Board members observed a moment of silence to honor the victims of terrorism.
Speaking on behalf of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Deputy Minister Hamdi Loza welcomed the Advisory Board members and thanked them for accepting the invitation to join the Board. “CCCPA is a flagship of Egypt’s contribution and commitment to international peace and security,” he noted.
Loza highlighted the adverse global changes taking place, which he believes indicate “a historical turning point”, such as the continuous scourge of terrorism; unabated conflicts; large-scale voluntary and involuntary movements of people (unprecedented since WWII); the return to nationalism and populism, coupled with “identity-based politics”; as well as international disengagement from local/regional efforts for peace, security and stability. “Peacekeeping operations are being reviewed and drawn down, some at the most inopportune of times. External support to African Peace and Security efforts is declining. And the international fight against terrorism is at best selective,” he said.
With the above in mind, Egypt has stepped-up its efforts in international peace and security, especially in Africa and the Arab World, according to Loza. “As the only Arab member and one of the three African members in the United Nations Security Council, Egypt is exerting its utmost efforts to advance the interests and voices of its continent and region” he said. In addition, and as a member of the African Union Peace and Security Council, Egypt continues to work towards the “peaceful resolution of conflicts on the continent and to advance African solutions for African problems.” Furthermore, as a leader in the Arab world, Egypt is working with like-minded partners and doing its utmost to advance peace and security in Libya, Syria, Yemen and other areas.
With regards to the fight against radicalization and extremism leading to terrorism, Loza highlighted Egypt’s leadership, including through CCCPA’s unique training program that relies on the rules and ethics of Islamic sharia, to build African local capacities to stem the rise of radicalization and terrorism.
Loza praised the role CCCPA plays in Africa and the Arab world in training, capacity building and research on a wide array of topics, ranging from peacekeeping, peacebuilding, preventing radicalization and extremism leading to terrorism, human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, and the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda. In addition, the Cairo Center has played an important role in convening regional and continental discussions on issues of global peace and security, including the peacebuilding and peacekeeping global reviews of 2015, as well as hosting the African Union Retreat for Mediators and Peace Envoys from 2010-12 and in 2016. Loza also noted that CCCPA is the first African and Arab center to assume the role of the International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centers (IAPTC) Secretariat.
To honor distinguished members of the board, CCCPA hosted a dinner and panel discussion under the theme "Africa and the Arab World in Turbulent Time: Charting our Path to Peace, Security and Prosperity.” A number of high-level Egyptian officials and members of Cairo’s diplomatic community also attended the dinner. CCCPA Director Ashraf Swelam moderated the discussion, which focused on trends and drivers of peace and conflict, both globally and regionally. Board members emphasized the importance of prevention, the primacy of politics and the nexus between peace and development. Board members also emphasized women’s important role in peacemaking and peacebuilding.
Other members of CCCPA’s Advisory Board include former President José Ramos-Horta of Timor Leste, Salim Ahmed Salim of Tanzania, Edem Kodjo of Togo, Lakhdar Brahimi of Algeria, Moushira Khattab of Egypt, and Hesham Badr of Egypt.