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Cairo, Wednesday 18 June 2008 – Today, the Cairo Regional Centre for Conflict Resolution and Peace-keeping in Africa (CCCPA) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will launch a project, funded by the Government of Japan, to strengthen the capacity of CCCPA as a regional and international centre of excellence in the vital area of peacekeeping and conflict resolution in Africa.

H.E. Assistant Foreign Minister and Director of the Institute for Diplomatic Studies at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Soad Shalaby, H.E. Ambassador of Japan to the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr. Kaoru Ishikawa, and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative, Mr. James W. Rawley will attend the signing ceremony.

The implementation of this project in Egypt confirms the UN system’s effort to transform the outcomes of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) into tangible actions as well as the Japanese Government’s commitment to move into the Peace and Development arena. The Government of Japan has already committed to support four other peacekeeping centres in Africa (namely in Ghana, Mali, Kenya, and Rwanda) within the framework of the fourth TICAD held in Yokohama in May 2008.

Egypt continues to be a strong advocate of international peace and security, particularly in Africa. Egypt established the CCCPA within its Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support peacekeeping efforts and to respond to the needs of African countries to assume a more active role in dealing with crises and conflicts emanating from within the African continent.

The CCCPA currently trains French, English, Arabic and Portuguese-speaking African nationals in a variety of areas including military dimensions of peacekeeping operations, preventive diplomacy, and legal aspects of peacekeeping operations. Its training programmes target African diplomats, military officers, security personnel and civilians involved in peacekeeping operations.

H.E. Assistant Foreign Minister Soad Shalaby indicated that the resulting project places special emphasis on training programmes that bring together major players involved in peacekeeping operations, including members of the military and police forces in addition to civilians and diplomats. She underlined that the CCCPA, through this ‘integrated training’, will offer an innovative approach to training for peacekeeping that is multi-disciplinary, cross-professional and trans-cultural. Mrs. Shalaby referred also to the strong emphasis the project will have on leadership, teamwork, best practices of knowledge management and use of Information and Communication Technology.

The project will simultaneously adopt a gender mainstreaming approach to peacekeeping operations and conflict resolution in Africa that highlights the negative impact of armed conflicts in Africa on children and civilian women and girls, strengthens the role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building, and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts to promote peace and security. Developing training guidelines and materials on the protection, rights and the particular needs of women involved in peacekeeping operations in Africa will also be a priority.

Finally, the project will focus on strengthening CCCPA’s communications, outreach and knowledge management capabilities. In this respect, the project will develop and implement an outreach strategy through the following three mechanisms: an internet website, publications, and maintaining linkages between the centre and its graduates and instructors through a roster for future UN and/or African Union peacekeeping and humanitarian operations in Africa.

H.E. Ambassador of Japan to the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr. Kaoru Ishikawa, spelled out that Japan leads the international community as a “Peace Fostering Nation” to further enhance peace and development in the world and, in doing so, Japan believes that not only nation building should start from human resources development but also and especially peace should be based on the empowerment of people.  He underlined that the Japanese support to the CCCPA is one of the embodiments of the policy of peace-building in cooperation with another peace-loving country, Egypt, and an active international organization in this field, UNDP.

On the project’s aims to promote South-South Co-operation, UNDP Resident Representative James W. Rawley said: “By sharing peace-keeping and conflict resolution experiences between African nations, the project will emphasize collaboration with other peace keeping centres in Africa especially those that are currently supported by the Government of Japan. I am particularly excited by Egypt hosting the first ever regional meeting for African peacekeeping centres later this year.”

International partners include the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), UNDP’s Bureau for Crises Prevention and Recovery (BCPR), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Geneva-based ICT4Peace Foundation, and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). Regional partners will include the African Union (AU) and its regional organizations including Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), in addition to regional peacekeeping centres such as the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).

See the UNDP's official Press Release for more details.