Experts Canvassed For Women Inclusion In Peace, Development Process
A diplomat, author and scholar, Ambassador Godknows Igali, has called on African leaders to create a fair and just society that will engender peaceful coexistence in their respective countries.
Igali stated this at a two-day WAELE/ARCELFA Executive Meeting and Training on Peace and Conflict Resolution, Management/Mediation held between July 27 and 28, 2018 in Abuja.
The former Nigerian ambassador to the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden who delivered a lecture titled ‘Fundamental of Peace, Security and Development Nexus’ said African leaders must keep on working on the issues of peace at all times which is what the continent lacks.
He said it is high time Nigeria nay Africa built the capacity of women for leadership positions and involve them in peace process. He stated that Africa still remain the platform of world conflict because of the absence of the rule of law and a just society.
The former permanent secretary said war and violence have caused Africa more than $285 billion which could have been used for the development of the continent.
Dr Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa, independent consultant/conflict transformation expert, Abuja also in her lecture identified Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as the best way to resolve disputes and promotion of peace. She said rather than conflict resolution, we should be talking about conflict transformation which she referred to as moving conflict from a violent way to a manageable level where people shift grounds.
The university lecturer said conflict occurs when two or more people are contending for limited resources. She said the instinct of aggression in man can trigger conflict but that whoever must resolve it must be familiar with the conflict at hand. According to her, “conflict management is the limitation, mitigation and containment of a violent conflict which also entails that that you bring the two opposing sides together in a very relaxed and amicable atmosphere.”
She mentioned stages in conflict management to include; identifying the conflict, knowing the parties involved, being painstaking and contract intercessors accepted by the warring parties.
“We should always look for positives from one another to move forward and make the world go round in peace,” she added.
Also in her contribution, a former Nigeria ambassador to the European Union (EU), Ambassador Nonye Udo, has stated that women possess and are endowed with qualities to promote peaceful coexistence in the society as natural bridge-builders. The envoy said peace-keeping operations need the involvement of women to protect the citizens especially in the areas of intelligence-gathering capabilities. She however cautioned that a society should never neglect the roles women play in conflict prevention saying doing will be at the peril of such society. She canvassed for the education of the girl-child which she said is very key to her role in contributing meaningfully to the growth and development of her environment.
According to her, ‘Gender Equality’ should be demystified and emphasis should be placed on the promotion of women’s development”.
She added that women should be allowed to play active and positive roles in politics and business. She stated that it is high time women are giving the much-needed empowerment in terms of access to education and participation in leadership positions notably in political and decision-making process.