The ECOSOCC’s Peace & Security Council has officially rolled out the Civil Society Forum for the Operationalization of the Livingstone Formula in Lusaka, Zambia. The Operationalization of the Livingstone Formula is a consultative meeting that has drawn more than forty participants of various civil society organizations from the five regions of Africa, to deliberate on ways of ensuring peace, security and stability on the continent and to prepare the recommendations of the Forum to the Peace and Security Council (PSC) Retreat that will take place on 7 to 9 November 206.
Delivering a goodwill message on behalf of H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Amb Lazarus Kapambe expressed hope that the forum will be a success towards one key element of the AU’s flagship project, Agenda 2063; Silencing the Guns by 2020. “The AU recognizes the need for increased involvement of the civil society in peacebuilding in acute conflict situations in Africa. The forum on the Operationalization of the Livingstone Formula is an essential part of finding workable solutions to ensure peace on the continent and silencing the guns attained even way before 2020”, he said.
Representing the Zambian Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary H.E.Mr. Chalwe Lombe mentioned in in his opening statement that the Livingstone Formula provides a framework and mechanism for the AU Peace and Security mechanism at the apex of the African Peace and Security architecture to interact with African CSOs and the people at the grassroots to facilitate the peace and security agenda of the continent. He expressed delight that the operationalization of the Livingstone Formula will lay out a practical agenda to ensure that by 2020, guns will be silent on the African continent and that the plight with which Africa’s journey towards development is delayed and intimidated by conflicts social unrest, occasional civil wars and structural violence will have vanished and replaced by a haven of accelerated growth, rapid development, the rule of law and social justice.
“We are happy that this social conversation and framework document will be born in Lusaka, Zambia, the home of ECOSOCC and the cradle for the people-centred nexus of the African Union”, the Permanent Secretary said.
The honorable representative of the Zambian Government also stressed on the need for ECOSOCC and the PSC to remain at the centre of AU efforts as laid out by the Livingstone Formula. “As we expand on the application of the Livingstone Formula, ECOSOCC roles must be amplified to fulfill the people-centred aspirations of our living legends, the founders of the African Union and the African people that ECOSOCC was chosen to serve”, he said.
In his address, the ECOSOCC’s Presiding Officer Mr. Joseph Chilengi cited the Livingstone Formula’s direct call for ECOSOCC as a consultative organ of the African Union to seek civil society’s active participation in the work of the African Union. While reiterating the leading role of ECOSOCC in the interaction between the PSC and Civil Society Organizations, the Presiding Officer highlighted the inclusiveness of ECOSOCC approach and the need to have all civil society actors on board for the interest of African people and the Continent,
The civil society forum on the Operationalization of the Livingstone Formula will be a consultative meeting spanning three days. Participants will be strategizing on the most effective ways of implementing the Livingstone Formula and adopting a 3-year civil society action plan for the implementation of the “Silencing of Guns by 2020 in Africa”; an important element of Agenda 2063’s Aspiration 4. The outcomes of this forum and the civil society action plan will be presented to the PSC retreat.Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).