Geneva Declaration Regional Review (GAAV) Conference Nairobi 2014

GAAV present civil society statement at Geneva Declaration Conference

The conference took place in Nairobi on the 26th and 27th of November, and the statement was a strong call to arms for all governments to strengthen their efforts to address the causes of armed violence. The purpose of this is to prevent and reduce its effects on the everyday lives of people in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Business as usual will not solve the development challenges, nor devastating effects of armed violence, in sub-Saharan Africa. The civil society has sent a clear message to states for action. The drivers and impacts of armed violence all need to be tackled for development to be equitable and sustainable,” said Nicola Williams, Coordinator of the Global Alliance on Armed Violence.

The Danish Demining Group (DDG) is a founding committee member of GAAV and a focal point for GAAV’s work in East Africa. The statement is a compilation of recommendations to reduce armed violence in Sub-Saharan Africa put together by 35 civil society groups including DDG. The statement was given by Ida Nganga, a representative of the African Union Youth.

The statement will be recognised and used by the civil society actors in order to engage with government officials and ministries relevant to armed violence reduction. The participants of the conference represent national governments, local authorities, civil society organisations, international and regional organisations, and the private sector.

In the civil society statement, GAAV presented recommendations for the Post-2015 Development Agenda of the Geneva Declaration, which included supporting a people-centered approach on peace, governance and justice.

The statement also incorporated recommendations regarding accountability of institutions and national governments, the recognition of youth as high-risk victims and perpetrators of armed violence and the call for increased engagement of youth in the planning and implementing process. In all, the statement aims at addressing the root causes of armed violence in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The objectives of the Geneva Declaration Regional Review Conferences, which were held in five different areas of the world in 2014, were to review the implementation processes of the Geneva Declaration in the various regions, to enhance cooperation of the signatory states of the Geneva Declaration and to gather support from the wide range of actors involved. All of these objectives feed into the main goal, which is the creation of the development framework for 2015, in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals.