Dar-Es-Salaam Declaration on Peace, Security, Democracy and Development in the Great Lakes Region

Report
from African Union
Published on 20 Nov 2004 View Original
International Conference on Peace, Security, Democracy and Development in the Great Lakes Region

First Summit of Heads of State and Government Dar-Es-Salaam, 19-20 November 2004

I. PREAMBLE

1. We, the Heads of State and Government of Member countries of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, meeting in Dar Es-Salaam, on 19 and 20 November 2004, under the auspices of the United Nations and the African Union;

2. Deeply concerned about the endemic conflicts and persistent insecurity caused or aggravated by, inter alia, economic stagnation and poverty aggravation, mistrust and suspicion between governments, massive violations of human rights and other policies of exclusion and marginalisation, gender inequality, lise of violence far conquering and conserving power, impunity of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons, proliferation of armed groups, organized crime and illegal exploitation of natural resources; recognising the efforts undertaken at national, regional and international level to resolve these endemic problems;

3. Recalling that the causes of conflict and insecurity in the region can also be found in our history, including, inter alia, pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial eras;

4. A ware of the need to respect democracy and good governance, the fundamental principles enshrined in the UN Charter and the Constitutive Act of the AU such as territorial integrity, sovereignty, non-interference and non-aggression, prohibition of any Member State from allowing the use of its territory as a base far aggression and subversion against another Member State, as well as the need far effective and sustained political will to jointly seek peaceful solutions and especially to honour our commitments in a spirit of mutual trust;

5. Conscious that the crises and conflicts affecting one country can rapidly spread to another, and even to the entire region, owing to the close links existing between our peoples;

6. Deeply concerned about the humanitarian and social consequences of crises and armed conflicts especially violations of the human rights of women, children, the elderly, the disabled and youth, the recruitment and lise of child soldiers in armed conflicts, the sexual violence and exploitation of girls and women and their lise as sexual slaves, the forced displacement of populations, the vulnerability of communities living at the borders, the destruction of basic services , especially the health and education infrastructures, the food insecurity and subsequent malnutrition of populations, the degradation of the eco-system and human settlements, and the strain on the allocation of national resources between the security and social sectors;

7. Concerned about the impact of armed conflicts on the environment, particularly the effect of refugees and internally displaced persons on the degradation of the ecosystem of the. Congo River Basin and the African Great Lakes region, and fully aware of the link between peace, environment and development;

8. Deeply concerned aver the lack of full application of essential legal instruments contained in International Humanitarian Law and some basic principles, notably those concerning refugees and displaced persons, leading to serious breaches in the protection cf, and delivery of humanitarian assistance to, affected populations;

9. Concerned over the HIV/AIDS scourge, the spread of Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, the high illiteracy rate, and their consequences on human development;

10. Aware of the lag in economic development and regional integration linked to, among other factors, unsound policy choices, mixed results of structural adjustment programmes, the mismanagement of public resources, the unsustainable debt burden and the destructive effects of war;

11. Considering that the discrimination against women, particularly at decision-making levels, in the areas of peace and security, democracy and political, economic and social governance calls far a deliberate, immediate and sustainable redress;

12. Aware of the fact that political leaders need to work individually and collectively towards reconstruction and development of the region and to promote a future of peace, stability and prosperity;

13. Convinced that the best way to build a viable future far all is through reestablishment of interstate and intrastate relations based on trust, revitalisation of cooperation and integration, within the framework of a regional and inclusive vision far the promotion of sustainable peace, security, democracy and development;

II. VISION

14. Declare our collective determination to transform the Great Lakes Region into a space of sustainable peace and security far States and peoples, political and social stability, shared growth and development, a space of cooperation based on the strategies and policies of convergence within the framework of a common destiny which we are determined to build, in line with the aspirations of our peoples, in conformity also with the AU Vision and Mission, with the full participation of all our peoples, and in partnership with the United Nations, the African Union, and the International Community as a whole;

15. Reaffirm our commitment to achieving this common destiny with strict compliance to the UN Charter, the Constitutive Act of the African Union, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, as well as all relevant international and regional legal instruments;

16. Commit ourselves to build a Great Lakes Region that is open to other regions of the Continent, by building our cooperation on priority areas: Peace and Security, Democracy and Good Governance, Economic Development and Regional Integration, Humanitarian and Social Issues and to achieve our vision through the priority policy options, guiding principles and mechanisms hereunder;

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