Horn of Africa Conference on Conflict and Conflict Resolution by vdy11062


									                Horn of Africa Peace and Development Center
                4002 Blacksmith Drive, Garland, TX 75044
                Web site: http://www.hafrica.com
                Email: contact@hafrica.com

Horn of Africa Conference on Conflict, Conflict Resolution and

   I.      Introduction

A Horn of Africa International Conference on Conflict, Conflict Resolution and
Democracy is being organized in Dallas, Texas, USA on October 22 through 25, 2009.

   II.     Purpose:

The long-term objective of the conference is to explore and promote practical
possibilities for achieving an enduring peace, democracy, human rights, and sustainable
economic development in the Horn of Africa (HOA). The immediate purpose is to
analyze the causes of the perennial conflicts that plague the region and explore ways and
means toward long term peace and development by bringing together civic and academic
institutions from the HOA and other countries as well as the concerned international and
regional organizations and independent experts in order to identify and analyze the
underlying factors responsible for the continuing armed conflicts in the region as well as
to recommend appropriate mechanisms for resolving them. Without an enduring peace,
democracy, and respect for human rights, sustainable economic development is not

   III.    Background
The Horn of Africa Peace and Development Center is a non-partisan and a 501c (3) non-
profit organization registered in the United States and based in Dallas, Texas. It brings
together people from all the HOA countries- Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, and Djibouti. The
Center promotes dialogue and discussion among the people of the Horn and engages the
community, both here and in the region, in community conversations about their common
desire for peace, democracy and human rights. The Center aims to advance the cause of
peace, democracy, human rights and development in the region by implementing peace,
democracy and good governance projects through education and community engagement
in collaboration with national and international institutions.

This conference follows previous conferences and community events. An international
conference had been held on Prospects for a Confederation among the HOA countries at
the University of South Florida, Tampa, on November 13-15, 2002. The conference was
attended by over 300 people. Keynote speakers included H.E. Dr. Kenneth Kaunda,
former president of Zambia. Participants included representatives from major national
and international institutions such as the US State Department, major universities
(including Michigan State, UCLA, Howard, Princeton, etc), UNDP, WHO, FAO, and
civic organizations.

The Center had organized another international conference on a Development Strategy
for the Horn of Africa in collaboration with the University of Texas, Arlington, and the
Amoud Foundation during October 20-22, 2006. Participants included representatives
from the World Bank, USAID, FAO, and major universities (including Princeton,
University of Texas at Arlington, Oregon State University, Howard University, Western
Michigan University, etc).

The outcomes of the above conferences can be viewed on the Center’s website,

The Center also organized a series of community conversations in which experts on the
Horn of Africa were invited as keynote speakers (including Ambassadors David Shinn
and Tibor P. Nagy). These community conversations brought people from the HOA
countries together for a frank and free discussion of issues relevant to the region.

The upcoming conference on Conflict, Conflict Resolution and Democracy follows that
tradition and will bring together representatives from major national and international
institutions, universities, and civic organizations.

   IV.      Horn of Africa’s Importance

The importance of the Horn of Africa not only to the rest of Africa to the international
community cannot be over-emphasized. Here are just a few of the main factors that make
the region so important:

    •    Its youthful population of close to 100 million expected to almost double by 2025
    •    Its strategic location along the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
    •    Its close proximity to the sea lanes from the oil-rich middle east
    •    Its vast untapped agricultural, water, mineral and energy resources
    •    Source of the Blue Nile that provides 90% of Egypt’s water needs
    •    Its potential as an integral battle ground in the war on terrorism

It is the confluence of these factors that attracted the attention of the West. The United
States and France currently maintain their only military bases in Africa in the region, at
the tiny Republic of Djibouti.

Somalia’s descent into chaos and subsequent intervention by Ethiopia, continued hostility
between Ethiopia and Eritrea after a devastating war in which over 70,000 people
perished, and the recent flare-up of hostility between Djibouti and Eritrea point to the real
danger of an even wider conflagration.

     The main outcomes of the conference will be:

            (a) A conference declaration to be disseminated globally including the
                United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, other
                concerned international organizations, the concerned governments in
                the Horn of Africa as well as the international community;
            (b) Proceedings of the conference to be published;
            (c) Recommend an international framework focused on conflict resolution
                and democracy in the Horn of Africa.

VI.     Organizing Committee
The Horn of Africa Peace and Development Center, Dallas, Texas is organizing the
conference in collaboration with local educational and civic institutions.

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