Horn of Africa Peace and Development Center 4002 Blacksmith Drive, Garland, TX 75044 Web site: http://www.hafrica.com Email: email@example.com Horn of Africa Conference on Conflict, Conflict Resolution and Democracy 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 feasible. 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, www.hafrica.com. 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. V. EXPECTED OUTCOME OF THE CONFERENCE 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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