Durban ( South Africa), October 31 to November 01, 2023– How can we breathe new life and energy into the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Region? The issue was at the heart of the Regional Retreat on the review of the impact of the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation on the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region, and recommendations for revitalization efforts, held in Durban, South Africa, from October 31 to 01.November 1, 2023.
The main objectives of the Durban retreat were to stimulate debate on the past and future of the Framework Agreement, with the participation of external experts in the open segment of the event, followed by in-depth discussion between signatory countries and guarantor institutions.
The regional retreat identified the main strategic recommendations made in a draft roadmap for revitalizing the Framework Agreement drawn up by the signatory countries, namely :
- Assessing the key impact of the Framework Agreement ;
- Assessing the obstacles to full implementation of the Framework Agreement and proposing an appropriate level of ambition.
Participants felt that in order to move forward, three key achievements are envisaged up to 2028/2033 and the necessary milestones, including:
- Identification of key measures to meet the challenges of implementing national, regional and international commitments;
- Identification of key measures to strengthen governance mechanisms and the role of guarantor institutions;
- Proposal of initial options for indicating progress on national, regional and international commitments.
The retreat was attended by representatives of the countries that have signed the Framework Agreement, namely the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Hungary and the Republic of Poland.
The delegation from the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) was led by Ambassador Gilberto da Piedade Verissimo, Chairman of the Commission.
The retreat was also an opportunity to follow up on the decisions taken by the region’s leaders who, in their communiqué from the 10th High-Level Meeting of the Regional Follow-Up Mechanism (RFM) of the Framework Agreement held on February 24, 2022 in Kinshasa, DRC, unequivocally reaffirmed their firm commitment to the full implementation of the Framework Agreement, for, they hammered home, it remains the most viable means of tackling the causes and drivers of ongoing conflict and instability.
Participants called for an urgent revitalization of the Framework Agreement, asking the AU to work in collaboration with regional actors and the UN to achieve its objectives.