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Facilitating Regional Cooperation

Leaders of inter-governmental organizations and civil society began new partnership for global peace at international conference

On 15 and 16 November 2011, high level representatives of regional inter-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector gathered in Madrid, Spain, during the First International Conference Strengthening Global Peace and Security for Development. Participants shared impressions, experiences, and best practices about the development of regional and global mechanisms for cooperation among different actors in the promotion of greater peace, development and security.

This global policy forum--convened jointly by the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), in collaboration with the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB)--brought together representatives from all corners of the globe, including delegates from Egypt, Lebanon, Kenya, Ethiopia, Colombia, Mexico, Nepal, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Tonga, Philippines and many more. They represented many sectors of society including government, civil society, business, and academia.

As a result of the conference, the participants acknowledged: 

1) the increasingly important role of regional inter-governmental organizations in the promotion of  peace and stability in our respective regions;

2) that peace, security and development are interrelated elements that must be addressed simultaneously;

3) the need to prioritize peace, security and development as global collective responsibilities that require a collaborative approach involving not only state actors but all different stakeholders in society;

4) and the importance of prevention as an effective and cost efficient approach to respond to crisis situations.

Moving beyond the conference and looking ahead to the future, participants recommended that the results of the meeting be communicated to member states of regional inter-governmental organizations to promote the importance of enhancing interaction and collaboration with civil society. They also agreed to the establishment of  a steering committee composed by representatives of regional inter-governmental organizations, the United Nations, civil society and the private sector to determine follow-up options towards the development of a consultative forum on global peace and security. Lastly, they proposed to convene a second meeting with the objective of identifying complementarities and joint actions to better respond to changing regional challenges.