On Tuesday May 31, 2022, Ambassador Bernard NTAHIRAJA, National Coordinator of the Mechanism of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (CIRGL) opened the work of the round table on “Education for Peace », in Bujumbura, King’s Conference Center.
In her speech, Mrs. Flaviana Charles MAYUTTA, Director of the Gender, Women and Children Program at the ICGLR, Representative of the Executive Secretary of the ICGLR recalled that in February 2022, experts in peace education met in a training workshop, which was rich in lessons and experience sharing.
Mrs. Flaviana Charles MAYUTTA said that it is common knowledge that the Great Lakes region has been the scene of many violent conflicts in the past, both within countries and beyond borders. Therefore, these evil forces for the region require a regional approach to put an end to them. This approach is in line with the mandate and mission of the ICGLR as defined in the PACT on peace, security, stability and development in the Great Lakes region.
According to the Representative of the Executive Secretary, this round table in Burundi, which comes after that of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, illustrates the cooperation between countries and between the various partners involved in the promotion of peace and stability in the region. It is the culmination of the efforts of the ICGLR to promote peace and security in the Great Lakes region through the implementation by the Peace Education Project of its comprehensive regional approach to peace and security. It is also the prelude to a Joint Regional Table with the Internal Mediation Project, which is being prepared and will be held here in Bujumbura, bringing together actors from the ICGLR sub-region.
She underlined that the national round table making a training workshop for experts in peace education which took place is an important activity which comes to support the efforts of the Government of the Republic of Burundi, to establish the capacities acquired for the continuing education for peace and security in the Great Lakes Region.
Mrs. Flaviana Charles MAYUTTA added that it is necessary to find adequate responses to all sources likely to disturb peace and to make a contribution to the promotion of peace in society, in schools, during religious gatherings and to prevent conflicts and promote human rights awareness.
In his speech, Ambassador Bernard NTAHIRAJA recalled that education is the formidable weapon to change the world as Nelson MANDELA pointed out. He added that peace education is the formidable weapon to pacify the world in order to develop it.
Ambassador Bernard NTAHIRAJA recalled that the Peace Education project falls under the recommendations of the ICGLR Summit on Peace Education held in 2016, as part of the implementation of the Pact on Peace, the Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region, signed in Nairobi in December 2006, which responds to the imperative of making a contribution to peace, to the gradual passage from a culture of violence to a culture of peace, with the aim of preventing violent conflicts and raising awareness of human rights in society as well as fostering cooperation between countries affected by conflict and instability.
The Peace Education Project is a regional project that is implemented in each of the four pilot countries namely Burundi, DRC, Rwanda and Uganda. The organization of this round table is planned in each of the pilot countries. It aims in particular to provide an opportunity for peace education actors from each of the four pilot countries to exchange and expand their network, to raise awareness among stakeholders on the importance of education for peace and to strengthen the commitment of peace education actors, stakeholders and decision-makers to strengthen peace education in their countries.
In Burundi, peace education is a reality. Ambassador Bernard NTAHIRAJA hailed the activities of moralization, especially of youth, under the leadership of His Excellency Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE, President of the Republic of Burundi, which occupy a prominent place in education for peace, respect others and patriotism.
The next regional round table of the four pilot countries and other partners, planned for the near future, will also be held in Burundi.