Beneficiary: Mariame Camara
Function Title: Programme Officer, Mediation Resources, Mediation Facilitation Division (MFD), Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission
Country of Origen: Guinea

“Beyond my professional expectations, the UNITAR regional training programme was a unique life experience. Practitioners from all over Africa were put together with wonderful resource persons and experts, to reflect deeply on mediation, and most importantly, on prevention and transformation of conflict in Africa.”

The 2017 UNITAR Regional Training Programme to Enhance Conflict Prevention and Peacemaking in Africa trained thirty-one mid and senior-level officials. Participants came from Offices of Presidents and Prime Ministers, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, African Union Peace and Security Council Member States, the African Union Commission and sub-regional organizations, and from UN and AU peace missions. Staff from key non-governmental organizations also took part. Since its inception in 2000, the Regional Training Programme has trained more than six hundred officials across the continent who are playing a crucial role to enhance prevention and promote sustainable peace in Africa.

Mariame Camara joined the ECOWAS Commission in 2015 as a Programme Officer for Mediation Resources in the Mediation Facilitation Division of the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security. As part of the ECOWAS Mediation Support Structure, she provides operational and technical support to preventive diplomacy and mediation missions led by former Heads of State. Ms. Camara ensures that challenges, lessons learned and best practices of ECOWAS mediation interventions are captured and inform policy orientation and ECOWAS training programmes in the field of mediation. She also generates and disseminates knowledge to improve mediation processes in the ECOWAS region and beyond.

“I applied for this programme because I wished to enhance my skills in conflict analysis, and interest-based negotiation and mediation, and to gain an understanding of how and when to use different approaches. One of my objectives was also to learn from the experiences of other organizations involved in mediation. The UNITAR training design facilitated the opportunity for a valuable exchange among colleagues from government, the AU, sub-regional organizations and UN peace missions engaged in mediation.”

“The UNITAR Regional Training Programme helped to create a network of practitioners in Africa on which I can call upon for further guidance and for informal consultations. In addition to practical learning, the Regional Training Programme provided space for teambuilding and networking.”

In the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), and as a part of the continent’s Agenda 2063, sub-regional organizations, including ECOWAS, are expected to play an important role in the prevention and sustainable resolution of conflict.

“I strongly believe that the Training Programme added value to my work and the skills acquired during the training are being applied and benefitting ECOWAS. After completing the programme, I had stronger analytical skills that were used for drafting analytical reports on specific political crises that erupted in the region. I also undertook conflict analyses to identify potential ECOWAS interventions. The deepened knowledge and strengthened skills after the training were very instrumental in the support provided for the development of the ECOWAS Mediation Guidelines. The guidelines provide guidance on key principles of mediation processes such as inclusivity and participation, a comprehensive conflict analysis which is gender sensitive, culturally grounded mediation aiming at addressing the root causes of conflict.”

The 2017 UNITAR Regional Training Programme to Enhance Conflict Prevention and Peacemaking in Africa received financial contributions from the Government of China, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and the Government of Turkey.  The Institute is grateful for this support which made possible this much-requested regional training programme. There is a waiting list for the annual regional training programme. A new programme for African Women Peacemakers has also been requested.

UN Photo/Herve Serefio - Central African Republic
UN Photo/Marco Dormino
UN Photo/Martine Perret
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