‘Youth Volunteerism for Peace and Development in Africa’
Africa Conference on Volunteer Action for Peace and Development
Convened at United Nations Gigiri Headquarters, Nairobi Kenya
July 3, 2012
This Communiqué is released by the Steering Committee and Delegates to the Africa Conference on Volunteer Action for Peace and Development (ACVAPD) which has convened July 2-3, 2012 at the United Nations in Nairobi, Kenya.
The delegates have deliberated and hereby launch an action plan establishing the East Africa Peace Service Corps (EAPSC), furthering objectives of the United Nations State of the World’s Volunteering Report Resolution unanimously adopted at the UN General Assembly in December 2011, the Johannesburg Declaration of October 2011 and the Global Peace Convention Nairobi Declaration of November 2010.
This Communiqué therefore represents a set of public-private partners, Youth, United Nations agencies, African Union, Regional Economic Blocs, Governments of the member countries NGOs, Foundations, Corporates, International Community partners and others dedicated to actions furthering sustainable peace in East Africa and the greater COMESA Region and development outcomes implementing UN Millennium Development Goal targets for 2015.
Action Plan to Implement the East Africa Peace Service Corps
1. Over the course of 2012-2015 the Steering Committee partners and delegates to the ACVAPD Conference shall continue the momentum created and establish quarterly milestones assessing progress achieving East Africa Peace Service Corps development and peace outcomes. These outcomes will be showcased at the follow-up convening proposed in July 2013 at the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The annual convening is supported by the East African Community Secretariat, Ministries of East African Community, Youth Affairs and Sports and Gender, Children and Social Development from each member country, Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), African Union, UNON, UNDP, United Nations Volunteers Programme, UN-HABITAT, Civil Society organizations including NGOs and faith-based organizations, the private sector and global partners.
2. Action partnerships advancing EAPSC peace and development outcomes were put forward by the delegates and Steering Committee Members in four initiative areas:
A. Addressing Climate Change through Environmental Service
A multi-year campaign of environmental service advancing Green Africa is being kicked off July 4th with tree planting hosted by the Green Belt Movement. Together with African Union, COMESA, East African Community, National Governments of member countries, UN agencies, Corporates, Foundations, NGOs and other partners the youth environmental action group will further highlight emerging success stories of environmental volunteerism, youth entrepreneurship and regional integration. Public and Private sector partners will support ongoing environmental service demonstration initiatives from 2012-2015 including local pilot projects, tree nurseries and planting campaigns. Through networking, funding, mentorship and technical support these service actions will be scaled up at the EAC and COMESA level on a cross border basis.
B. Empowering Youth Livelihoods through Service and Entrepreneurship
Research released at ACVAPD illustrated that National youth service schemes have the potential of building a pathway toward youth character education, entrepreneurship, asset development and leadership. Partners including: African Union, COMESA, East African Community, National Governments of member countries, UN agencies, Corporates, Foundations, NGOs, Universities and other Multi-Lateral Partners have mounted a campaign which will continue to scale up national service and associated entrepreneurship programmes.
C. Waging Peace through Service
Identity based conflicts, whether tribal or religious/sectarian, threaten the very fabric of society and peace. We shall therefore wage peace through service, building bonds of cross-cultural identity inspired by our common spiritual heritage embodied in the African tradition of Harambee and Ubuntu and others. Programs such as the Rift Valley Peace Initiative and cross-border service corps shall be stepped up to engage youth in transforming tribalism or sectarian conflict, rising to a greater platform of mutuality and peace as noted by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nairobi Declaration of 2010.
D. Reducing Child Mortality through Health Service Corps
Public and private partners from Africa Regional Economic Blocs have agreed to take action and form a regional Health Service Corps implementing Community Health Strategies of our respective governments by marshaling coalitions of Village Volunteers and Medical Professionals, NGOs, Universities and Foundations. We therefore express solidarity and will take action together with the upcoming Africa Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) summit during the Africa Union mid-year meeting July 15, 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to mount expanded national campaigns around life-saving hygiene and sanitation addressing the scourge of diarrhea related infant and maternal deaths, ITN bed net use campaigns slashing malaria, HIV AIDS prevention and other health MDG health service actions designed to slash child mortality by 50% as set forth in UN MDGs targets by 2015 and Vision 2030.
3. East Africa Peace Service Corps will be advanced on three levels:
A. Youth and Civil Society Action: NGO’s, Faith-based Organizations, Community Based Organizations, Corporations, Foundations, Civil Societies and National Volunteer Centers galvanized by the Africa Volunteer Action for Peace and Development Alliance.
B. National Ministries, Regional and Global Partnerships of the Governments, Africa Regional Blocs and UN agencies
C. Communications and Social Media Campaign: Scaling up social media and ICT to further information networking of Media partners, youths, civil society and governments in effective action at the regional and African continental level and advance positive messages of youth service, character building and peace.
4. A call is made to the Public and Private sectors, Global Donors and UN agencies to step up support an East Africa Peace Service Corps (EAPSC) seed fund that will further scale up the four initiative areas of environmental service, youth livelihoods, sustainable peace and health service.
‘Youth Volunteerism for Peace and Development in Africa’
5. A research consortium including research Institutes and Universities have released at this conference a set of research papers showing further evidence of best practices and outcomes from service. This includes, Assessments of Cross Border Service, Youth Livelihoods, Service, and Positive Peace. Research papers are available on the conference website at: www.acvapd.org. Continuing research and policy analysis will be advanced by consortium partners including Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis, Brookings, Center for Social Development at Washington University, regional universities, and Volunteering and Service Enquiry Southern Africa.
6. We call on all regional blocks to take similar actions to advance regional integration, peace and development outcomes while stepping up the voice and creative engagement of youth through civic action and service.
7. The unique African voice must further be heard and will be shaped for the 2013 UN MDG Summit charting the way forward on sustainable global development and peace.
8. The Steering Committee, Board and Secretariat shall continue to oversee this action plan as the African Volunteer Action for Peace and Development Alliance serving as the operational hub for EAPSC actions with partners, civil societies and governments in each of the four above mentioned action initiatives. This regional action of EAPSC by Africans across borders is further supported by a multilateral coalition including Governments, Private sector, Foundations, NGO’s, Civil Societies, UN agencies and Global Partners.
9. With rapid urbanization and growing youth population being the two defining features of this century, we further propose promoting Urban Youth Volunteers for Peace and Development as an integral part of “I am City Changer Campaign” of UN-HABITAT.
10. We recognize efforts of the East African Community, COMESA and African Union to develop a regional youth policy and advocate for recognition and inclusion of a volunteer component in that policy. The Kenya Volunteer Involving Organizations (VIO) Network and other regional stakeholders are committed to identifying and removing policy barriers that hinder the development of volunteerism and also identify best practices in service that can be scaled up in national and regional policies.
Full copy of this Communiqué can be downloaded here