In light of civil society's important role in peacebuilding, SIPRI has been supporting a process together with CONASCIPAL to develop a strategic vision for civil society contributions to peace and national unity in Mali. CONASCIPAL presented this strategic vision, Vision Stratégique de la Société Civile por la Paix et l’Unité National au Mali, at a seminar in Bamako, Mali.
The strategic vision assesses how civil society can contribute to the peace process in Mali, including to the objectives of the Peace Agreement, based on an evidence-based assessment of the challenges that need to be addressed and how these could be mitigated through increased civil society involvement. The role of civil society in national reconciliation and its participation in political governance figure prominently in the document.
Designed for civil society organizations and other stakeholders that aim to contribute to the consolidation of peace and national unity in Mali, the strategic vision proposes deep, organized and progressive engagement by Malian civil society. The document identifies initiatives that would address light arms proliferation, obstacles to social and economic development and violent religious extremism.
The opening sessions of the event included talks by Mr Souleymane Niaré, President of CONASCIPAL; H.E. Eva Emnéus, Ambassador of Sweden to Mali; Mr Jakob Hallgren, Deputy Director of SIPRI; and Dr Elisabeth Sköns, Head of SIPRI's Mali civil society and peacebuolding project. The official opening of the seminar was conducted by Mr Asser Kamaté, Secretary-General at the Malian Ministry of Security and Civil Protection.
Speakers at the seminar included Mr Attaher Ag Iknane, the Secretary-General at the Malian Ministry for National Reconciliation; Dr Mariam Maiga, Executive director of CONASCIPAL; Dr Aménatou Touré, MNFPUN, member of CONASCIPAL; Dr Gaudence Nyirabikali, Senior Researcher at SIPRI; and members of the Consultative Committee for the strategic vision. A number of other civil society organisations were represented in the panel discussions, including Conseil National de la Société Civile Mali (CNSC) and Forum des Organisations de la Société Civile du Mali (FOSC).
The seminar was followed by a discussion among a broad variety of stakeholders in the Malian peace process. The seminar had 110 participants from civil society, government, academia and international organizations.