The Great Lakes Region in Central Africa has been the site of the most devastating armed conflicts and humanitarian crises the world has witnessed since the end of the Cold War. In various parts of the region, the legacy of colonialism, ethnic rivalry, weak state structures and opportunities for the exploitation of natural resources have given rise to a vicious cycle of violence, displacement, and institutional collapse.
The Great Lakes Pact, adopted by eleven African states in December 2006, represents the most comprehensive effort yet to address the root causes of these conflicts and lay the foundations for sustainable peace and development in the region. Within the framework of the Pact, the member states have assumed detailed obligations in areas ranging from democracy and good governance to economic and humanitarian issues, and committed themselves to their implementation through the adoption of concrete Programmes of Action. The Pact thus comprises a complex set of interlocking and mutually reinforcing legal frameworks designed to create conditions for security, stability, and reconstruction in the region.
In September 2007, the International Humanitarian Law Project at the London School of Economics and Political Science held a Symposium to discuss the content of the Pact and its Protocols. The follow-up Conference on 29-30 May 2009 will focus on the implementation and enforcement of the Protocols. Individuals who played an integral role in drafting the Pact and Protocols as well as those responsible for its implementation have been invited to participate during the course of the first day. The second day has been specifically set aside for the scholarly community to offer critical input and engage with those responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the Pact.
Papers are invited on questions relevant to the implementation and enforcement of the Great Lakes Pact, the Programmes for Action and the Protocols, in particular:
The Programme of Action for the Promotion of Democracy and Good Governance, including the
- Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance
- Protocol on Judicial Cooperation
- Protocol against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources
- Protocol on the Management of Information and Communication
- Protocol for the Prevention and the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity and All Forms of Discrimination
The Programme of Action on Economic Development and Regional Integration, including the
- Protocol on the Specific Reconstruction and Development Zone
The Programme of Action for Peace and Security, including the
- Protocol on Non-Aggression and Mutual Defence
The Programme of Action on Humanitarian and Social Issues, including the
- Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence Against Women and Children
- Protocol on the Protection and Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons
- Protocol on Property Rights of Returning Persons
The text of the Pact, the Programmes of Action and the Protocols can be accessed here.
We will also consider submissions which critically examine the implementation and enforcement of international legal norms in armed conflicts and post-conflict environments outside the region to the extent that they may shed light on the challenges that face the region. However, substantial attention should be devoted to the implications and relevance of these experiences to the implementation and enforcement of those norms in the Great Lakes Region.
Abstracts (max. 500 words), together with a short informal biography (max. 100 words) should be submitted to IHL.Project@lse.ac.uk by 1 March 2009. Successful applicants will be informed by mid-March 2009. A first draft of the final papers will be required by 18 May 2009. Please contact IHL.Project@lse.ac.uk with any queries.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Call for Papers: The Great Lakes Pact – Two Years On: Issues of Implementation and Enforcement
The International Humanitarian Law Project at the London School of Economics and Political Science has issued a call for papers for its conference "The Great Lakes Pact – Two Years On: Issues of Implementation and Enforcement," which will be held May 29-30, 2009, in London. Here's the call: