Following the decision for COMESA to be involved formally in matters of Peace and Security, COMESA held various consultations and it became clear that the conflicts in our region are very complex and exhibit the kind of dynamism that calls for multifaceted approaches that require a variety of stakeholders to work together to address them.<
Against this backdrop the Fifth Summit made a decision for COMESA to involve civil society and private sector organizations in a structured manner. The Ministers highlighted the areas of consultation with civil society and private sector organizations including resource mobilization, information sharing, capacity building, provision of peace workers and training in peace building. On the mode of cooperation, the Ministers agreed that:
- The Secretariat would establish specific criteria on the procedure and rules of accreditation of private sector organizations, NGOs and the civil society.
- The responsibility of collaborating with the private sector, non-governmental organisations and civil society in addressing issues of peace and security would be delegated to the competent division within the existing structure of COMESA. Thereafter, a Civil Society Desk was established for peace and security.
Clear rules of engagement were developed and adopted in 2006 and the process of accreditation started leading to the accreditation of 30 organizations in 17 COMESA Member States.