HC Deb 27 April 1998 vol 311 cc41-2W
Sir Alastair Goodlad

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department is taking to strengthen the conflict-management capacity of regional organisations. [39445]

Mr. Foulkes

We are committed to supporting the creation of a stronger peace-building and conflict management capacity for regional organisations and are working within the European Union (EU) and United Nations to achieve this. The EU agreed a Common Position on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa in 1997, and is pursuing practical proposals with the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) and working to enhance its dialogue with other sub-regional organisations such as the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In 1998 the Department is providing financial support for a sub-regional seminar for Central Africa on practical disarmament, the Mali Government's initiative of a West African moratorium on the import, export and manufacture of light weapons, and a conference in South Africa to develop national, regional and international measures to address illicit trafficking in conventional arms. We will continue to look for ways to provide practical support to regional conflict management initiatives.