Paris Peace Forum : President Biya Plays Key Role

The Head of State carried the message of Cameroon to world leaders in France on how current challenges should be tackled.

The presence of the Cameroon Head of State among 32 other world leaders to talk peace and global governance in Paris from 11-13 November 2019 was a glaring milestone. On the diplomatic front the Head of State, who arrived in Paris on Sunday 10 November for the event attended a State banquet at the Elysee Palace the next day before gearing up for the Forum that officially opened on Tuesday 12 November 2019.

The Paris Peace Forum (PPF) initiated in 2018 by French President Emmanuel Macron, is an annual meeting for all actors of global governance intended to design multilateral solutions to current problems faced by the world. Conscious of the importance of the topics being tackled, President Paul Biya took the several years of experience he has in leadership to share with the numerous participants at the summit. Apart from the Heads of State and Governments present, the second edition of the Forum also saw the participation of 12 international organisations including the United Nations Organisation and a total of 7,000 delegates. They were drawn from the civil society, academia, researchers, investors among others. In order to capture the full ambitions of the concept, a total of 114 projects were shortlisted from thousands of proposals made to enhance world peace, governance and stability. From the number ten projects were selected for close follow-up by what organisers called the Scale Up Committee and they are expected to produce palpable results during the third forum next year at the same time.

While the State dinner on Monday gave the key guests including President Paul Biya an opportunity to share major concerns about their desire for a more stable world, the official opening ceremony of Tuesday permitted all and sundry to place a finger on the direction that the Forum will take during the months ahead. A total of 80 different panels simultaneously examined various concerns from the 12-13 November with President Biya stating the position of Cameroon during discussions on the theme; “Rise of the south: towards a more balanced global governance system.” His knowledge as one of the most respected African heads of State at the PPF must have contributed enormously in shaping the conclusions of the panel.

The pertinence of the event could be viewed from the criteria that determined the choice of projects selected for mentorship within the next 12 months. Although Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were the driving guidelines to project choices, the President of the organising committee Pascal Lamy ensured that certain global values remained pivotal. Such fundamental issues included: the political relevance of challenges tackled; the innovative character of the solution or tool submitted; the diversity and number of the stakeholders involved; the stage of development; the feasibility; the scope of impact; the potential for development, expansion, or replication and the capacity to serve the common interest. It therefore means that the second Paris Peace Forum has added 10 other projects to a similar number last year and by the time the actors meet for the third time, the world should have seen at least thousands of people benefit from the initiative thanks to the 20 projects being scaled up to meet the above objectives.

By taking part at such an engaging programme, President Paul Biya sought to bring his know-how and ensure that Cameroon remains one of the major actors in seeking lasting solutions to global challenges.

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