CAF23 – “Towards Stronger Partnerships” in Addis Ababa

In October of 2023, the Challenges Annual Forum (#CAF23Addis) brought together over 130 partners and key stakeholders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting focused on enhancing the collaboration between the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) and concentrated on the critical theme of “Towards Stronger Global-Regional Peace & Security Partnerships” echoing the need for robust relationships and sustainable financing for future international and regional peace operations.

At CAF23, participants shared useful experiences on Global-Regional Peace & Security Partnerships. The fruitful discussions generated new ideas on how to improve these partnerships. The need for a stronger partnership between the UN and AU, and a more predictable financing, was a common denominator for the two days’ intense and multidisciplinary discussions. However, it was stated that a lot more needs to be secured beyond just funding. The question of how future peace operations should operate and under what circumstances they should be deployed, provided room for more discussion and differing opinions.

The theme, Towards Stronger Global-Regional Peace & Security Partnerships, was building on the UN Secretary-General’s report on financing of AU peace support operations, and his Policy Brief on the New Agenda for Peace. In addition to thought-provoking high-level panel discussions, CAF23 centred on group discussions around three sub-themes (below), using concrete examples and lessons learned from recent African-led peace operations:

1. Strategic coherence of global, regional and sub-regional peace operations, with lessons from Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM). (read the background paper)

2. Predictable financing of African-led peace support operations, with lessons from African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS). (read the background paper)

3. Addressing capability gaps more systematically, with lessons from the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in Lake Chad Basin region.(read the background paper)

Read the key takeaways from the two days of discussion here , and read the entire CAF23 report here.

Learn more about #CAF23Addis

The working group discussions were held as closed sessions, but the high-level and panel discussions were open and live streamed to a broader audience and can be watched again below.

Per Olsson Fridh, Director-General of Folke Bernadotte Academy, and the Chair of the Challenges Partner Meeting, shared his views on the upcoming CAF23 and the Challenges platform in an interview before the event.

Social media was an effective channel to create engagement and interest for the CAF22, by sharing films and other visual content.

About the co-hosts:
The Training for Peace (TfP) programme is the Royal Norwegian MFA’s flagship capacity support programme to the African Union Commission (AUC). It contributes towards capacity building within the broader ambit of peace operations in Africa.
TfP is a three-tier partnership between:
The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) and the Challenges Forum partners
Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and
Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)