Cameroon: Paris Peace Forum Opens - President Paul Biya Takes Active Part

The Head of State will today join some world leaders in France to examine ways of reinforcing peace, governance and development.

Hundreds of participants from different areas of competence and leaders of countries that feel concerned by the threats of insecurity across the world will today 12 November 2019 meet at the official opening of the second edition of the Paris Peace Forum (PPF). The three-day event intended to hold from 11-13 November is a platform for debates and discussions to reaffirm the importance of multilateral and collective action in facing security hurdles.

President Paul Biya who arrived in the French capital, Paris on Sunday 10 November 2019 accompanied by his wife Chantal will be part of the historic event. On arrival at the Aéroport du Bourget, the Presidential Couple were received by the Cameroon Ambassador to France, Alfred Guini and his wife as well as the Cameroon Consul General Oben Victor. After settling at Le Meurice Hotel, the Head of State has been working with his close entourage to fine-tune the position of Cameroon on the burning issues that will come under discussion at the various roundtables and forums today and tomorrow.

After the official opening ceremony this morning at the Grande Halle de La Villette, the event will continue with dialogue between Heads of State and Governments on the one hand, and project leaders as well as participants from specialised sectors, on the other hand, exchanging views on how best to tackle certain world ills. The PPF is intended to group the United Nations, non-governmental organisations, academia and researchers, companies, trade unionists, and religious leaders around the same themes with political leaders to examine innovative solutions to governance and peace obstacles.

Since the PPF is intended to demonstrate that in the deteriorating international context it is still possible to make progress in governance, scaleup projects and launch new initiatives, organisers this year under the leadership of French President, Emmanuel Macron welcomed proposals from across the globe. International enthusiasm towards the event was evident through the presence of over 700 projects from 115 countries and the various ideas have been merged into six different themes that will come under scrutiny today and tomorrow. The themes are: Culture and Education; Development; Environment; Economic Inclusion; New Technologies and of course, Peace and Security.

Prior to today's opening, President Emmanuel Macron offered a State dinner to guests at the Forum including President Paul Biya. The reception which held away from all media attractions must have given the opportunity for participants to share views on some of the topics which have brought them to Paris.

The Cameroon Head of State will not be attending the Forum this year from the position of a novice. As a leader who has had to deal with most of the issues being discussed in Paris, his wise views will certainly matter much in the conclusions that will be arrived at by the end of Forum. Already, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs that is pivotal in coordinating the PPF saw Jean- Yves Le Drian, head of that Ministry, visit Cameroon last October evidently to exchange notes with President Biya before today's gathering.

President Paul Biya has over the years opted for a multilateral approach in tackling various crisis that Cameroon has faced. The most recent being the Boko Haram extremist in the Far North Region and the restive socio-political situation in the North West and South West Regions in the country. Such a vision falls in line with the PPF which underlines the fact that even when states keep competing and expanding military expenditures, international norms and human rights must not be disregarded or justice trampled upon. In addition, Globalisation must not be allowed to lack regulation and the Internet must not be dominated by abusive cooperation, propagandist and hackers and the race against global warning should not only be a must, but it ought to be an achievable target.

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