Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi will deliver opening ceremony remarks Tuesday as the Paris Peace Forum kicks off, but he is one of many African heads of state traveling to discuss global issues ranging from climate change to security, and stolen art to good governance principles.
Tshisekedi will join host President Emmanuel Macron in jumpstarting an event that France describes as “an incubator to drive projects and launch new initiatives.” Participants will hear about 120 initiatives – selected from nearly 700 in 115 countries – designed to foster peace and security, economic inclusion and four other categories. Projects from Sierra Leone and Morocco are among those featured.
Joining them to deliver opening remarks are European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen and Wang Qishan, vice-president of the People’s Republic of China.
Other heads of state from the African continent include President Azali Assoumani of Comoros, who plans to speak during the session, “Surviving Climate Wrath: Building Resilient Infrastructure in an Age of Global Warming.” All told, the leaders of 14 African nations will be in Paris.
Prominent South African academic and author Achille Mbembe of the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg is among experts who will address the issue of African cultural heritage and artifacts.
The Paris Peace Forum is a non-profit organization of partners including Sciences Po in France, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the Körber Foundation and French agencies.
The forum begins Monday with a private event attended by United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and other guests.
Image: Presidency DRC