Symposium on Peace Support and DDR in Ethiopia: Delivering an Early Peace Dividend - 'Make-or-Break'?

In line with the recent peace agreement in Ethiopia's Tigray region last year, and as part of the efforts to promote peace, stability, and disarmament, a symposium on Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) and peace support in Ethiopia is set to be held in Tokyo. This initiative aligns with the visit of the UNDP Africa Bureau Director, Ahunna Eziakonwa this summer. 

August 17, 2023
Event Details

28 August 2023

6:00 am -8:00 am (EAT)


The Agreement for Lasting Peace through a Permanent Cessation of Hostilities (COHA) was signed between the Ethiopian government and Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) on November 2, 2022, after nearly two years of intense conflict. This comprehensive agreement focuses on achieving a permanent halt to hostilities, restoring federal control in the Tigray region, establishing an interim administration until fresh elections, disarming TPLF fighters, providing humanitarian access, restoring essential services, reconciling displaced persons, implementing justice, and aiding recovery. The agreement aims to bring peace to Tigray and surrounding areas, but challenges remain due to high expectations, potential opposition, and the need for detailed implementation.

One of this symposium’s main topic, "Peace support", involves time-limited, localized, integrated civilian initiatives that aim to build trust between communities and legitimate authorities. It seeks to create conditions for recovery, peacebuilding, and development. This approach emphasizes localized actions, quick results, civilian leadership, partnerships, and strengthening political authority. Peace support is critical in fragile contexts, requiring urgent and large-scale efforts to restore normalcy and rebuild the social contract between the state and communities.

The context of Ethiopia's conflict and Peace support involves major humanitarian crises in multiple regions due to the two-year conflict. The wide-ranging Peace Agreement (COHA) was signed on November 2, 2022, which ended active combat and opened the door for restoring services and humanitarian aid. Given this context, the UNDP's "Peace Support Programme/Facility (PSP/F)" is designed to stabilize conditions, restore normalcy, and deliver immediate benefits to conflict-impacted populations. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between urgent needs and longer-term recovery efforts. It's strategically focused on building trust between communities and Ethiopian
authorities under 5 windows related to governance, basic services, economic revival, demobilization, reintegration, and solutions for internal displacement.

The DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration) program is a key component of the Peace Support Activities. It aims to quickly show tangible benefits of peace by disarming combatants and reintegrating them into society. Challenges include managing expectations, potential pushback, and ensuring effective implementation. Despite these challenges, progress has been made, such as establishing communication hotlines, agreeing on disarmament mechanics, and restoring vital services.

Implementing DDR in Ethiopia is a massive undertaking due to its scale and complexity. The process will involve a large number of beneficiaries, particularly in Tigray, Afar, and Amhara regions. DDR's success is vital for building trust in the peace agreement and requires addressing the well-being of communities, including reconciliation efforts, social cohesion, infrastructure rehabilitation, and services restoration. The outcome will impact not only Ethiopia's internal security but also have wider implications. In this event, panelists will exchange opinions on the Peace Support efforts and DDR, with the hope for a sustainable future that does not leave anyone behind.  



  • Ahunna Eziakonwa, ASG/Regional Bureau Director for Africa, UNDP  
  • H.E. Daba Debele Hunde, Ambassador of Ethiopia to Japan
  • H.E. Ambassador Teshome Toga, National Rehabilitation Commission
  • Turhan Saleh, Resident Representative UNDP Ethiopia  
  • Kenji Isezaki, Professor Emeritus, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
  • Katsuki Morihara, Chief Representative, JICA Ethiopia 

Nobuhisa Degawa, Executive Commentator, NHK


Event Title: Symposium on Peace Support and DDR in Ethiopia: Delivering an Early Peace Dividend - 'Make-or-Break'?
Date & Time: Wednesday 28th August 2023, 6:00 am - 8:00 am (EAT)  

  • 6:00~6:05 Opening Remarks
  • 6:05~6:20   Congratulatory Remarks
  • 6:20~6:30 Keynote Presentation 1: Situation Updates
  • 6:30~6:40 Keynote Presentation 2: DDR and Peace Support Programme by UN
  • 6:40~7:35 Experts Panel Discussion
  • 7:35~7:55 Q&A
  • 7:55~8:00  Closing Remarks

    - Participation Options: In-Person and Online 

     You can choose to participate in person at the International House of Japan in Roppongi, Tokyo, or join virtually through Zoom.

    - Participation: Free  

    - Language: English/French/Japanese (Simultaneous interpretation service available)  

    - Co-organizer: UNDP, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies


   in-person registration

   online registration



Chika Kondoh, TICAD Partnership Specialist, UNDP Tokyo Office (