Home2014July (Page 6)

July 2014

Mesenbet Assefa

I was provoked to contribute to the debate on the right to freedom of expression when I read your Editorial about the significance of freedom of expression in serving as a market place of ideas in a democratic society. Given the topical significance of the subject, I thought it would be interesting to highlight some of the foundational principles and raison d’être which try to respond to the question why do we protect freedom of expression in a democratic society. While the theory of the market place of ideas and the search for truth are some of the most important justifications for the protection of freedom of expression; I would even argue and take the argument further stating that freedom of expression defines the rise and fall of nations.

Today the EU has adopted an action program that will provide up to €750 million during the period 2014-2016 to support peace and security in Africa. The new funding had been announced by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, at the Africa-EU summit in April and will be channeled through the African Peace Facility (APF) to support the African Union and African sub-regional organizations in their peace and security efforts. An initial amount of €325 million will be committed for 2014 and funding will rapidly be made available to support ongoing peace operations.

The APF is a central instrument in cooperation between Africa and the EU on peace and security. With today’s action program, the APF will continue to support the following three main areas: African-led peace operations, the strengthening of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and quick impact actions aimed at conflict prevention and crisis management.