Equality, unity and diversity are key themes to the current state of federalism in the world according to a meeting of 30 Ethiopian and international federalism experts. The participants convened in Addis Ababa to finalize an official title and discussion topics for the 5th International Conference on Federalism.
The government of Ethiopia and the Forum of Federations are organizing the conference, slated for 2010 in Addis Ababa.
The participants agreed that the conference will be titled "Equality and Unity in Diversity for Development”. The five topics around which discussions will be organized are:
- Participatory Democracy and Federalism: The Role of Citizens
- The Impacts of Globalization on Federations
- Unity in Diversity through Federalism
- Federalism and violent conflict prevention, management and resolution mechanisms
- Fiscal Federalism and Equitable Development
The event was opened by Solomon Tadasse, Executive Director of the Conference Secretariat. The meeting was convened by Degefe Bula, speaker of the House of the Federation, Ethiopia’s upper house. The sessions were facilitated by Forum President George Anderson along with Rupak Chattopadhyay, the Forum’s head of international conferences and Shawn Houlihan, the Forum’s director for Africa.
International experts contributing to the topic selection included Giorgio Brosio (Italy), Jill Cottrell (Kenya), Annegret Eppler (Germany), Yash Pal Ghai (Kenya), RenÃ© Holenstein (Switzerland), Gilberto Marcos Antonio Rodrigues (Brazil), Cheryl Saunders (Australia), Sandeep Shastri (India), Nico Steytler (South Africa), Rotimi Suberu (Nigeria), Vinod Vyasulu (India) and Ronald Watts (Canada). A group of 15 experts from Ethiopia also participated in the meeting.
The event took place March 20 21, 2009. Previous international conferences organized by the Forum were held in India in 2007, Belgium in 2005, Switzerland in 2002, and Mont Tremblant, Quebec in 1999.