Twenty-three years ago, the Great Lakes Region of Africa was in crisis. In the immediate aftermath of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the spread of genocidal militias and their ideology into the space then occupied by a sclerotic chaotic Zairean State under Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Zabanga, and a cynical dysfunctional International Community, the future looked bleak indeed. Following a year-long UN/ AU organised process that involved the then 11 States in the region with the active participation of critical sectors in society including women groups, youth groups and civil society, leaders in the region agreed on the Dar es Salaam Declaration on Peace, Security and Development in the Great Lakes Region and appended their signatures thereof in November 2004. They decided to turn the region into a space for sustainable Peace and Security for States and Peoples, a space for cooperation within a framework of a common destiny. As 2023 begins, it is unfortunate that powerful forces in the region and beyond seem to be actively working to undermine this vision. They propagate intra and inter state hate and division. They preach separation of countries and peoples. Extremism is once again rearing its ugly head and shared development is seen as an evil to be fought. They have not learned from history. We should therefore remind them of what sane people in our region agreed to in Dar es Salaam, in 2004. First and perhaps most importantly, that we all need to invest in the peace and security of ALL States and Peoples. There were those, who believed then and still do today that the security of the biggest and most endowed States was the only important thing, and that state sovereignty was sacrosanct, the fate of its constituent groups and peoples being of little or no consequence. The dialogue and negotiations exposed this line of thinking as wrong. However there still are some actors in our region who seem determined to drag us back to this dangerous ideology. They mobilize extremist hate groups; they build walls between countries and peoples. They think inter State relations are a Zero-sum game. Their activities result in conflict and death. Second, the Dar es Salaam process decided on a vision for our region, based on Inter State and Inter People cooperation. In addition to a determination to fight against divisive, exclusionary genocidal ideologies, Countries agreed to limit consumption-based rivalry and exclusion therefore forming the basis for entrenched inter dependency and long-term stability. Using a Common Regional Public Goods Approach, they agreed on 10 protocols, 4 programs of action, and 33 priority projects, all of which are legally binding. Aware that trans-border communities continue to bear the brunt of insecurity in the region, the leaders divided it into 12 Transborder Development Basins that require particular attention, these include Zone 1 which is the Rwanda Uganda DRC volcanic region, as well as zone10 which is the CEPGL Region. Within these Transborder Development Basins, proposed priority projects include Common Border Security Roads Border Security Economic and Environmental Networks Border Security Social Networks This is a vision and action plan based on cooperation between the States and People of our region. Some political actors, activists and opinion leaders in our Region and beyond seem to have discarded this vision and people based cooperative framework, opting for finger pointing, war mongering, exclusion and extermination. They are wrong. They are dangerous. They should be condemned. The year 2023 should be the year of the return to basic principles, a return to sanity, and the implementation of regional agreements signed at Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and Luanda. Our people deserve no less.