Most presidents and heads of states who are members of International Conference on the Great Lakes Region have failed to attend.
Only the presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia were represented by the presidents.
The central African Republic sent the prime minister while the rest were represented by ministers.
No official statement was made during the conference for the absence of the leaders of the countries which are key to the peace process.
The Egyptian president sent a message which was read by his foreign affairs minister.
The UN secretary general was represented by former president of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo who delivered the message.
Other presidents who were supposed to attend were from, DRC, Angola, Burundi, Rwanda and Sudan.
And President Rupiah Banda who has assumed the chairmanship of the Conference called for concerted efforts towards finding lasting peace in the Great Lakes Region.
Mr. Banda said during the opening session at the Mulungushi International Center in Lusaka on Monday that member countries must work together to resolve problems in the region.
He said although the region still faces serious challenges, he is encouraged by efforts made by member countries towards attaining peace.
President Banda cited the end of hostilities in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
He also paid special tribute to Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo and former Tanzania President, Benjamin Mkapa for their role in fostering peace in the region.
President Banda has taken over the chairmanship of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region from his Kenyan counterpart, Mwai Kibaki.