In recognition of the support that it has provided to the African Union and Regional Economic Communities in the last 22 years, ACCORD has continued to be invited to participate in high level forums in the continent in order to lend technical support, present topical papers and moderate sessions. This has placed the organisation at the forefront of contributing to development of policy frameworks for conflict management and implementation of peacemaking, peacekeeping, peacebuilding as well as training initiatives in the continent.
ACCORD's continued close partnership with the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities to enhance preventive diplomacy in Africa was recently exemplified when the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) invited ACCORD to provide facilitation of two forums: the Joint Meeting of Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) & the COMESA Committee of Elders (COE); and the Annual Retreat for the COMESA COE. These took place on 23 July and 24-25 July 2014 respectively in Mahé Island, Seychelles. These forums were also attended by representatives of the AU Panel of the Wise. Other than providing moderation, ACCORD made presentations at both forums.
Sir James Mancham, the first President of Seychelles speaks at the opening of the Forums. He is flanked by Mr. Vasu Gounden, the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD.
There is increasing realisation that for violent conflicts in Africa to be prevented, there is need to synergise the initiatives of the AU, RECs, and other like-minded entities at the continental, regional and national levels. It is not lost on mediation practitioners that without this synergy, it will be cumbersome to respond to the reality that conflicts have become more complex, with multiple issues, actors and dynamics. This calls for the strengthening of efforts aimed at conflict prevention, peace-making, peace support, national reconciliation and post-conflict reconstruction and development. It is against this background that the aforementioned forums were held in order to not only understand the challenges that EMBs face but also discuss the best practises that came out of recent elections in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Madagascar. Most notably, these forums were useful in identification/positioning of the role of the COE in the management of elections in Africa.
Mr. Vasu Gounden, the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD makes a presentation during the COMESA COE Annual Retreat
ACCORD will continue to work closely with COMESA COE in order to contribute to the strengthening of mediation and preventive diplomacy within the region and continentally.