There is a long standing moral imperative that the United Nations (UN), as an advocate and leader in efforts to improve the status of the world's women, must first set the example by addressing the status of women within its own operations. The UN seeks to bridge the gender gap in Peace Operations through initiatives like the UN Senior Women Talent Pipeline Project (SWTP) established by the UN Secretary-General. The initiative, which ACCORD supports as part of engagement in implementing UN Security Council 1325, ensures a more systemic and consolidated approach to targeted candidates through outreach programmes. By so doing the UN aims at building a talent pipeline of qualified women who are willing to be mobile and ready to serve in difficult missions. The Initiative reflects the UN's commitment to devoting more resources to a clear talent management strategy in peacekeeping.
The African Peace Support Trainers' Association (APSTA) is a networking forum for the African peacekeeping training community, providing the African Union (AU) with multidimensional expertise on civilian, military and police dimensions from its pool of member institutions. The broad aim of the Association is to facilitate the development of African capacity for peace and security through coordination, advocacy, harmonisation and standardisation of training. As a member institution of APSTA, the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (ACCORD/TfP) participated in the 13th Annual General Meeting and conference themed " Beyond 2015: Enhancing Sustainable African Peace Support Operations (PSO) Capacities Through Effective Training, Research and Partnerships".
In 2015, the United National Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security celebrates the 15 year anniversary since its inception in 2000. South Africa has continuously been on the frontline in supporting this agenda and related UN resolutions and frameworks that seek to provide equal opportunities for both genders in peace and security. To consolidate these efforts being made by different departments and actors, South Africa's Department of Defence (DoD) organised a preliminary key stakeholder meeting to discuss the development of a multi-sector National Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCR 1325(2000) for the country. ACCORD participated in this preliminary meeting – held on 24 July 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Gender mainstreaming in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is key to the successful implementation of the mission mandate and in contributing to sustainable peace processes in Somalia ahead of its 2016 elections. Recognising this, the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (ACCORD/TfP) collaborated with AMISOM to organise a workshop aimed at validating their Gender Mainstreaming Strategy, which was held from 7 – 9 July 2015. To further develop the recommendations made during this validation workshop, a follow-up workshop was also jointly organised by ACCORD/TfP and AMISOM one month later in Mogadishu, Somalia. The workshop was also supported by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).
The recruitment and deployment of civilian personnel for peace and security operations has largely been managed on an ad hoc basis with interested applicants applying directly in their personal capacity to the African Union Commission (AUC), resulting in numerous challenges related to the timely recruitment and deployment of these needed expert civilian personnel at short notice, hence, the need to better plan for and manage such deployments. In particular, there has been recognition of the need to develop a dedicated pool of trained civilian experts for deployment at very short notice in field missions. The expertise of this pool will be captured in the African Standby Capacity (ASC) roster.
The concept of human security, which draws from, the freedom from fear, freedom from want, and freedom to live in dignity, is crucial to peace operations. In this light, TfP/ACCORD attended a Training of Trainers (ToT) on Civil Society and Security Sector Engagement for Human Security conducted by the Eastern Mennonite University's Summer Peacebuilding Institute. The ToT took place in Harrisonburg, Virginia from 8-12 June 2015.
Humanitarian situations and responses in Africa have remained complex and challenging and have resulted in a large number of internally displace persons (IDPs) and refugees. In an attempt to address these challenge, the African Union (AU) Humanitarian Policy Framework was drafted to enhance, coordinate and consolidate existing mechanisms. This policy was designed to support the efforts to ensure Full Operational Capability of the African Standby Force (ASF) and its Rapid Deployment Capacity (RDC).
As part of its engagement in supporting the continued review of peace operations in Africa, the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (ACCORD/TfP) participated in the 1st Annual Peacekeeping in Africa Conference – a forum to discuss the challenges facing peace and security operations on the continent.
The Training for Peace (TfP) Programme at ACCORD participated in a TfP Research Network Dissemination Seminar to present and discuss the different research findings and recommendations that emerged from the various research on policing conducted in Mali, Somalia and Darfur; focused on three peacekeeping missions.
As a training Centre of Excellence and a member of the African Peace Support Trainers' Association (APSTA), the Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC) for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region recently hosted Corrections/Prisons Officers for training on Peace Support Operations. ACCORD/TfP trained the officers on negotiation, mediation and the role of language assistance on 16 June 2015 in Harare, Zimbabwe. This was in consultation with the African Union Peace and Security Division (AU PSOD) and in cooperation with other training centres, to build capacity for Peace Support Operations (PSOs) at the Member State, Regional Economic Community (REC) /Regional Mechanism (RM) and AU continental levels.
ACCORD in collaboration with the African Peace Support Trainers Association (APSTA), hosted a Mission Support Training Harmonisation Workshop from 4-7 May 2015 in Durban, South Africa. The workshop sought to build on the Civilian Peacekeepers Foundation (Nairobi, Kenya, 2-5 December 2013) and the Police Pre-Deployment (Accra, 6-9 May 2014) Training Harmonisation and Standardisation workshops.
- ACCORD/TfP participates in the development of an AU Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration manual and compendium
- TfP/ACCORD participate in IAPTC Executive Committee meeting ahead of 2015 IAPTC Annual Conference
- TfP/ACCORD support ongoing AU African Standby Force focus on the civilian dimension
- Gender Perspective Training by ACCORD for Peace Support Operations on the Continent
- TfP/ACCORD support African Standby Capacity Integrated Human Resource and Database Training Course
- ACCORD attend 2015 TfP AGM in Olso
- TfP/ACCORD participate in expert workshop on impact of peacekeeping training on peace and security in West Africa
- TfP/ACCORD supports African Regional Consultation Seminar on UN Peace Operations Review
- ACCORD/TfP co-hosts experts’ roundtable on developing a Conduct and Discipline Framework for the AU PSOs
- TfP/ACCORD participate in United Nations Protection of Civilians Course
- TfP ACCORD seminar on the future of African peace operations from 2015-2025
- TfP/ACCORD co-organizes roundtable with Regional Economic Communities & Regional Mechanisms on Civilian Rostering Processes
- 2014 Annual Meeting of the International Advisory Board of the TfP in Africa Programme
- TfP/ACCORD participate in 2014 IPSTC annual research symposium
- TfP/ACCORD trains on the Gender Perspective to Peace Support Operations: A Comprehensive Approach
- TfP/ACCORD participate in 10th Regional Senior Mission Leaders Course
- TfP/ACCORD participate in 2014 Challenges Annual Forum in Beijing
- ACCORD/TfP participates in Civilian Rostering Seminar on lessons learned Northern Africa
- TfP/ACCORD participate in Integrated Gender and Sexual and Gender Based Violence Course for Police Advisors in Peace Missions
- ACCORD/TfP co-ordinate Leadership Capacity Building and Strategy Formulation Workshop on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse for AMISOM