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.
To build on the successes of the past, knowledge must be captured and transferred. This applies equally to sensitive areas such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. In a key step towards the development of an African body of knowledge, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Department has embarked on the development of a Compendium of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) experiences on the African continent as well as on the development of a DDR training manual. This is part of an AU DDR Capacity Program being implemented in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank - Transitional Demobilization and Reintegration Program (TDRP). Conflicts have economic consequences and challenge the development of peace, security and development. It is widely acknowledged that DDR is crucial to restoring stability and preventing relapse into conflict. Therefore, a successful DDR program helps create a climate of confidence and security paving the way for a range of peace building and recovery activities.
DDR programmes have shifted from the traditional context of post-civil war peace processes to mitigating the proliferation of risks towards violence that traditional peace processes and mediation efforts have had limited success in resolving. As a response, the AU Commission has undertaken efforts towards the structural prevention of conflicts, through the development of tools to assist Member States' vulnerability to conflict and assist them elaborate appropriate mitigation strategies. A workshop to advance such efforts through the development of a related compendium and training manual was held from 12-13 May 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Compendium aims to provide a repository for DDR experiences and provides researchers and policy makers with material to provide comparative analysis of the different DDR experiences. Concurrently, the training manual that will be developed will contribute towards standardizing DDR training within the AU security infrastructure and harmonizing DDR practices by disseminating and training DDR practitioners on the best practices and the most recent innovations in DDR tools.
ACCORD continues to work with the African Union in its focus on developing the civilian dimension of current African peace support operations. Through its Training for Peace Programme (TfP/ACCORD), ACCORD supported the recent AU African Standby Force (ASF) Civilian Dimension Workshop in Lusaka, which aimed at taking stock and reflecting on the work and progress of the civilian dimension process since the endorsement by the 3rd Meeting of the Specialised Technical Committee on Defence Safety and Security (STCDSS).
The African Union Commission (AUC) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) have been developing a civilian standby roster since its conceptualisation in 2010. To date, significant progress has been made to improve the roster in order for the RECs and RMs to initiate the population of the roster to allow full operational capability. To achieve this, the AUC, the RECs and RMs in close collaboration with the German Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) are further working on key priority areas regarding the development of the roster.
The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) participated in an Expert workshop on Impact of Peacekeeping Training on Peace and Security in West Africa. The workshop forms part of a research on peacekeeping training which was carried out in 2014 in eight West African countries.
Since its establishment, the AU has played an increased and expanded role in addressing conflicts in the African Continent, including in Darfur, Burundi, Mali, the Central Africa Republic and Somalia. As part of its intervention, the AU has developed policies and directives as well as established systems, structures and mechanisms to ensure that African PSOs are undertaken in accordance with internationally accepted norms and standards. These norms and standards relates to protection of civilians, observance of international humanitarian law and adherence to the highest standards of conduct by AU personnel. To further support the AU processes on conduct and discipline, the Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) co-hosted with the AU an Expert Roundtable in the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 15 – 17 December 2014.
As current Civilian Chair of the International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres (IAPTC) Executive Committee, the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) has participated in the 2015 IAPTC Executive Committee Meeting that brought together a small group of peacekeeping training practitioners and experts who are tasked with planning the 2015 IAPTC Annual conference.
"Gender sensitive peacekeeping leads to more effective peacekeeping", according to Col. Fernando Izquierdo, who directed a recent course on Gender Perspective in Peace Support Operations, supported by ACCORD's Training for Peace (TfP) programme.
The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) have participated in the TfP Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Oslo, Norway. The AGM's purpose was to highlight the TfP Programme's main achievements and developments in 2014, and present its work plans for implementation in 2015. The AGM also provided a platform for partners to discuss and fine-tune the TfP joint initiatives for 2015.
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon established a 17 member High-Level Independent Panel in October 2014 to undertake an assessment of the state of UN peace operations, and the emerging operational needs of the future" 'Understanding the relationship between the United Nations and Regional Organizations'. As part of the ongoing assessment, the Panel intends to engage widely with Regional Organisations, Member States, Academics, Think Tanks and Civil Society globally. In February 2015, the Panel's focus was in Africa after completing the consultations with key relevant actors in Asia. To this end, the UN, with the support of partners including the Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme, the British Government, working closely with the Panel Secretariat and the United Nations office to the Organisation of the African Union (UNOAU), hosted an African Regional Consultation Seminar.
The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) participated in a United Nations (UN) Protection of Civilians (PoC) Coursefor civilian, military and police personnel who are serving, or may potentially serve in peace missions. The course helps to build the foundational knowledge and skills of participants to effectively support the PoC mandate of UN and African Union (AU) peace missions. The overall purpose of this annual course is therefore to prepare the individual participants for assignments relating to PoC in UN and other missions. The course is implemented through lectures and a series of syndicate work, where the participants are tasked to come up with solutions to mission specific case studies.
- 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
- TfP/ACCORD participate at AUC-OHCHR Joint Consultative Meeting on Cooperation on Human Rights in Peace Operations
- TfP/ACCORD participate in Integrated Mission Planning and Mission Support Training Harmonization and Standardization Workshop
- TfP/ACCORD undertakes research on role of the Civilian Component in AU Peace Support Operations
- TfP/ACCORD participates in TfP field research on policing in peace operations in Africa, focussing on UNAMID
- Training of Trainers in International Humanitarian Law for Somali National Army Officers
- ACCORD trains SADC military, police and civilians in mediation, negotiation and gender in peace support operations
- TfP/ACCORD train UNMISS civil affairs officers on conflict analysis and reporting
- TfP/ACCORD serve as panelists at peace operations workshop in Malawi
- ACCORD/TFP take part in 20th IAPTC annual conference and host training methodologies bilateral meeting
- ACCORD participate in Peace Capacities Network 2014 annual meeting in Istanbul