Understanding the gendered dimension of conflict is essential if peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations are to succeed in the long-term. Gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping environments involves identifying the various impacts of conflict on the lives of women and men and on that basis proposing practical solutions to respond to the specific rights and needs of all. To achieve this grand objective, there is a need for consultative and collaborative approaches among the different mission components and the gender docket in the mission. This will integrate gender in planning and executing the mission mandate.
In light of the progress made by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in 2014, and cognisant of the changing situation in Somalia, a number of activities have been conducted in AMISOM, as directed by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations (UN) Secretariat. Among these activities was the request made by the AU Peace and Security Council to undertake, in close coordination with the UN Secretariat, a joint review of AMISOM and especially the implementation of the 2014 Revised AMISOM Concept of Operations (CONOPS), with a view to enhancing the planning and effectiveness of the joint Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM operations.
In June 2015, the African Union Commission (AUC), and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) finalised and subsequently launched the African Standby Capacity (ASC) roster which marked an important milestone in support of AU peace operations. This paved way for the AU, RECs and RMs to populate the roster with the required civilian capacities for Peace Support Operations. Additionally, the AUC offered to support the regions by providing further technical assistance and capacity building to the regional Rostering Focal Points through training, to ensure effective and efficient operations of the roster. The AUC in collaboration with the ACCORD/TfP met with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Civilian Planning Element from 16 – 20 November 2015 in Libreville, Gabon. This was a follow up and coordination meeting, to provide technical assistance through coaching and coordination.
2015 marks an important year for the women and peace and security agenda. In 2015 the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action celebrated its 20th anniversary and the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on "women and peace and security" observed its 15th anniversary. These documents recognised for the first time the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women as well as, in particular, their important role as active agents of change in the promotion and maintenance of peace and security. Although numerous challenges still remain, essential progress is being made.
Realising Africa's collective commitments towards promoting gender-equal societies remains amongst the most urgent, immediate and long term priorities for the continent. The pervasive human rights, socio-economic, health, and political inequalities that continue to manifest and disproportionately impact women and girls impede the continent's efforts to achieve transformative and sustainable economic development. The African Union (AU) declared 2015 the Year of Women's Empowerment in acknowledgement of the increasing role women are playing in Africa's development. At the invitation of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), ACCORD/TfP attended the Open Session of the Peace and Security Council Meeting on the Commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of UNSC Resolution 1325.
More than 5 400 troops from several African countries participated in the Amani Africa II Exercise at the South Africa Army Combat Training Centre, in Lohatla, Northern Cape, South Africa from 19 October to 7 November 2015.
Senior military and police officers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) completed a three-day course on Mediation, Coordination and Humanitarian intervention conducted by ACCORD/TfP held from 2-4 November 2015 in Mogadishu, Somalia. This initiative is part of ACCORD's continued engagement with AMISOM on conflict management and protection of civilians. The senior AMISOM military and police officers were drawn from Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs).
In March 2015, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Department (PSD) finalised the development of the African Standby Capacity (ASC) system, thus paving way for the population of the roster. The ASC has been developed and established to address the rostering and training link dilemma. It represents a joint capability developed and operated by the AU and the Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) and designed to make the right person available at the right time in the right place. As such, the ASC has become the operational turnkey that provides the AU and the RECs/RMs with the operational means to deliver on the political decisions taken by Member States. As part of the ASC roster development processes, great efforts have been made by the AU and RECs/RMs in detailing their needs more clearly and communicating these needs to training centres. The AU Commission, in close collaboration with the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution on Disputes (ACCORD), as part of the Training for Peace Programme (ACCORD/TfP), coordinated the roundtable which was held from 24-26 November 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Women, men, girls and boys experience different forms of harm and respond differently in situations of armed conflict. ACCORD provides a platform for learning how to respond to these different needs, interests and approaches to ensure that peace processes are inclusive and sustainable. To this end, on 24 - 25 October 2015, ACCORD/TfP attended the orientation workshop and launch of the Board of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Women and Peace Forum (IWPF), in Djibouti, Republic of Djibouti.
The consolidation of peace may not be sustainable in a post-conflict country if the rule of law is not implemented. Supporting the transformation of a justice system in a post-conflict environment is a challenging task requiring unique skills, cultural sensitivity and specialised expertise. As a result, a comprehensive training programme on the rule of law for judicial affairs officers (JAOs) was developed to enhance their substantive knowledge and performance and to encourage greater uniformity and coherence in approaches to strengthening judicial and legal systems throughout peacekeeping operations.
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.
- ACCORD/TFP attends the 13th African PPeace Support Trainers' Association annual general meeting and conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- ACCORD/TfP attends workshop to finalise draft guideline on the role of the African Standby Force in Humanitarian and Natural Disaster Support
- South Africa consolidates its efforts on gender, peace and security in the development of a National Action Plan on the UNSCR 1325
- ACCORD/TfP contributes to discussions aimed at shaping peace operations in Africa
- ACCORD/TfP Supports AMISOM’s Commitments on Gender Mainstreaming in Somalia’s Peace Processes ahead of the 2016 Elections
- TfP/ACCORD supports the strengthening of the police dimension of peacekeeping in Africa
- African Union Peace Support Operations Division launches African Standby Capacity
- TfP/ACCORD builds capacity for Peace Support Operations
- TfP/ACCORD attends the Training of Trainers on Civil Society and Security Sector Engagement for Human Security
- ACCORD/TfP strengthens African Standby Force Mission Support
- 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