ACCORD, DFA & Canadian High Commission host round table on international peace and security

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ACCORD, in partnership with the Canadian High Commission in South Africa and the South African Department of Foreign Affairs, will host a one day roundtable discussion on “The relationship between the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and Regional Organisations, in particular the Africa Union, in the maintenance of international peace and security”.

 The discussion will be held in Durban on Wednesday, 11 April, and will bring together participants from civil society, Research Institutes, the Universities of Pretoria, Witwatersrand, Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal, the Canadian High Commission and the South African Department of Foreign Affairs.

Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations (UN) addresses the relationship between the UN and regional organisations in the maintenance of international peace and security. The UN Security Council (UNSC), which is vested primarily, with the responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, relies on member states and regional organisations to support, implement, and at times, enforce compliance with its resolutions. As a non-permanent member of the UNSC, during 2007 and 2008, South Africa will promote the theme of enhancing the relationship between the UNSC and regional organisations, in particular the African Union, in the maintenance of international peace and security.

As the bulk of the issues on the agenda of the UNSC relate to Africa, the participation of relevant academics and researchers in the roundtable discussion can contribute to a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges of ‘Chapter VIII’ based regional co-operation. In this regard, the roundtable discussion will also explore how Africa can shape the debate on the development and practical implementation of appropriate mechanisms to ensure that UN interventions lead to durable and sustainable outcomes and take account of the continent’s own efforts and local considerations.

In 1996 ACCORD was officially recognised by the United Nations as a model for conflict prevention and transformation in Africa.

In September 2005 Vasu Gounden, the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, was the first member of an African NGO in the history of the United Nations Security Council to address the Council. This was the second out of three presentations that Mr Gounden made at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York within a five month period in 2005. In July 2005 Mr Gounden provided one of the closing addresses for the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) Conference which was held at the UN and in December 2005 he was invited to address the UNSC at its seminar on cooperation between the UN and African regional organisations in the field of peace and security.