The Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, will be in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from the 20-26 February. Mr Gounden has been invited by The Foundation for Co-existence to be a presenter at their Symposium that will be held from 22-23 February, entitled: “Peace Negotiations in Sri Lanka”.
Mr Gounden will participate in the session focusing on International Experiences, where he will provide an overview of the South African peace process as well as the role of civil society.
Some of the activities that ACCORD was involved in, in the run up to South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, included facilitating the promotion of dialogue between the different political parties as well as conducting a variety of trainings for political organizations in mediation and negotiation skills. The Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, also served for two years as an expert advisor to the training sub committee of the National Peace Secretariat, while the then Head of ACCORD’s Training Unit served on the advisory committee for monitoring training of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa. ACCORD trained over two and a half thousand election observers from 18 Universities and Technikons in South Africa in a combination of skills to enable them to play the role of impartial observers during the 1994 elections. The programme was designed and conducted by ACCORD. ACCORD also trained senior IEC monitors in the USA and Canada who were based in out of country voting stations.
In April 2005 ACCORD hosted a visiting delegation from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who were being hosted by the Government of South Africa on a study Tour of South Africa. ACCORD was one of the conflict management organisations which they visited, especially to learn more about ACCORD’s work in Burundi and the DRC working with former rebel groups.