ACCORD hosts farewell dinner for outgoing Indian Consul General

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On 30 November 2009 ACCORD, in partnership with the Gandhi Development Trust, hosted a farewell dinner for the outgoing Indian Consul General in Durban, Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla. Mr. Shringla was a keen supporter of ACCORD’s work and visited ACCORD on many occasions bringing with him a variety of high profile guests.

Gounden responds to address by Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs

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The Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, was invited by the Royal Norwegian Government to be a respondent to Mr. Gahr Stores address during a seminar on "States in fragile environments: Common engagement for conflict resolution and development", that took place on 24 November 2009 at the University of Pretoria. The seminar was part of the official programme of the State Visit of Their Majesties The King and Queen of Norway, who were in attendance at the seminar. Mr. Gounden was the only respondent on the agenda for the seminar.

South African DIRCO’s diplomatic Training, Research and Analysis Conference

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Vasu Gounden, the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD was invited to be a resource person at the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s (DIRCO’s) diplomatic Training, Research and Analysis Conference, hosted by DIRCO in Pretoria from 05-06 November 2009. The theme for the conference was “Closing the gap between Domestic and foreign Policies”. The conference presented an opportunity to exchange ideas and address emerging issues and scenarios around South Africa’s Domestic and Foreign Policy.

ACCORD meets United States Peace Corps Director

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On 26 October 2009 ACCORD's Executive Director met with Aaron Williams, the newly appointed United States Peace Corps Director. Mr. Williams was in South Africa as part of a world-wide tour that saw him visit country directors of the Peace Corps in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Mr. Williams is a former USAID Mission Director who was based in South Africa in the early 1990’s. As one of ACCORD’s larger donors, ACCORD worked closely with Mr. Williams when he worked for USAID. 

Mediation, Conflict Resolution, and International Politics Seminar, Finland

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Vasu Gounden, the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD was invited to speak at the above one day seminar hosted by the Government of Finland and the Finnish Forum for Mediation in Helsinki on 15 October 2009. The aim of the seminar was to make mediation better known as an instrument in international diplomacy, and to analyse its potential. The seminar included diplomats and scholars in political science and international relations.

Gounden invited to ICCO International Conference in The Netherlands

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In late 2008 Vasu Gounden, the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, was appointed onto the ICCO’s International Advisory Council. He was therefore invited to participate in an International Working Conference hosted by ICCO from 14 to 18 September 2009. The purpose of the conference was to finalize and conclude the process of dialogue of the key stakeholders regarding the preparation of ICCO’s strategic plan for 2011- 2015. The conference was find out whether there was common ground to make a shift to decentralised cooperation with Southern partners and how this transition process should be planned, taking into account that co-responsibility should be one of the key elements of the new organisation.

ACCORD addresses EU Development Councilors

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ACCORD's Executive Director was invited as a guest speaker to address a meeting of European Union (EU) Development Councilors based in South Africa, on 19 November 2009. The invitation provided an opportunity for the Executive Director to bring to the attention of the twenty four development councilors who attended the meeting the work that ACCORD undertakes on the Continent. 

'Towards a More Strategic Approach in Enhancing the AU’s Capacity in Mediation' Seminar, Ethiopia

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From Finland Mr. Gounden traveled directly to Addis Ababa to participate in the second day of the above seminar that took place from 15-16 October 2009.

Mr. Gounden was asked to Chair a session discussing the issue of “Building one Continental Approach in Mediation: Institutional Arrangements to support mediation of AU/REC’s and relations with partners”. The aim of the session was to discuss issues of collaboration and coordination between the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in mediation, and how to increase cooperation between them in order to build a more integrated approach to mediation. 

ACCORD meets former DIFID Southern Africa conflict advisor

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On 07 October 2009 ACCORD's Executive Director, Vasu Gounden, met with Jeremy Astill-Brown, the former DIFID Southern Africa conflict advisor. Mr. Astill-Brown interviewed Mr. Gounden as part of a study that he was undertaking for DFID to help them identify if a development programme like DFID South Africa should have a peace and security dimension and if so why and how.

Gounden resource person at Heinrich Böll Stiftung conference

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The Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, was invited to be a resource person at an international high level conference arranged by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (HBS) on the topic “Climate Change, Resources, Migration: Old and New Sources of Conflict in Africa.”. The conference was held in Cape Town on 03 and 04 August 2009.