On the 16th and 17th of October 2008 ACCORD hosted the new Swedish Ambassador to South Africa, H.E. Ambassador Tejler and Mr. Kaj Persson (Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the Swedish Embassy in Pretoria) in Durban. The Ambassador was in Durban to meet with various role players to learn more about the Province of KwaZulu Natal.
ACCORD facilitated a number of meetings for the Ambassador that included a dinner discussion on the evening of the 16th with political commentators Professor Paulos Zulu, Mary de Haas, Ela Gandhi and Mawethu Mosery, KwaZulu Natal’s Provincial Electoral Officer. On the 17th the Ambassador visited ACCORD House where he met with Reverend Musa Zondi, the Secretary General of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and Dr. Mike Sutcliffe, City Manager, eThekwini Municipality (City of Durban).
L-R Mr. Vasu Gounden (Founder and Executive Director, ACCORD); H.E. Ambassador Tejler; Reverend Musa Zondi; Mr. Tor Sellstrom (Senior Advisor, ACCORD) and Mr. Kaj Persson
It was the Ambassador’s first visit to Durban. Prior to taking up his post as Ambassador to South Africa, Mr. Tejler was the head of the Middle East and North Africa Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm. He has previously served as Sweden’s Ambassador to Pakistan and Afghanistan and worked at the Swedish embassies in Washington, Bonn, Damascus and Prague. He has also been the head of the office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and worked at the Swedish Institute. Ambassador Tejler took up his post as Ambassador to South Africa in September 2008, presenting is credentials to President Kgalema Motlanthe on 10 October 2008.
With Dr. Mike Sutcliffe
Sida is one of ACCORD’s larger donors which contributes substantially to ACCORD’s activities on the continent of Africa. In 1996, as part of ACCORD’s International Youth Programme for Peace, Development and Reconciliation, a training was conducted in Durban, South Africa, that brought together youth from Burundi, Sweden and KwaZulu Natal to train them in life and business skills. Over the years ACCORD has worked with the Swedish National Defence College on training courses related to ACCORD’s Peace and Security Unit and on Security Sector Reform. In 2004 ACCORD worked with the South African Representative Office and Sida, based in Palestine, to present workshops on South Africa’s negotiation process. In 2008 ACCORD once again visited Palestine at the invitation of Sida. In March 2006 ACCORD was invited by Sida to host the first two days of their biannual, strategic Africa conference (as the focus of the conference was on conflict resolution and post conflict reconstruction in Africa). In December 2006 Vasu Gounden was one of three African analysts/commentators invited by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be a resource person at a roundtable discussion on the new Swedish Policy for Global Development, to give a perspective from the South. Mr Gounden is also a resource person to the Folke Bernadotte Academy on their courses focusing on “Facilitation of Dialogue Processes and Mediation Efforts” that has included training for Staff of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs and the African Union’s Liaison Office.