ACCORD internal seminar interrogates influence of crude oil on foreign policy and investment in Sub-Saharan Africa

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During an Internal Staff Seminar held on 8 August 2012 at the ACCORD offices in Durban, ACCORD Peacekeeping Unit Intern Priyal Singh explored how private security companies working in sub-Saharan Africa facilitate direct foreign investment to oil-rich countries. He examined why the presence of crude oil, and not good governance, is a major factor in explaining high direct foreign investment into particular countries in the region.

ACCORD recognised for second year running as 5th most influential Think Tank in Sub-Sahara Africa

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In January 2012 ACCORD was recognised, for a second year running, as the 5th most influential Think Tank in Sub Sahara Africa, in the annual "Global Go To Think Tanks" Report released by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Programme at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. The ranking puts ACCORD 5th out of the top 30 Think Tanks in Sub-Sahara Africa. Overall 550 Think Tanks from Africa were included in the survey.

Plight of child soldiers under spotlight

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Twenty 11-year-old children from Ghana, Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi celebrated Universal Children's Day in Pretoria. The focus was on girl-child soldiers used in armed conflict on the continent as they are the most vulnerable and of great concern. This, amidst a call for a global ban on using child soldiers in war. At least 300 000 children are carrying rifles, waging wars in 30 conflict countries across the world, with at least two-thirds in Africa. They're recruited by both government and rebel forces and are subjected to drugs, indoctrination and abuse.

Extraordinary 11 year-old Andrew Adansi Bonnah visits South Africa to address leaders on child soldiers

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11 years old Andrew Adansi Bonnah (Initiator of Save Somali Children From Hunger Project) is to visit South Africa from 18th – 22nd November 2011 at the invitation by the African Centre for Constructive Resolution to Disputes (ACCORD) based in Durban, South Africa. The invitation is to enable Andrew to meet with an African Assembly of 20 Child Ambassadors selected from countries who are in conflict, or emerged from conflict, and are 11 years old, to deliberate on the "Plight of the Girl - Child Soldier in Africa" and its eradication.

Examining South Africa's membership of the United Nations Security Council

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On 18 July 2011 the Executive Director of ACCORD, vasu Gounden, was invited to be a resource person at a seminar on South Africa's membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2011-2012, hosted by the South African Department for International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO). Gounden was asked to provide an assessment of solutions to conflicts in Africa.

ACCORD presents USAID with citation of appreciation for support over 20 years

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On 10 May 2012, at a ceremony at USAID's Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C, ACCORD presented a citation of appreciation to USAID in recognition of support that ACCORD has received over its twenty years of existence. The citation was received on behalf of USAID by Mr. Earl Gast, the Assistant Administrator for the Africa Bureau. The citation was awarded by ACCORD in recognition of USAID's twenty year partnership with ACCORD in pursuance of ACCORD's mission "to encourage and promote the constructive resolution of disputes by the peoples of Africa and so assist in achieving political stability, economic recovery and peaceful co-existence within just and democratic societies".

Cedric de Coning appointed to United Nations Peacebuilding Fund’s Advisory Board

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Cedric de Coning, ACCORD's Research Fellow, has been appointed to the United Nations (UN) Peacebuilding Fund Advisory Board by the UN Secretary-General, H.E. Mr Ban Ki-Moon, for a two-year period that started in January 2012. The appointment follows Cedric's nomination to the position by the Government of South Africa, through its Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, and on the recommendation of the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding, Ms Judy Cheng-Hopkins.

New thrust from SA for global ban on child soldiers

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At a top-level celebration of Universal Children's Day in Pretoria, the hidden face of the girl-child soldier was exposed amidst a call for a global ban on using child soldiers in war.

In a symbolic celebration of the day in the year 2011 dedicated to championing children's rights, 20 children, all 11 years old from countries which were at war or which have recently emerged from war attended the luncheon as special guests and drew sharp focus on the plight of the girl-child soldier. Among them was Andrew Adansi-Bonnah, the 11-year old Ghanaian schoolboy who has launched a global campaign to raise USD13 million for victims of famine in Somalia after being inspired by images of skeletal babies and stick-thin children he saw on television.

ACCORD sign MoU on Great Lakes cooperation

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On 10-12 August 2011 the Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, visited Burundi at the same time as the official visit of South African President H.E. Jacob Zuma. During the visit ACCORD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in order to work together to support the objectives of the ICGLR.

ACCORD attend Turkish 'Preventive Diplomacy and Mediation' Retreat

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On 04 and 05 July 2011 the Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, was invited to be a resource person at 'Strengthening Preventive Diplomacy and Mediation' Retreat hosted by the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations (UN) for the UN Security Council, in Istanbul. The Retreat brought together members of the UN Security Council at ambassadorial level, as well as other stakeholders, to discuss ways to strengthen preventive diplomacy and mediation.