Third phase of PASA international training programme begins

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ACCORD's successful International Training Programme on Peace and Security in Africa (PASA) has once again commenced in January this year with the aim of further enhancing the theoretical and practical knowledge of mediation and negotiation skills within and amongst representative of the RECs and NGOs.

Phase 2 of the 5 phased international training programme took place from 13 – 31 May in Uppsala Sweden. This third edition of the programme, in partnership with DPCR at Uppsala University and Indevelop, a Stockholm based consultancy, brought students together to a series of lectures, mentoring sessions, panel debates and study visits. The 25 participants represented the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) such as ECOWAS, the AU Commission and some NGOs involved in peace and security.

At the commencement of the Programme, participants were tasked with developing a change project for implementation. These ideas were presented to the group and jointly developed further. To widen the scope and enhance the development of these projects, experts in the field of peace and conflict were invited to speak on topics within the context of the Programme. Such topics included: Mediation in Civil War; Conflict Resolution; From Mediated Agreements to Implemented Peace: Mediation in APSA; Terrorism and Counterinsurgency in Africa; Communal Conflict and Local Conflict Resolution Mechanisms; and Peacemaking in Practice: the UN Peace process in Ivory Coast. With the support of the organisations they represent, participants have been tasked with implementing their project within their respective organisations during the course of the programme.

This program is important to ACCORD's work in the sense that it enables these institutions to effect change via the implementation of their projects. This will enable the participants to better respond to challenges in conflict management and resolution and to further enhance mediation and negotiation skills. This is in line with ACCORD's overall strategy of building and transferring skills and capacity development on the continent. A successful output of this program is the use of these skilled trainees as trainers in other ACCORD programs, such as the Peacebuilding Unit training.

The next interactive phase of the programme in which the group will once again meet, will take place in November 2013 in South Africa. The programme is expected to take place in Johannesburg and Durban as a means of exposing students to a country that was able to prevent excessive violence as South Africa transitioned from apartheid to democracy. As of now, the consortium ACCORD-DPCR-Indevelop are considering a fourth edition of PASA 2014-2015.