ACCORD’s Peacebuilding unit attended a conference in the UK with the aim of developing more effective responses to conflict situations.
From the 23rd to the 25th of February 2015, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) was represented at a conference hosted by Wilton Park in the United Kingdom, organized under the theme of ‘Peacebuilding in Africa: evolving challenges, responses and new thinking’. This was a meeting aimed at assessing the current threat landscape in Africa and challenges to build stable peace, to analyse the dynamics of peacebuilding and Africa – Global engagements since the end of Cold War and its implications; and to explore and discuss current and emerging thinking and analysis on peacebuilding in Africa from African perspectives.
The event brought together approximately 50 actors from across academia and civil society working on issues of peacebuilding in Africa. The discussions of the event mainly focused on the evolving conflict and security terrain in Africa, looking specifically at the challenges and opportunities for different forms of intervention in peacebuilding. This meeting looked at the cases of South Sudan, Burundi, Somalia and the Central African Republic and how peacebuilding has been approached in these contexts. It is hoped that much of the information shared will feed into the United Nations (UN) Peacebuilding Architecture Review process which has commenced in New York and will run until September 2015, evaluating the effectiveness of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture.
The conference provided a critical platform for ACCORD to share the experiences the organization has had in peacebuilding on the continent, especially in South Sudan and Burundi. As one of the few civil society organisations based in Africa at the conference, it provided a unique opportunity for the organization to share practical experiences from local perspectives. It further allowed ACCORD to learn more about the approaches of other actors and encouraged coherence and coordination among actors in the peacebuilding field going forward. ACCORD aims to use a lot of the information received at Wilton Park to inform its peacebuilding work on the continent. A follow-up meeting will be held in June 2015 which ACCORD aims to participate in.