Returning from New York after attending the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Madam Graça Machel the Chairperson of the ACCORD board of Trustees hosted a partner and stakeholder luncheon on 2 October 2015 in Pretoria to reflect on the SDGs and their implications for peace and security in Africa.
Understanding the context and dynamics of a conflict is a major element in the resolution of conflict. In a post-conflict society, it constitutes a key pillar in the determination of the success of peacebuilding programmes and processes, and the consolidation of peace.
On 05 October 2015 ACCORD's Founder and Executive Director, Mr Vasu Gounden, participated in the German Federal Foreign Office's Mediation Expert Meeting 2015, which was held in Berlin, Germany. The meeting focused on "Identifying Mediation Entry Points", and looked at political and methodological entry points, with a focus on Sudan as a case study of how conflict analysis could be applied to identify potential for mediation.
In implementing humanitarian, development and peacebuilding activities, development agencies and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are often likely faced with challenges of understanding the context in which they are operating, and how interventions should interact with the context to maximise positive impacts on the conflict environment. Recognising this, ACCORD's African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme (APCP) trained personnel from International Organization for Migration (IOM) and its partner organisations working in South Sudan on 'Conflict Sensitive Approaches to Development, Humanitarian Assistance and Peacebuilding'. The main objective of the training was to build the knowledge and skills of the participants in terms of mainstreaming conflict sensitivity in their projects/programmes and institutional policies and practice, thereby contributing to the overall effectiveness of their organisation's efforts in South Sudan. Conflict sensitivity requires that programme interventions should be based on an understanding of a context in order to avoid unintentionally creating further division and to maximize the potential contributions so as to strengthen social cohesion.
In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly declared and established, through Resolution 36/67, an International Day of Peace. The Resolution reaffirmed, amongst other things, that:
"...since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defence of peace must be constructed, that a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of Governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind..."
As part of its engagement in supporting the continued review of peace operations in Africa, the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (ACCORD/TfP) participated in the 1st Annual Peacekeeping in Africa Conference – a forum to discuss the challenges facing peace and security operations on the continent.
In 2013 and 2014, the ACCORD Great LakesProject (GLP) has held different trainings and consultations in collaboration with the International Conference on The Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) secretariat. The purpose of trainings was to build capacities of women in peacebuilding skills. The consultations were intended to seek for avenues where GLP can collaborate with ICGLR in order to assist the institution in achieving its objectives as per the Memorandum of Understanding between ICGLR and ACCORD that was signed in 2011. Mainly the consultations seeked at having a Gender Unit with the Secretariat and this was made effective since 2014.
Humanitarian situations and responses in Africa have remained complex and challenging and have resulted in a large number of internally displace persons (IDPs) and refugees. In an attempt to address these challenge, the African Union (AU) Humanitarian Policy Framework was drafted to enhance, coordinate and consolidate existing mechanisms. This policy was designed to support the efforts to ensure Full Operational Capability of the African Standby Force (ASF) and its Rapid Deployment Capacity (RDC).
In 2015, the United National Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security celebrates the 15 year anniversary since its inception in 2000. South Africa has continuously been on the frontline in supporting this agenda and related UN resolutions and frameworks that seek to provide equal opportunities for both genders in peace and security. To consolidate these efforts being made by different departments and actors, South Africa's Department of Defence (DoD) organised a preliminary key stakeholder meeting to discuss the development of a multi-sector National Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCR 1325(2000) for the country. ACCORD participated in this preliminary meeting – held on 24 July 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Consolidating peacebuilding remains a major concern in Liberia in particular during the post-Ebola era. Coordinating the multitude of different international and national actors engaged in national reconciliation is a crucial step needed to revamp peacebuilding priorities that were affected during the Ebola crisis. Recognising this, ACCORD's African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme (APCP) in collaboration with the Liberia Peacebuilding Office (PBO) organized a workshop to conduct an assessment of the current peacebuilding priorities in Liberia through an analysis of the peacebuilding trajectory before, during and after the Ebola crisis. This will enable re-focused interventions by peacebuilding actors in Liberia.
Gender mainstreaming in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is key to the successful implementation of the mission mandate and in contributing to sustainable peace processes in Somalia ahead of its 2016 elections. Recognising this, the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (ACCORD/TfP) collaborated with AMISOM to organise a workshop aimed at validating their Gender Mainstreaming Strategy, which was held from 7 – 9 July 2015. To further develop the recommendations made during this validation workshop, a follow-up workshop was also jointly organised by ACCORD/TfP and AMISOM one month later in Mogadishu, Somalia. The workshop was also supported by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).
- ACCORD partners with DIRCO on a Public Lecture for International Day of Peace, on 21 September 2015
- ACCORD Executive Director gives TEDx talk on Global Peace in the 21st Century
- Taking the relationship further: ACCORD and SADC operationalise a MoU
- EFFORTS ON GENDER IN PEACE AND SECURITY GAIN PACE
- Veterans say women must determine own fate
- VASU GOUNDEN PRESENTS TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
- 2015 – A Defining Year in the Drive for Women’s Empowerment in Africa
- Accord Celebrates Women’s Day 2015 and Continues Efforts to Mainstream Gender, Empower and Develop Women
- ACCORD’s Executive Director presents on best conflict resolution practices for elections at SADC regional policy conference
- ACCORD’s executive director presents to the AU Peace and Security Council on early warning systems
- President Masire turns 90!
- ACCORD and Mandela Day 2015
- Vasu Gounden appointed to serve on the South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR)
- TfP/ACCORD supports the strengthening of the police dimension of peacekeeping in Africa
- African Union Peace Support Operations Division launches African Standby Capacity
- ACCORD helps Madagascar to prepare for donor funded activities
- Development of a Common African Position on Humanitarian Effectiveness Consultation
- TfP/ACCORD builds capacity for Peace Support Operations
- TfP/ACCORD attends the Training of Trainers on Civil Society and Security Sector Engagement for Human Security
- Identity in Africa the topic of discussion at ACCORD's Africa Day Internal Staff Seminar