Violent conflicts and insecurity remain one of the major drivers of forced migration in Africa. Across the continent, from Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan to Sudan, violent conflicts and insecurity have resulted in forced migration, both within and across borders, with dire consequences for effected populations. The causes and consequences of forced migration are multifaceted and have political; peace and security; economic; social; and environmental dimensions with implications for sustainable development in Africa.
The Africa we want is one of Unity, Prosperity, and Peace. This vision is supported and facilitated by the work of the AUC, bringing African solutions to African challenges
On Saturday 21 November, the 2015 Africa Peace Award was presented to the African Union Commission (AUC) in recognition of over fifty years of securing peace on the continent and advancing her socio-economic development. Ms Graça Machel, the Chairperson of ACCORD's Board of Trustees presented the Africa Peace Award to the AUC. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Chairperson of the AUC, received the award on behalf of the organisation at a gala dinner in Durban, South Africa, at the same venue that witnessed the African Union's inaugural summit in 2002. The programme included congratulatory speeches by H.E. President Jacob Zuma and the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Senzo Mchunu. The event was attended by close to 800 guests from across society. At the event ACCORD made a call for the United Nations to convene a Global Conference on Peace, and announced its intention to assemble a multi-disciplinary gathering of experts from around the world to prepare for the global conference.
Long-term and multiple efforts to support post-conflict reconstruction and development in countries emerging from conflict require a coordinated, and coherent approach from a wide range of global stakeholders: ACCORD remains at the forefront of strengthening such efforts at a national, continental and global peacebuilding levels.
Globally the nature and perception of terrorism and extremism have evolved over time. The current evolution in international counter-terrorism policies is a shift away from a militarised strategy. African engagement in these debates is essential, based on its distinctive experience over many decades in dealing with armed conflicts and violent extremism, and informed by African and multilateral efforts to address these problems on the continent.
As security threats in Somalia perpetuate, and its government celebrates gains made in recapturing ungovernable territory previously under al-Shabaab, the number of external actors supporting the Federal Government of Somalia is surging. The diversity of these stakeholders − ranging from traditional peacebuilding actors such as the World Bank, United States of America, United Kingdom and African Union; to new partners such as Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan and Turkey − begs for a closer examination of the role and respective approaches being used by these institutions and countries in supporting efforts to rebuild Somalia.
Building the pool of experts on conflict sensitivity in South Sudan will go a long way towards consolidating capacities for designing conflict-sensitive peacebuilding programmes for the country. In order to achieve this, ACCORD's African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme (APCP) conducted a Training of Trainers (ToT) course for 22 personnel from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on Conflict Sensitive Approaches to Development, Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Assistance in Juba, South Sudan from 6-8 October 2015. The main aim of the training was to consolidate the practitioners' capacity in designing and conducting trainings on conflict sensitivity for their own staff and other relevant target audiences or constituents, thereby increasing the number of practitioners that are competent in mainstreaming conflict sensitivity into their organisational policies and practice.
The African Union (AU)'s Agenda 2063, initiated in January 2014, is a vision and clarion call for the continental organisation fifty years after its inception. Rededicating itself to its long-cherished Pan African aspirations, the AU commits itself to forging "an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena" by 2063.
In 2014 Madame Graca Machel accepted the Mahatma Gandhi Peace and Reconciliation Award on behalf of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), in recognition of its 22 years of work in promoting peace and the constructive resolution of disputes globally. The 2015 recipient is Judge Navi Pillay, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2008 to 2014. ACCORD warmly congratulates Judge Pillay on her award.
Stakeholders in contested situations sometimes seek to maintain historical myths or stereotypical common perceptions of the 'enemy' in order to legitimise and drive agendas. There are significant consequences and costs associated with this abuse of history for political gain. In this regard, rigorous and objective historical research and analysis by historians and other relevant social scientists and academics could play a critical role in contributing to the advancement of the theory and practice of conflict prevention, resolution and post-crisis management.
As the current civilian chair of the International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres (IAPTC) Executive Committee, the Training for Peace (TfP) Programme at ACCORD participated in the 21st Annual Conference of the IAPTC. The Conference was organised by the Brazilian Peace Operations Joint Training Centre, with the support of Brazil's Ministry of Defence and the Brazilian Army and hosted by the Centro Conjunto de Operações de Paz do Brasil (CCOPAB) from 28 September – 1 October 2015, in Brasilia, Brazil. The theme for the Conference was "Enhancing the Effectiveness of Training through Partnerships, Integration and Evaluation". The Conference provided a platform for ACCORD/TfP to promote key issues on African peace operations and to broaden the understanding of the civilian dimension of peace operations within the international peacekeeping training community.
There is a long standing moral imperative that the United Nations (UN), as an advocate and leader in efforts to improve the status of the world's women, must first set the example by addressing the status of women within its own operations. The UN seeks to bridge the gender gap in Peace Operations through initiatives like the UN Senior Women Talent Pipeline Project (SWTP) established by the UN Secretary-General. The initiative, which ACCORD supports as part of engagement in implementing UN Security Council 1325, ensures a more systemic and consolidated approach to targeted candidates through outreach programmes. By so doing the UN aims at building a talent pipeline of qualified women who are willing to be mobile and ready to serve in difficult missions. The Initiative reflects the UN's commitment to devoting more resources to a clear talent management strategy in peacekeeping.
- ACCORD/TFP ATTENDS THE 13TH AFRICAN PEACE SUPPORT TRAINERS' ASSOCIATION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND CONFERENCE IN ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
- ACCORD's Executive Director participates in AWEPA Seminar at Belgian Parliament on violence and extremism
- Madame Graça Machel hosts ACCORD luncheon on SDGs and their impact on Peace and Security
- ACCORD Builds Sustainable National Capacity to Conduct a Nation-wide Conflict Mapping Exercise in Liberia
- THE ACCORD GREAT LAKES PROJECT CONSOLIDATES ITS EFFORTS ON GENDER, PEACE AND SECURITY IN FOLLOWING UP ON THE USE OF APPLIED SKILLS BY WOMEN PEACEBUILDERS AS A RESULT OF CAPACITY BUILDING TRAININGS AND CONSULTATIONS
- ACCORD's Executive Director participates in German Federal Foreign Office’s Mediation Expert Meeting
- ACCORD/TfP attends workshop to finalise draft guideline on the role of the African Standby Force in Humanitarian and Natural Disaster Support
- Improving the effectiveness of peacebuilding in South Sudan: Promoting conflict-sensitive approaches to peacebuilding and development programming
- South Africa consolidates its efforts on gender, peace and security in the development of a National Action Plan on the UNSCR 1325
- International Day of Peace 2015: Progress and Aspirations toward Silencing the Guns in Africa
- Revisiting Coherence and Coordination – Collective Peacebuilding in Liberia
- ACCORD/TfP contributes to discussions aimed at shaping peace operations in Africa
- ACCORD/TfP Supports AMISOM’s Commitments on Gender Mainstreaming in Somalia’s Peace Processes ahead of the 2016 Elections
- 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