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.
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.
The Training for Peace Programme (TfP) at ACCORD has facilitated the presentation of the 'Draft AU Conduct and Discipline Concept', which was developed in 2008 by TfP/ACCORD and revised at an AU Internal Seminar in October 2011, to reflect the current realities of the AU and recent developments on the subject matter. The presentation gave an overview of conduct and discipline in general, including the salient aspects, the importance, the impact of misconduct on the local community and the peacekeeping operation and shared the key elements of the AU Draft Concept for the AU.
ACCORD Senior Researcher Salome Bronkhorst recently participated in a World Gold Council (WGC) Standards for Conflict-Free Gold roundtable, hosted by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) on 5 October 2011, as part of the Council's global consultation on a new framework of draft standards to track gold. The framework is intended to ensure that gold can be certified as conflict-free, and applies to mining in armed conflicts - especially gold emerging out of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The Training for Peace Programme (TfP) at ACCORD has conducted a five-day conflict management course for the South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) Peace Mission Training Centre (PMTC). The training course was aimed at transferring additional skills and knowledge to SANDF officers, and contributes to the SANDF PMTC's endeavours to build peacekeeping capacity for South Africa's contribution to peace operations on the continent.
The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) congratulates the three women who today jointly received the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, namely President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Leymah Gbowee, gender activist in Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman, gender activist in Yemen. The award was given in recognition of their non-violent struggle for the safety and protection of women, and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work.
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.
Senior Researcher Salome Bronkhorst was invited by the German Federal Foreign Office and Adelphi to attend an international conference titled Climate Diplomacy in Perspective – from Early Warning to Early Action on the security implication of climate change. The conference, which was held on 10 and 11 October in Berlin, Germany and followed on a discussion at the United Nations Security Council in July 2011 on the implications of climate change for security, included working group sessions on food security, water security and coastal stability.
As part of efforts to strengthen the mediation-support capacity of the African Union (AU), and thereby enhance the quality and outcomes of peace processes led by the AU, ACCORD's Peacemaking Unit will conduct mediation training for AU staff in Durban, South Africa, from 1-3 November 2011.
ACCORD Senior Trainer Pascal da Rocha ran an experiential and interactive Capacity Development workshop for the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) in September. The aim of the workshop was to develop and enhance capacity-building and mentoring skills of ASF/UNOAU/OCHA planning officers, to strengthen coordination and cooperation of key players from the UN and the AU.
In preparation for COP17, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) in Durban held a two day expert seminar on 15 & 16 September, to identify issues and recommendations for ensuring that adaptation to climate change is conflict-sensitive. Policy makers, practitioners and scientists presented new research on the linkages between climate change and conflict in Africa, and analysed various tools, policies and approaches to ensure the prevention of conflicts arising from climate change but also from adaptation efforts. The outcomes of the seminar will be distributed in advance of COP17 and will be presented at a number of side events during COP17.
- Gounden attends ‘Increase Peace through Mediation’ Ministerial Breakfast Meeting at UN
- ACCORD presents on conflict-sensitive climate adaptation at regional dialogue on climate change, conflict and cooperation in Southern Africa
- ACCORD hosts internal staff seminar on conflict prevention in South Sudan
- Peacebuilding joint training and study tour on elections, governance and conflict
- ACCORD co-hosts the AU's 'High Level Retreat of Envoys for Peace in Africa'
- ACCORD trains women mediators and signs MoU with PWMSA
- ACCORD prepares for COP 17 by hosting expert seminar on conflict-sensitive climate-change adaptation
- Call for papers: 'Climate change and conflict: Where to for conflict sensitive climate adaptation in Africa?'
- ACCORD hosts GPPAC Southern Africa Regional Steering Committee workshop in Durban
- ACCORD seminar focuses on ministries of peacebuilding in Sub-Saharan Africa
- ACCORD Board discuss on current and future challenges in Africa
- ACCORD sign MoU on Great Lakes cooperation
- From rhetoric to action: strengthening architectures for peace in South Sudan
- TfP/ACCORD participates in African Standby Force focal points planning workshop
- ACCORD to hold Joint Peacebuilding Training and Study Tour to South Africa
- Accord grants US$30,000 to support fight against sexual gender-based violence
- Gounden presents at 'Second Africa Governance, Leadership and Management Convention'
- ACCORD trains DRC peace building actors
- TfP/ACCORD represented at the Joint AU/EU experts meeting on EU support programme to African Training Centres
- Examining South Africa's membership of the United Nations Security Council