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 was honoured to collaborate with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) on a Public Lecture, hosted by HE Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers. The theme of the event was "Strengthening the African Agenda through AU, BRICS and FOCAC".
On the 22nd of April 2015, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU aims at encouraging collaboration between the two organisations to promote peace, stability and development in the SADC region. ACCORD is honoured to partner with SADC in fulfilment of these goals.
Speaking at an African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes women's month event in Mount Edgecombe yesterday, Pillay, a former UN high commissioner for human rights, stressed that the role played by women in society, politics and law had not been sufficient.
Women's Month in South Africa gives us an opportunity to reflect on the efforts globally, and on the continent, to advance women's empowerment and gender equality. These efforts have borne fruit and are accelerating. In Africa the initiatives have reached Head of State level, driven by statistics such as the fact that women produce more than 80% of food in Africa but own only approximately 1% of productive lands. To advance their efforts, earlier this year the leaders of Africa participated in the 25th African Union (AU) Summit in Sandton, Johannesburg, under the theme 'Women's Empowerment and Development Towards Africa's Agenda 2063'. South Africa's Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu, highlighted South Africa's commitment to the theme, noting on behalf of the host country that the empowerment of women is not an act of charity, but a push for a country to operate at full capacity.
On 31 July 2015, Mr Vasu Gounden, ACCORD's Founder and Executive Director, delivered a presentation on best practices for conflict management in elections at the Southern African Regional Policy Conference on "Effective Policy Interventions for Strengthening Electoral Integrity: Lessons Learnt from the 2013/2014 Elections in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region." The conference, hosted by the Election Commissioners Forum of SADC Countries and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, convened experts from across the Southern African region to review key election trends and to collaborate on strengthening SADC's institutional frameworks for the conduct of elections in its member states.
Mr Vasu Gounden, Executive Director of ACCORD, gave a presentation at TEDx Stellenbosch 2015 on 5 September 2015, entitled 'The Possibility of Global Peace in the 21st Century'. A TEDx event is an independent TED event, where a curated live lineup of speakers and storytellers from diverse disciplines aim to inspire an audience of between 450 and 550.
The significance of 2015 continently and globally in the drive for women's empowerment and the achievement of gender equality provides a useful backdrop to assess efforts to use mainstreaming as a tool to bring gender into the equation within peacekeeping and peace and security frameworks in Africa.
One of ACCORD's strategic pillars is to support government institutions in their responsibilities to promote peace and pursue the constructive resolution of disputes. It is in this light that Mr Vasu Gounden, ACCORD's Founder and Executive Director, presented to the South African Parliament's Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on 19 August 2015. This briefing marked the second time that Mr Gounden has appeared before the Portfolio Committee in 2015, with his first appearance taking place on 03 June.
August is Women's Month in South Africa and 9 August was Women's Day. Internationally, Women's Day is celebrated in 8 August, but South Africa celebrates Women's Day on 9 August, to commemorate the march on 9 August 1956 by 20,000 women to the Union Building in Pretoria, to protest against the extension of government regulations on the carrying of passes. It was one of the largest anti-government marches in the nation's history and a striking example of solidarity and defiance.
"The capacities for early warning and responses are on the continent; it is the political will that we must improve in order to prevent future conflicts." This closing message from Mr Vasu Gounden's presentation to the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) sought to highlight the progress achieved in building the continent's early warning infrastructure while underscoring the need to enhance African efforts in conflict prevention.
- 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
- ACCORD/TfP strengthens African Standby Force Mission Support
- ACCORD/TfP participates in the development of an AU Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration manual and compendium
- COMESA and ACCORD sign MoU
- ACCORD participate in 26th GIMAC Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting on Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union and Member States
- 25TH AU Summit, June 2015: ACCORD Resources and Experts
- ACCORD contributes to developing the capacity of civil society in South Sudan
- ACCORD's Peacemaking Unit contributes to Central African Republic National Forum
- TfP/ACCORD participate in IAPTC Executive Committee meeting ahead of 2015 IAPTC Annual Conference
- TfP/ACCORD support ongoing AU African Standby Force focus on the civilian dimension
- East Africa Regional Consultations on the Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture