The Training for Peace Programme (TfP) at ACCORD's Peacekeeping Unit, has been actively engaged in supporting the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Civil Affairs Division (CAD) capacity to implement its mandate. Its relationship with UN peacekeeping operations can be dated several years ago, and has since been able to implement several projects in the areas of training, policy development and applied research.
Increasingly UN Member State discussions are moving away from linear conceptions of a "transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding" to focus on the "nexus between peacekeeping and peacebuilding," a shift that is reflected in the 2011 report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (A/65/19). In 2011, one of the focuses of ACCORD's Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Units has been to increase the understanding and reflect on the linkages between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and various activities and publications have been developed to achieve this overall aim.
Cedric de Coning, ACCORD's Research Fellow, has been appointed to the United Nations (UN) Peacebuilding Fund Advisory Board by the UN Secretary-General, H.E. Mr Ban Ki-Moon, for a two-year period that started in January 2012. The appointment follows Cedric's nomination to the position by the Government of South Africa, through its Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, and on the recommendation of the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding, Ms Judy Cheng-Hopkins.
ACCORD is involved in ongoing efforts to highlight the role gender plays in peace and security. In its three pillars of intervention, namely peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, ACCORD is cognisant of the role of gender in peace and conflict such that gender is a cross-cutting theme in the organisation's training manuals and operational documents. Against this backdrop, ACCORD's Knowledge Production Department (KPD) hosted a two-day authors' roundtable on the topic: "Women, Peace and Security: Approaches to Gender Empowerment."
In efforts to strengthen existing mediation-support capacity on the continent, and to enhance African countries' capacities to effectively and peacefully resolve their own conflicts, ACCORD has recently conducted an advanced mediation training for government representatives and academics from French-speaking parts of the continent.
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.
In January 2012 ACCORD was recognised, for a second year running, as the 5th most influential Think Tank in Sub Sahara Africa, in the annual "Global Go To Think Tanks" Report released by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Programme at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. The ranking puts ACCORD 5th out of the top 30 Think Tanks in Sub-Sahara Africa. Overall 550 Think Tanks from Africa were included in the survey.
On 6 December, over 90 decision makers and experts at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) attended a Panel Discussion titled Climate Change Adaptation, Conflict and Cooperation: a diplomatic approach for Africa? in Durban, South Africa. The event was organised by ACCORD and OneWorld Sustainable Investments.
Angela Ndinga-Muvumba, Senior Research Fellow at ACCORD and Doctoral Candidate at the University of Uppsala's Department of Peace and Conflict Research (DPCR), attended the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) 4th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government (HoSG) and Special Session on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the Great Lakes Region, in Kampala, Uganda on 15-16 December 2011.
Under the Sudan Conflict Transformation Initiative (SCTI), ACCORD have conducted a high-level conflict management course in South Africa for ambassadors of the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Centre for Diplomatic Studies, Khartoum. The initiative is part of ACCORD's in-country programmes, and its goal is to strengthen national and local peacebuilding initiatives by providing technical assistance to partners in the governments and civil society of Sudan and South Sudan. Through these strategic endeavours, the initiative has contributed towards a consolidated approach to transforming the conflict environment in the Sudans, ensuring a sustainable and feasible peacebuilding approach and developing a culture of peace.
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.
- Extraordinary 11 year-old Andrew Adansi Bonnah visits South Africa to address leaders on child soldiers
- ACCORD supports AU's 'Conduct and Discipline Guidelines' development process
- ACCORD chairs session on food security at international conference on climate diplomacy
- ACCORD participates in global consultation on conflict-free gold
- ACCORD to enhance mediation-support capacity of the African Union
- ACCORD trains South African National Defence Force officers in negotiation and mediation
- ACCORD enhances capacity development skills for the UN Office to the AU
- ACCORD salutes the three women Nobel Peace Laureates for 2011!
- ACCORD expert seminar prepares for COP 17
- 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