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.
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 Peace Support Trainers' Association (APSTA) is a networking forum for the African peacekeeping training community, providing the African Union (AU) with multidimensional expertise on civilian, military and police dimensions from its pool of member institutions. The broad aim of the Association is to facilitate the development of African capacity for peace and security through coordination, advocacy, harmonisation and standardisation of training. As a member institution of APSTA, the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (ACCORD/TfP) participated in the 13th Annual General Meeting and conference themed " Beyond 2015: Enhancing Sustainable African Peace Support Operations (PSO) Capacities Through Effective Training, Research and Partnerships".
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.
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).
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.
On 08-09 October 2015 ACCORD's Founder and Executive Director, Mr Vasu Gounden, addressed a High Level Seminar on "Peace, Security and Sustainable Development: The Role of African and European Parliaments in Tackling the Root causes and Consequences of Violent Extremism and Terrorism". The Seminar was hosted by the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA), and held at the Belgian Senate in Brussels.
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.
- 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
- 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