The last issue of ACCORD's African Journal on Conflict Resolution (AJCR) of 2013 (Vol 13, No 3) was a special one on the theme Then and now: Perspectives on conflict resolution in South Africa (in honour of H.W. van der Merwe). It was launched at a small but very inspiring function held at the Quaker Peace Centre in Cape Town, South Africa on 13 May 2014. ACCORD was represented by Mr Jerome Sachane, Deputy Director, and senior researchers, Dr Candice Moore and Prof Jannie Malan. Prof Malan is also managing editor of the AJCR.
In order to strengthen the institutional and organisational capacity for building peace, security, and gender equality across Africa, ACCORD attended a workshop hosted by the Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR). The workshop created a space for participants to gain a better understanding of patriarchy, gender socialisation, and their effects on women and men, and how to address these both generally and in each of our institutions.
Between 14 and 15 May 2014, ACCORD hosted a two-day consultative meeting in Gaborone, Botswana, bringing together Southern African non-state actors ahead of the 10th anniversary of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC). Titled Southern Africa Consultation on the Occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Peace and Security Council, the meeting was attended by 36 delegates hailing from 11 out of the 15 Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states, including representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs), think tanks, academic and research institutions, the media, as well as governments and multilateral African organisations, namely SADC and the African Union (AU). Findings and recommendations stemming from this consultation will feed into a submission of 'Perspectives of African Non-state Actors on the Work of the PSC' to be presented to the Council on Africa Day, 25 May 2014.
ACCORD's commitment to work with like-minded entities to contribute to the advancement of the practice of mediation was further illustrated when it hosted the 9th meeting of the Mediation Support Network (MSN). The MSN is a global network of primarily non-governmental organisations that support mediation in peace negotiations. The meeting took place in Durban, South Africa from 26-28 March 2014.
As South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy, it is timely to recall some of the individuals and initiatives that helped to prompt the end of apartheid. Professor H.W. van der Merwe, described by the media as the man "who brings South Africa's enemies together", facilitated the first clandestine meetings between the ANC in exile and supporters of the South African government, the famed 'Lusaka meetings'. These meetings were unprecedented, and prohibited within South Africa. Professor van der Merwe gathered academics including Willie Esterhuyse and Sampie Terreblanche to begin talking to the ANC in exile. This year also marks the 50thanniversary of the inception of H.W.'s academic career as a lecturer and senior lecturer at Rhodes University in Grahamstown in 1963. Most of H.W.'s career, however, was synonymous with the Centre for Inter Group Studies in Cape Town, what is today the Centre for Conflict Resolution at UCT.
Accelerating the implementation of Liberia's National Peace and Reconciliation Roadmap, and building the capacity of implementing partners, is critical to ensuring the sustainability peacebuilding programmes as donor funding elapses. In order to establish concrete next steps for the implementation of the Roadmap, ACCORD has partnered with the Liberian Peacebuilding Office to facilitate local actors in developing a Reconciliation Trust Fund and an associated mobilisation strategy.
To support South-South cooperation in overcoming the challenges faced by fragile and conflict-afflicted states, ACCORD has been in continual support of the g7+. Strengthening the capacities for building resilience in countries currently on lower levels of a fragility spectrum is of utmost importance to supporting these nations in the achievement of Peace and Security Goals (PSGs) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In the context of the 20th anniversary of peace in South Africa, which coincides with the country's fifth multiparty elections, ACCORD invited aspiring young African leaders to the country as election observers to the elections taking place, additionally training these individuals in conflict management.
In line with its objective of providing training in the skills of negotiation, conflict prevention, resolution and management, ACCORD, in partnership with the African Union (AU) and the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), has hosted a capacity building workshop for experts and practitioners in mediation of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). The training workshop, which took place in Durban (South Africa) from 24-28 February 2014, aimed at enhancing the mediation skills of participants in general as well as providing a reflective environment for debating on the case of the Central African Republic (CAR).
The African Union Commission (AUC) convened a High- Level Retreat on 28-29 April 2014 in Durban, South Africa, on the theme Silencing Guns in Africa: Building a Roadmap to a Conflict-Free Continent, with the intention of exploring concrete options towards silencing guns in Africa. The overarching objective of the Retreat was to lay a foundation for the subsequent elaboration of a Roadmap towards a conflict-free Africa.
The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD has participated in the TfP Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja. The AGM's purpose is to highlight TfP's main achievements and developments in 2013, and present its work plans for implementation in 2014. The meeting also allowed for the sharing of feedback amongst the TfP partners on issues relating to reporting and planning templates, management cycle timelines, curriculum development, applied research and enhanced collaboration.
- TfP/ACCORD participates in fourth AMISOM lessons learnt conference
- ACCORD supports development of increased coherence within peacebuilding policy community
- Latest ACCORD Policy & Practice Brief provides recommendations for external peacebuilders on contributing to resilience
- ACCORD and partners launch Durban Leadership Initiative
- ACCORD support sustainability of peacebuilding projects in final African Peacebuilding Coordination Network Training in Juba
- ACCORD seminar focuses on alternate dispute resolution in run up to 4th International Africa Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference
- Application for International Training Programme on Peace and Security in Africa 2014 - 2015
- TfP ACCORD evaluates its Collaborative Conflict Management Training Package for UNMISS
- TfP/ACCORD conduct AMISOM Gender Mainstreaming Strategy Workshop for the development of mission-specific strategy with AU Commission
- TfP/ACCORD conduct AMISOM Protection of Civilians Strategy Implementation Plan Workshop in collaboration with AU Commission
- ACCORD participates in GPPAC International Steering Group meeting
- ACCORD publishes paper examining successes and challenge of South Africa's mediation efforts in Zimbabwe
- ACCORD Brief discusses how South Sudan can achieve reconciliation without regret
- ACCORD takes part in international conference on the legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
- ACCORD takes part in Africa Portal content partners' meeting
- Internal seminar examines challenges and prospects for state formation in post-secession Eritrea and South Sudan
- Internal seminar examines large-scale agricultural land deals in Africa through focus on Ethiopia
- ACCORD participates in IGAD Conference to Launch Gender Milestones
- ACCORD internal seminar examines anthropology of violence in Great Lakes region
- ACCORD participates in SADC Regional Consultation on Building National Peace Infrastructures