In 2015, the United National Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security celebrates the 15 year anniversary since its inception in 2000. South Africa has continuously been on the frontline in supporting this agenda and related UN resolutions and frameworks that seek to provide equal opportunities for both genders in peace and security. To consolidate these efforts being made by different departments and actors, South Africa's Department of Defence (DoD) organised a preliminary key stakeholder meeting to discuss the development of a multi-sector National Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCR 1325(2000) for the country. ACCORD participated in this preliminary meeting – held on 24 July 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa.
In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly declared and established, through Resolution 36/67, an International Day of Peace. The Resolution reaffirmed, amongst other things, that:
"...since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defence of peace must be constructed, that a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of Governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind..."
As part of its engagement in supporting the continued review of peace operations in Africa, the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (ACCORD/TfP) participated in the 1st Annual Peacekeeping in Africa Conference – a forum to discuss the challenges facing peace and security operations on the continent.
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.
Consolidating peacebuilding remains a major concern in Liberia in particular during the post-Ebola era. Coordinating the multitude of different international and national actors engaged in national reconciliation is a crucial step needed to revamp peacebuilding priorities that were affected during the Ebola crisis. Recognising this, ACCORD's African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme (APCP) in collaboration with the Liberia Peacebuilding Office (PBO) organized a workshop to conduct an assessment of the current peacebuilding priorities in Liberia through an analysis of the peacebuilding trajectory before, during and after the Ebola crisis. This will enable re-focused interventions by peacebuilding actors in Liberia.
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).
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.
- 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
- 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