Cedric de Coning, a Research Fellow with ACCORD’s Peace Operations Unit, will chair the 2nd Annual Peacekeeping, Stability and Developmental Operations Africa 2007 Conference on Monday 12 March. He will deliver an opening address on “The Future of Peacekeeping: Challenges and Opportunities Over the Next Decade” and will contribute to the conference later in the day with a presentation on “Discussing the Development and Security Interface”.
On 20 February 2007, after two days of deliberations about the current and future challenges facing Africa generally, and the peace-building field, and specifically ACCORD, in partnership with the Nairobi Peace Initiative-Africa (NPI-Africa) and the West African Network for Peace-building (WANEP), signed a Memorandum of Understanding documenting the intention of the three organizations to establish a forum called The African Alliance for Peace-building (AfAP). The aim of the forum will be to address common concerns that confront the field of peace-building in Africa.
Having worked together on the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) process leading up to the Global Conference that was held at the United Nations in New York in July 2005, ACCORD, NPI-Africa and WANEP had the opportunity to work together, along with other regional African NGO’s, to articulate a common position on conflict prevention and peace-building. This was further strengthened by ongoing collaboration that resulted in the Africa Consultation in Nairobi and the drafting of the All Africa Agenda.
It is intended that the forum shall be coordinated by a steering committee comprised of a representative from each of the founding parties. The role of convener will rotate on an annual basis among the three parties; the first convener is Mr. George Wachira, Senior Research and Policy Advisor, NPI-Africa.
The forum is based on three principles:
- Addressing common interests in the peace-building field in Africa;
- Refraining from engaging in activities that compete with those of its constituent members; and
- The modus operandi of the AfAP will be one of impartial engagement with state and non-state actors.
The forum has listed the following as its objectives:
- Exploring, articulating and promoting ethical standards and foundational values for peace-building in Africa;
- Providing a forum for mutual peer education and interrogation, promoting joint learning and reflection aimed at sharpening action and engaging with common challenges facing peace-building practice and peace-building organizations and networks; and
- Developing strategies for and undertaking joint lobbying and advocacy with the AU, UN, financial institutions and funding partners.
The immediate focus of the steering committee will be to develop membership criteria and a list of potential activities.
L-R standing: Dorothy Ndung’u, Programme Coordinator: Research, Learning and Policy, NPI-Africa; Kwezi Mngqibisa, Programme Manager: ACCORD; and Karabo Rajuili, Programme Assistant: Research Unit, ACCORD. L-R Seated: Emmanuel Bombande, Executive Director, WANEP; Vasu Gounden, Founder and Executive Director, ACCORD and George Wachira, Senior Research and Policy Advisor, NPI-Africa.
As part of the GPPAC process, ACCORD was the first member of an African NGO in the history of the United Nations Security Council to address the Council. This was the second of three presentations that Vasu Gounden, the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, made at the UN Headquarters in New York within a five month period in 2005. In July 2005 Mr. Gounden provided one of the closing addresses at the GPPAC Global Conference, and in December 2005 he was invited to address the UNSC at its seminar on cooperation between the UN and African regional organisations in the field of peace and security. In February 2005 ACCORD arranged the Southern African Regional Meeting for GPPAC, which was held in Pretoria, South Africa. ACCORD also served on the Southern African Regional Steering Committee.
ACCORD’s Training for Peace (TfP) Programme is in the final stages of the development of its “Conflict Management for Peacekeepers” handbook. The handbook serves as a practical guide to managing conflict in contemporary complex peace operations, and provides a broad introduction to all aspects of conflict management.
On 1 March 2007, Cedric de Coning, a Research Fellow with ACCORD’s Peace Operations Unit, delivered a paper on “Peace Operations in Africa” at the Geneva Center for Security Policy’s European Training Course in Security Policy.
From 22 -23 February Vasu Gounden, the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, participated in a scenarios workshop hosted by the South African Presidency.
The Angola Country Programme at ACCORD will be hosting a conflict management training for twenty community leadership representative in the province of Huambo from 13 - 15 February 2007. The objectives of the training are to provide community leaders with the necessary skills to resolve conflict at a community level, and to enhance their leadership skills.
On 1 March the new Indian Consul General in Durban, Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, visited ACCORD House where he met with ACCORD Founder and Executive Director Mr. Vasu Gounden. The visit provided an opportunity to inform Mr Shringla about ACCORD’s programmatic work as well as plans for ACCORD’s Africa Peace Centre, to be built on the Bluff Headland overlooking the city of Durban.
The Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, has been invited by the Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria to participate in an exploratory Security Sector Reform (SSR) meeting at the embassy on 5 March. The meeting is a pre-meeting to a bilateral seminar to be hosted by the Swedish National Defence College (SNDC) in Stockholm in June 2007.
On 27 and 28 February ACCORD Senior Researcher, Richard Kamidza, will participate in the “Africa Round Table on Investment in Africa” focusing on the role of South Africa’s corporates in host countries. Mr. Kamidza is expected to present a paper on “South Africa: A Willing Hegemony?”
On 26 February Vasu Gounden, the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, has been invited to address the annual gathering of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Regional Technical Advisors for peace building. Every year the CRS’ peace building regional technical advisors meet to share experiences, to analyse trends in the field of peace building, to explore new approaches and tools, and to improve their own internal communication and collaboration.
ACCORD’s Angola Country Programme will be hosting an advanced conflict management training for civil society in the province of Huambo from 6 -10 February 2007. Participants attending the course have been selected from the provinces of Huambo, Bié, Huila, and Cuenene.
- Gounden to speak at Sub Saharan African Policy & Defence Relations Seminar
- DPKO Women's Constituencies Strategy Workshop
- AU PSOD Task Team Meeting in Ethiopia
- ACCORD's Cedric de Coning writes in 'International Peacekeeping'
- ACCORD attends World Social Forum meeting
- ACCORD Burundi conducts training for youth
- Gounden gives South perspective on Swedish Policy for Global Development
- ACCORD conducts training for SADC RPTC
- Oslo seminar on good governance in the Horn and South Africa
- Lecture on 'The Dynamics of Conflict and Peace Systems in Africa'
- UNMIS CML/AMIS CIMIC course programme
- ACCORD participates in African Feminist Forum, Ghana
- ACCORD participates in executive course in management of multinational peace missions
- “Peace Operations in Africa” at the Geneva Center for Security Policy
- ‘The Future of Peacekeeping in Africa’ at the 8th Annual Seminar on Military Power
- Gounden to visit US
- Sunset on the Jordan Valley
- ACCORD Participates in ‘The Role of Leading Edge NGOs in the Next Decade’ Workshop
- ACCORD Participates in ‘Mo Ibrahim Foundation’ Launch and Roundtable Discussion
- Gounden in Amman to speak at UN International Leadership Institute