On 04 May 2015, ACCORD and the African Union (AU) convened a high-level seminar, Strengthening Mediation in Africa, at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Bringing together over 50 participants from a diverse collection of national governments, multilateral institutions, and civil society organisations, the one-day seminar strived to illuminate and consolidate critical reflections on the current state of mediation practice throughout the continent.
On Thursday 7 May 2015, the SADC Mediation Reference Group (MRG) held their constitutive meeting at Phakalane Golf Estate Hotel Resort, in Gaborone, Botswana. This was the first statutory meeting of the MRG since its members were appointed during the Summit held in Victoria Falls, Republic of Zimbabwe in August 2014.
Peacebuilding is a dynamic field, and the UN recognised that through the appointment of an Advisory Group of Experts (UN AGE) on UN Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA) in early 2015. To provide input from South Sudanese Civil Society Organisations (CSO's) to the AGE on the UN PBA, ACCORD arranged consultations for national civil society actors in South Sudan from 30th April to 1st May 2015. , The input will go directly into UN policy discussions, as the AGE were nominated by the UN Secretary-General to perform a policy and institutional review of the peace building architecture and subsequently propose recommendations.
In response to the events of the past few weeks the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial government has urgently established an independent Special Reference Group on Migration and Community Integration in KwaZulu-Natal. The focus of the Reference Group is to investigate the immediate and underlying causes of the attacks and advise the Premier. It will conduct consultations with organised and representative organisations, affected communities and persons.
A delegation from ACCORD have attended the 2nd African Think Tank Summit, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 6 – 8 April. The event was attended by over 60 think tanks, with participants from 30 countries. The first Summit was held in Pretoria, South Africa in February 2014, and was organised by the African Capacity Building Foundation, African Leadership Center, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Konrad-Andenauer-Stiftung and the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania.
The African Union Commission (AUC) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) have been developing a civilian standby roster since its conceptualisation in 2010. To date, significant progress has been made to improve the roster in order for the RECs and RMs to initiate the population of the roster to allow full operational capability. To achieve this, the AUC, the RECs and RMs in close collaboration with the German Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) are further working on key priority areas regarding the development of the roster.
US foreign policy is of great interest to African states, with the US military involved on the continent and US presidential elections on the horizon in 2016. Globally, the current administration of President Barack Obama has utilised both dialogue and unilateral military action as approaches to foreign policy. During an Internal Staff Seminar (ISS) on Thursday 24 April 2015, Daniel Forti, a researcher in the Executive Director's Office at ACCORD, gave a presentation on United States (US) foreign policy under President Barack Obama's Administration.
"Gender sensitive peacekeeping leads to more effective peacekeeping", according to Col. Fernando Izquierdo, who directed a recent course on Gender Perspective in Peace Support Operations, supported by ACCORD's Training for Peace (TfP) programme.
From 15th to the 16th of April 2015, a roundtable discussion on Liberia was organised by ACCORD, focussing on the current peacebuilding context in post-Ebola Liberia. The discussion aimed at assessing the impact of the virus and the responses of those on the ground. It also evaluated the effect on the Liberian government in regards to peacebuilding and reconciliation.
'Vusa izizwe namhlanje!' (Wake up the nations today!) was the motto of the World Alliance of Religions Peace Summit in Africa at which the ACCORD was represented by Prof Jannie Malan, Senior Researcher and Managing Editor of the African Journal on Conflict Resolution. A diverse audience of about 500, including representatives of youth and women's organisations and networks, was inspired by two days of enthusiastic presentations and striking videos in the Z.K. Matthews Great Hall at the University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.
ACCORD has hosted H.E. Ambassador Tewolde Gebremeskel, the Director of Peace and Security at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). H.E. Ambassador Gebremeskel represented IGAD's Executive Secretary, H.E. Ambassador Mahboub Maalim. The visit enabled discussions between the regional body (IGAD is made up of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda) and ACCORD on areas of possible collaboration and support, and culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organisations.
- ACCORD attend 2015 TfP AGM in Olso
- ACCORD publishes policy & practice brief on the eve of Nigeria's highly anticipated election
- ACCORD host launch of Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu biography
- ACCORD Trustee Ambassador Modise recognized at the inaugural Ubuntu Awards
- Peacebuilding in Africa: evolving challenges, responses and new thinking
- TfP/ACCORD participate in expert workshop on impact of peacekeeping training on peace and security in West Africa
- Lesotho elections the topic of discussion at recent ACCORD internal staff seminar
- TfP/ACCORD supports African Regional Consultation Seminar on UN Peace Operations Review
- ACCORD discuss gender normative frameworks and nuanced challenges to gender parity and empowerment in Africa ahead of International Women's Day
- ACCORD hosts senior official from SA Department of International Relations & Cooperation
- ACCORD/TfP co-hosts experts’ roundtable on developing a Conduct and Discipline Framework for the AU PSOs
- ACCORD's Executive Director participates in World Bank forum on fragility, conflict and violence
- Advancing an African peacebuilding agenda
- Report on the Fourth International Africa Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference published by ACCORD
- ACCORD publishes edited volume on conflict-sensitive climate change adaptation in Africa
- TfP/ACCORD participate in United Nations Protection of Civilians Course
- ACCORD hosts dialogue on peacebuilding in South Sudan
- ACCORD ranked among top Think Tanks in the World in 2015
- Somali Diaspora conference opens in Kigali
- TfP/ACCORD co-organises seminar on the future of African peace operations