An Introduction to ACCORD

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) is a non-governmental conflict management institution based in Durban, South Africa. ACCORD was established in 1992 to impact on the process of negotiation and conflict resolution in South Africa. The Institution's focus has since broadened to include the whole of the African continent, and its activities stretch from the SADC in the South, through the Great Lakes region to West Africa and the Horn of Africa in the north-east. ACCORD strives to offer innovative and effective African solutions to African challenges. Through its work over the last twenty one years ACCORD has developed a comprehensive peace model, officially recognized by the United Nations in 1996 as a viable model for Africa.

ACCORD's activities are divided between an Interventions Department and a Knowledge Production Department. Within the Intervention Department there are a range of activities further divided into Peacemaking, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding. The Knowledge Production Department is responsible for a range of publications that include a quarterly magazine Conflict Trends (now in its fifteenth year of publication); books and occasional papers and research reports. In 1999 ACCORD published the first accredited African Journal on Conflict Resolution (AJCR) on the Continent, which is published biannually and which is now in its fourteenth year of publication.

ACCORD has developed a successful track record over its twenty one year history, working with former President Nelson Mandela in facilitating the role of civil society in the peace process in Burundi and with former President Masire on the DRC. ACCORD also worked in preparing rebel groups for the negotiation process in Burundi, facilitated by the South African Government.  In September 2005 ACCORD was the first African NGO in the history of the United Nations Security Council to address the Council.

ACCORD also hosts several special initiatives. The Africa Peace Award is an event that honours an individual, group or country. The Award recipient is selected based on three criteria: 1) The protection of and respect for human rights; 2) Peaceful settlement of disputes and; 3) Good Governance of public affairs. The first Africa Peace Award was presented to the Community of Mpumalanga (KwaZulu Natal) in 1993, the second to then President Nelson Mandela in 1995 and the third award was presented to the Nation of Mozambique in 1997. The fourth Africa Peace Award took place in June 2000 and was awarded to the Nation of Nigeria.  The fifth Africa Peace Award was presented to the Children of Africa, with a special focus on the children of the DRC, in June 2003. The sixth African Peace Award was presented to the Nation of Burundi in June 2006.  The seventh Africa Peace Award was awarded to the Nation of Sierra Leone in 2010. The eighth Africa Peace Award was awarded to the Nation of Ghana in 2012.

ACCORD is planning the construction of a permanent Conflict Prevention Centre, the first in Africa. Our vision is of a retreat, conference, training and research facility that will provide a peaceful setting and a comprehensive range of services that can accommodate high level conflict interventions, continuous training and research. The Centre would also be a venue for policy makers, academics and practitioners to gather on a regular basis to discuss conflicts, formulate policy and evolve practical responses to conflicts in Africa.

ACCORD has a full time staff capacity of over one hundred (100) Staff divided between ACCORD's Head Office in Durban, South Africa, its Burundi Country and Rural Offices (in 2003 ACCORD opened its first office in Burundi) and its Country Office in Juba, the Republic of South Sudan (opened in 2012). ACCORD also has a small group of Fixed Term Consultants, in addition to been able to call on a network of Associates and Consultants, throughout Africa, to assist and provide expertise on the range of activities undertaken by ACCORD.

ACCORD's Board of Trustees, headed by Madame Graca Machel (President FDC, Mozambique) comprises of H.E. Ambassador Sibusiso Bengu (the former South African Ambassador to Germany and former Minister of Education); Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu (member of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation Board; Chairperson, Pan African Capital Holdings, former Chairperson of the NEPAD Steering Committee  and the former Economic Advisor to former President Mbeki); Professor Jairam Reddy (Chairperson of the Council of the Durban University of Technology and former Director, United Nations University International Leadership Institute); H.E. Ambassador Billy Modise (former South African Ambassador to Canada and former South African Chief of State Protocol); Mr Josias de Kock (former Chief Financial Officer for Premier Foods and a former Chief Risk Officer for Sanlam) and Mr. Vasu Gounden (Founder and current Executive Director of ACCORD). Professor Jakes Gerwel, (former Chair, Mandela-Rhodes Foundation and the former Head of the Office of former South African President Nelson Mandela), one of the five founding Trustees of ACCORD, passed away in 2012.

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Veterans say women must determine own fate

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...

27-08-2015 in Women

VASU GOUNDEN PRESENTS TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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...

24-08-2015 in General

2015 – A Defining Year in the Drive for Women’s Empowerment in Africa

Women's Month in South Africa gives us an opportunity to reflect on the efforts globally, and on the continent, to advance women's empowerment and gender equality. These efforts have borne fruit and are accelerating. In Africa the initiatives have reached...

17-08-2015 in Women

Accord Celebrates Women’s Day 2015 and Continues Efforts to Mainstream Gender, Empower and Develop Women

August is Women's Month in South Africa and 9 August was Women's Day. Internationally, Women's Day is celebrated in 8 August, but South Africa celebrates Women's Day on 9 August, to commemorate the march on 9 August 1956 by 20,000...

17-08-2015 in Women

ACCORD’s Executive Director presents on best conflict resolution practices for elections at SADC regional policy conference

On 31 July 2015, Mr Vasu Gounden, ACCORD's Founder and Executive Director, delivered a presentation on best practices for conflict management in elections at the Southern African Regional Policy Conference on "Effective Policy Interventions for Strengthening Electoral Integrity: Lessons Learnt...

05-08-2015 in News

ACCORD’s executive director presents to the AU Peace and Security Council on early warning systems

"The capacities for early warning and responses are on the continent; it is the political will that we must improve in order to prevent future conflicts." This closing message from Mr Vasu Gounden's presentation to the African Union (AU) Peace...

03-08-2015 in News

President Masire turns 90!

The Trustees and Staff of ACCORD extends its best wishes to H.E. Quett Ketumile Joni Masire, the former President of Botswana, on the celebration of his 90th Birthday. African Patriot, Statesman and Peace Maker!

23-07-2015 in General

ACCORD and Mandela Day 2015

Each year on Mandela Day ACCORD practically supports the work of an NGO or community, boosting their efforts to make an impact. For the 2015 Mandela Day, ACCORD supported the Gandhi Development Trust in the rehabilitation of the Phoenix Settlement...

21-07-2015 in General

Vasu Gounden appointed to serve on the South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR)

The Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, has been appointed by the Government of South Africa to serve on the South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR). ACCORD congratulates former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aziz Pahad, on...

17-07-2015 in Executive

TfP/ACCORD supports the strengthening of the police dimension of peacekeeping in Africa

The Training for Peace (TfP) Programme at ACCORD participated in a TfP Research Network Dissemination Seminar to present and discuss the different research findings and recommendations that emerged from the various research on policing conducted in Mali, Somalia and Darfur;...

08-07-2015 in Peacekeeping

African Union Peace Support Operations Division launches African Standby Capacity

The recruitment and deployment of civilian personnel for peace and security operations has largely been managed on an ad hoc basis with interested applicants applying directly in their personal capacity to the African Union Commission (AUC), resulting in numerous challenges...

08-07-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD helps Madagascar to prepare for donor funded activities

With the aim of supporting Madagascar to define its Peacebuilding Priorities to be funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) and other donors, ACCORD trains Malagasy CSOs and facilitates Conflict Analysis for multi-stakeholder actors.

08-07-2015 in Peacebuilding

Development of a Common African Position on Humanitarian Effectiveness Consultation

The Humanitarian Affairs Division within the Department of the Political Affairs of the African Union Commission organized a consultative meeting from 26-27 May 2015 which was held in Midrand, South Africa for the Southern Africa Regional for the Development of...

02-07-2015 in News

TfP/ACCORD builds capacity for Peace Support Operations

As a training Centre of Excellence and a member of the African Peace Support Trainers' Association (APSTA), the Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC) for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region recently hosted Corrections/Prisons Officers for training on Peace Support...

02-07-2015 in Peacekeeping

TfP/ACCORD attends the Training of Trainers on Civil Society and Security Sector Engagement for Human Security

The concept of human security, which draws from, the freedom from fear, freedom from want, and freedom to live in dignity, is crucial to peace operations. In this light, TfP/ACCORD attended a Training of Trainers (ToT) on Civil Society and...

02-07-2015 in Peacekeeping

Identity in Africa the topic of discussion at ACCORD's Africa Day Internal Staff Seminar

In commemoration of Africa Day, on Monday 25 May 2015 the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) hosted an Internal Staff Seminar (ISS) at its Durban offices. The guest speaker, Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, gave a presentation entitled...

29-06-2015 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD/TfP strengthens African Standby Force Mission Support

ACCORD in collaboration with the African Peace Support Trainers Association (APSTA), hosted a Mission Support Training Harmonisation Workshop from 4-7 May 2015 in Durban, South Africa. The workshop sought to build on the Civilian Peacekeepers Foundation (Nairobi, Kenya, 2-5 December...

19-06-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD/TfP participates in the development of an AU Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration manual and compendium

To build on the successes of the past, knowledge must be captured and transferred. This applies equally to sensitive areas such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. In a key step towards the development of an African body of knowledge, the...

19-06-2015 in Peacekeeping