Peacebuilding Multimedia

The African Peacebuilding Coordination Network Training Programme

The APCN training programme consists of three trainings in 2013- one in Liberia, Burundi and South Sudan. This network was made up of 18 participants from Burundi, DRC, Liberia and South Sudan. The participants were from CSOs, Academica and Government in the countries mentioned above. The programme focused on the development of peacebuilding planning skills and projects.

South Sudan

This is a video of the closing of the third training in the programme, held in Juba, South Sudan.

DRC

Burundi


Peacebuilding Seminar: Towards a more coherent peacebuilding policy community

ACCORD's African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme, funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, recently created a space which brought relevant peacebuilding actors together to discuss issues of complexity, coherence and coordination within the peacebuilding policy community by holding a two-day seminar entitled "Towards a More Coherent Peacebuilding Policy Community". This seminar was held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 19-20 February 2014. This seminar was attended by 50 participants from across the globe from Inter-Governmental Organisations, International NGOs and Civil Society Organisations, Think Tanks, Local NGOs and Civil Society Organisations as well as African and local partners. Participants included Ms. Sarah Cliffe (Assistant Secretary General for Civilian Capacity at the United Nations), Dr Khabela Matlosa (Director of Political Affairs at the African Union), Mr. Takwa Suifon (Expert on PCRD at the African Union) and Dr. Henk- Jan Brinkman (Chief of the Policy Planning and Application Branch of the United Nations), amongst others.

Opening Session Mr. Vasu Gounden - Executive Director, ACCORD

This is the opening session of the Peacebuilding Seminar: Towards a More Coherence Peacebuilding Policy Community held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 19-20 February 2014.

Session 1

Peacebuilding Coherence Dilemma Cooperation, Coexistence or Competition

This session set the tone for the workshop with opening remarks by Dr. Cedric de Coning: Advisor to the Peacebuilding Unit, ACCORD, who unpacked what we meant by Coherence and Coordination and what this workshop aimed to achieve.

Session 2

Opportunities to Overcome the Peacebuilding Coherence Dilemma: Speaker 1: Dr. Henk-Jan Brinkman

Session two looked at perspectives of coherence and coordination dilemmas within the international community. Dr. Henk-Jan Brinkman, Chief Policy Planning and Application Branch, UN Peacebuilding Support Office, reflected on the perspective of the UN Peacebuilding Planning Office about examples of how you the Dialogue has tried to overcome the challenges posed by coherence and coordination within the peacebuilding context.

Opportunities to Overcome the Peacebuilding Coherence Dilemma: Discussant: Dr. Erin McCandless

Session two looked at perspectives of coherence and coordination dilemmas within the international community. Dr. Erin McCandless Chief Editor, Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, was the discussant for the session providing to provide some critical analysis of the "ideas" presented as well as to highlighting some common themes. We would like you to provide new ideas, to comment on the topic, and to share your own thoughts on how to encourage coherence and coordination among the international and local players involved in peacebuilding policy processes.

Session 3

Regional and local Approaches to Peacebuilding Coordination

This session looked at regional aspects of coherence and coordination focusing on the UN, g7+ and perspectives from African civil society.

Speaker:

  • Dr. Samuel Doe: Policy Advisor & Team Leader, UNDP's Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR)
  • Dr. Helder de Costa: General Secretary of the g7+ Secetariat
  • Dr. Tim Murithi: Head of Justice and Reconciliation in Africa Programme, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
  • Mr Prosper Addo, the Senior Political/Humanitarian Affairs Officer in the African Union (AU) Liaison Office in Monrovia, Liberia, presenting on behalf of the Director of Political Affairs of the African Union, Dr. Khabele Matlosa.

Disscussant:

  • Ms. Oury Traore: Executive Director of the Partners for Democratic Change - West Africa

Session 4

Reflections on Coherence and Cooperation from Academia

This session looked at the theory behind coherence and coordination and raised many interesting and challenging perspectives on if more coherence is even what we need in the international peacebuilding community.

Speaker:

  • Prof. Roland Paris: Director of the Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS), University Research Chair in international Security and Governance, University of Ottawa
  • Ms. Frauke de Weijer: Policy Officer, European Centre for Development Policy Management

Facilitator:

  • Dr. Cedric de Coning: Advisor to the Peacebuilding Unit, ACCORD

Session 5

Peacebuilding Coherence Experiences at Country level

This session looked at Liberia and South Sudan - the focus countries of the ACCORD Peacebuilding Unit - and the perspectives of local approaches to peacebuilding being used in those countries.

Speakers:

  • Mr. Tobias Okori Atari: Director General of the South Sudan Peace Commission, South Sudan
  • Dr. Sirisio Oromo: Centre for Peace and Development Studies, University of Juba, South Sudan
  • Mr. Roosevelt Woods: Executive Director, Foundation for International Dignity (FIND), Liberia
  • Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu: Director, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Cuttington University, Liberia

Discussant:

  • Dr. William Tsuma: Dialogue Advisor, UNDP Zimbabwe

Facilitator:

  • Mr. Gustavo de Carvalho: Coordinator of the Peacebuilding Unit, ACCORD

Session 6

Principles for Coherence and Coordination

During session 6, the participants were divided into groups and asked to come up with five principles for better coherence within the peacebuilding environment. This is the feedback from the groups about the principles.

Judy Cheng-Hopkins Coherence and Coordination

Session 7

The way forward - Principles for Coherence: Dr. Takwa Zebulon Suifon

In this session, Dr. Takwa Zebulon Suifon: Expert in Peacebuilding at the Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) Unit of the Conflict Management Division (CMD), Peace and Security Department (PSD) at the African Union Commission, reflected on the workshop and, using his experiences with the African Union, looked at ideas on how to improve coherence and coordination in the future; establish almost a set of principles for future, improved coherence and coordination and identify opportunities to take us forward.

The way forward - Principles for Coherence: Ms. Sarah Cliffe

In this session, Ms. Sarah Cliffe, Special Adviser and Assistant Secretary-General for Civilian Capacities, reflected on the workshop as a whole and used her background with the World Bank and the Civilian Capacity initiative to look at ideas on how to improve coherence and coordination in the future; establish almost a set of principles for future, improved coherence and coordination and identify opportunities to take us forward.

The way forward - Principles for Coherence; Questions and Answers

This is the question and answer session for Ms. Sarah Cliffe and Dr. Takwa Zebulon Suifon reflecting on the way forward for better coherence and coordination in peacebuilding.

Closing of the Seminar

Ambassador Welile Nhlapo

Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, Senior Adviser to ACCORD, closed the seminar by reflection and summing up what the entire workshop has meant for the continent and the field of peacebuilding.

Somalia Initiative

ACCORD's engagement with Somalia started in 1995 at the early start of destabilising effect of lacking a central government. Through the Somalia Initiative the organisation deployed a presence in the country in February 2013 to initiate its contribution to the country's reconstruction.

The Federal Government of Somalia is a culmination of many years of effort by Somalis and international community to find a solution towards stabilising the country. The new government faces a number of challenges including facilitating and environment of: safety, reconciliation, economic recovery, governance, rule of law and friendly regional relations. These challenges are underpinned in the government's Six Pillar Policy on reconstruction. The SI intends to make contributions in these areas by leveraging ACCORD's two decades of experience in institution building and capacity building.

Over the years ACCORD has built solid relationships with Somali interlocutors at various levels of engagement in the peace processes that sought to stabilise the country. Through consultations, field missions, publications, study tours, facilitated dialogue session and support to international response the organisation has developed a unique understanding of issues, processes and peace initiatives.

The Somalia Initiative brings to bear ACCORD's expertise in: peace-making, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The initiative will use the presence in Somalia to ensure on-going engagement with Somali interlocutors and role players. Through partnerships and collaboration the initiative will undertake continuous research activities, support policy development, advocate for dialogue and problem solving as well as contribute in capacity building.

Through engagement with government and civil society the Somalia Initiative is focusing on: contributing in capacity building, providing technical assistance and project management.

  • Contributions in capacity building are inclusive of activities aimed at building the institutional capacity of government functionaries dealing with the reconstruction of Somalia. Capacity building also focusses on supporting efforts of civil society and other engaged role players.
  • Technical assistance refers to ACCORD providing specialised expertise in initiating and supporting comprehensive and sustainable governance: strategy, policy and processes development.
  • Project management interventions are ACCORD's efforts to source resources to undertake quick impact projects that support reconstruction. Project management of such projects is anchored on supporting local ownership through partnerships and collaboration.

The ACCORD presence in Mogadishu facilitates building of relationships with Somali stake holders and role players. This places the organisation in a position to make informed decisions regarding partnerships, initiatives and support interventions. The Somalia Initiative places high importance in working with and through local role players in partnership with international initiatives in determining the content, direction and pace of its contributions to the reconstruction in Somalia.

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.

South Sudan Initiative (SSI)

ACCORD has been working with South Sudanese stakeholders over the past 12 years, and opened its first in-country office in April 2012 as part of its South Sudan Initiative (SSI). Recognising the potential for conflict between the Sudan and South Sudan and within South Sudan itself, the SSI's sustainable peacebuilding approach unites several strategic programmes designed support to the South Sudanese people in meeting the challenges of the post-independence period. ACCORD actively works at the national, regional, and grassroots levels throughout South Sudan to promote peace, reconciliation, and peacebuilding initiatives.

The Republic of South Sudan became Africa's newest country on 9 July 2011, marking a formal split with its northern neighbor, the Republic of the Sudan. South Sudan (644,329 sq. km) is roughly the size of France but has a low population density, with its total populous comprising an estimated 8.3 million. From 1955-72 and 1983-2005, the Sudanese government and various rebel groups (led by the Sudan's Peoples Liberation Army) engaged in a series of violent and all-encompasing wars. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement was forged and ratified in 2005 between the Sudanese government and the SPLA, paving the way for a January 2011 referendum on the independence of South Sudan.

In April 2011, ACCORD entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the South Sudanese government's Ministry of Peace and CPA Implementation (now reconfigured as the South Sudan Peace Commission), which was renewed in November 2012. This formal collaboration between ACCORD and the Peace Commission allows for the institution to coordinate its initiatives with and help facilitate the continued implementation of South Sudan's 2011-13 strategic objectives and policy frameworks for peace and reconciliation. ACCORD's continued commitment to South Sudan has led to the development of long-term relationships with key stakeholders, including the African Union, the United Nations, international governmental and nongovernmental partners and civil society organisations representing women, youth, media, trade unions, traditional leaders, business associations and academic institutions.

Over the first year of the SSI, ACCORD has engaged in a number of important activities, which have included: surveying and collaborating with the existing mechanisms conflict sensitive planning and development, conflict management, conflict transformation, and peacebuilding; coordinating the efforts to develop a standardized conflict management training toolkit; providing conflict management, mediation, and negotiation trainings to South Sudanese, officials, diplomats, civil society leaders, lawyers, and paralegals, and United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) civil affairs officers; and conducting research engagements related to the implementation of the CPA and local land conflicts.

The deployment of core staff for the SSI in Juba has allowed for ACCORD to garner enhanced understanding of the current environment in the country, allowing the institution's staff members to better conceptualise programme activities that are responsive to the context. Increased and regular interaction with key stakeholders and decision-makers in government, with civil society actors and with representatives of the international community present within and beyond Juba,  has enhanced the opportunities for cooperation, partnerships and collaboration among the various stakeholders towards the ultimate goal of promoting peacebuilding efforts in South Sudan.

Thematic Peacekeeping Focus for 2012

The following are areas of thematic focus for the Peacekeeping Unit and TfP Programme at ACCORD.

Support to AU long term capacity building and short term operational support

The AU is currently working to strengthen its capacity and capability to plan, manage and implement peacekeeping operations on the continent. This is being done through the development and implementation of policies that will help to further the ASF development processes, and through efforts aimed at ensuring the successful implementation of the AMISOM mandate. Within this context, the Peacekeeping Unit and its TfP Programme will support the AU in the development of conduct and discipline guidelines to help regulate the conduct of AU peacekeepers. Increased understanding of the role, functions and contributions of civilians in AU peace operations remains significant. The need for skills transfer is thus paramount to increase the capacity and capability of civilians that are already deployed within AMISOM, UNAMID and civilians that will participate in ASF exercises particularly those that are expected to be placed on the ASF Roster for future AU deployments. This is based on the AU's goal to ensure that personnel deployed in peace operations have the necessary and required expertise and experience that will foster successful implementation of AU mandates.

Contribution to the AU PoC Policy process

As one of the core aspects in contemporary peacekeeping, PoC is currently a main benchmark used to evaluate most peacekeeping operations. Notwithstanding this, and despite the notable achievements by DPKO on the development of a UN PoC strategic framework, training modules and case studies in 2010 and 2011 respectively (with support from TfP/ACCORD and TfP/NUPI), there is still a need for further clarification of the concept for the role of peacekeepers in ensuring its successful implementation on the ground, particularly in Africa.

As with the UN, the AU has been challenged to give full meaning to the concept of PoC, even though it is viewed as being firmly entrenched in its legal principles and norms and embedded in its work. The current context of conflicts continues to remind us that the protection of civilian populations has increasingly become a key driver in decision-making processes - more specifically in the conduct of international interventions. Thus, the Peacekeeping Unit and its TfP Programme will focus on the need to strengthen the AU's understanding and implementation of PoC in peacekeeping through supporting the development of an AU draft guidelines on PoC and will encourage due reference to the work done by the UN on the same.

The Peacekeeping Unit and its TfP Programme also intends to capture the experience of the implementation of PoC in Africa. As a result, it has dedicated the TfP special issue of the ACCORD Conflict Trends magazine to PoC in Africa. The Peacekeeping Unit and its TfP Programme will also support the AU and AMISOM In Mainstreaming PoC Considerations into the Operations of the AMISOM, as directed by the AU Peace and Security Council.

Support to the AU Conduct & Discipline (C&D) Guidelines development process

The AU has recognised the need for comprehensive guidelines to regulate the general conduct and professionalism of its peacekeepers. This is currently a priority for the AU to ensure the professional conduct of its peacekeepers. This is based on the fact that any challenge on the conduct of peacekeepers in countries and communities they are deployed can affect the credibility of a mission. Thus, the Peacekeeping Unit and its TfP Programme is supporting the AU in ensuring the establishment of a conduct and discipline mechanism to ensure proper guidance for AU peacekeepers to regulate their professional conduct whilst serving under the AU umbrella.

Contribution to the UN Civilian Capacity process

The roles and functions of civilians in post-conflict situations have become a central issue in relation to the implementation of mandates and in supporting host populations in building sustainable peace. As a result of its long standing peacekeeping experience and the numerous lessons, the UN is currently undertaking an initiative that aims to further strengthen the role of civilians in UN peacekeeping operations. Developing countries, including South Africa, Brazil, and India, which are also troop and police contributing countries, have taken the lead in this process to ascertain how they can contribute to the provision of the needed civilian capacities for UN peacekeeping operations. The Peacekeeping Unit and its TfP Programme is part of a Civilian Capacity Network that aims to assess the potential role of these countries in the development and contribution of the much needed civilian capacities and in clarifying how Member States will facilitate the deployment of their civilian personnel for UN peacekeeping operations. The network includes institutions from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Norway, Russia, South Africa and Turkey.

Contribution towards the provision of clearer guidance for Civil Affairs Officers in the field

Civil Affairs are currently one of the main civilian components within peacekeeping operations. Its relevance has increased in various missions as a result of its strategic positioning in the field at the local level and its roles and functions in conflict management, confidence building and support to the extension of state authorities. In missions like the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Civil Affairs gained a central role in leading the mission's work on conflict management to manage and resolve the protracted conflicts in some communities. There is a strong need for clarity of the contexts within which Civil Affairs operates. The Peacekeeping Unit and its TfP Programme thus see it necessary to respond to the needs of Civil Affairs in terms of gaps identified both by the DPKO within the context of their needs assessment and by the Peacekeeping Unit and its TfP Programme in previous interactions to enhance the professionalism of Civil Affairs Officers. As a result, the Peacekeeping Unit and its TfP Programme conducts specialized tailored in-mission conflict management support training that aim to respond to the specific training needs of field missions.

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