ACCORD Co-Hosts 7th Annual African Union High Level Retreat


Further strengthening the African Union's mandate to end all conflict on the continent by 2020.

On 26-27 October 2016 ACCORD once again co-hosted the Annual Retreat of Special Envoys and Mediators Promotion of Peace, Security and Stability in partnership with the African Union Secretariat and Cairo Centre for Training on Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping in Africa (CCCPA). The Retreat was centred on the theme of “Silencing the Guns: Mediation Practices and Contemporary Wars”, and was held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

The Retreat was opened by the H.E. Amb Smail Cherguï, Commissioner of the African Union Peace and Security Commission and was attended by mediation specialists from across the African continent, complimented by United Nations Special Envoys and international experts and academics.

ACCORD’s Founder and Executive Director, Vasu Gounden also served as a resource person at the Retreat, presenting on the topic “Changing Patterns of Violence and the Changing Domains of Conflict Mediation”, in which he addressed the contemporary landscape mediators are working in today and the challenges that they face. Mr Aziz Pahad, ACCORD Senior Advisor also served on a panel session entitled Global Practices and Experiences of Mediation.

The Retreat concluded with the reading of a new Declaration supporting the African Union’s mandate to end all conflict on the continent by 2020. The Declaration called for the strengthening of normative frameworks of mediation, to heighten the inclusion of youth and woman in the mediation process and to focus on development and economic transformation as an imperative for lasting peace.

ACCORD was further recognised by Amb. Smail Cherguï who congratulated the institution for being “one of the AU’s most dependable African partners & a model to similar organizations in the Continent & beyond”. Link for the tweet can be found via

Article by:

Stephanie De Freitas
Stephanie de Freitas
Programme Officer: Operations Division