On 04 August 2016 the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, was invited to make a presentation to the delegates attending the 18th meeting of the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. The MCO was held in Maputo, Mozambique between 01-06 August 2016. The objective of the 18th Meeting of Ministers of the Organ was to receive progress reports on decisions made at the 17th MCO meeting, and to deliberate on achievements, challenges and strategic issues in relation to SADC cooperation in the area of peace and security, in preparation for the 36th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in Mbabane, Swaziland on 30-31 August 2016. The meeting also considered a study on gender-based violence in the SADC region.
The Executive Director’s presentation drew on information on Current and Future Conflict Trends that he presented at a workshop conducted in June 2016 for members of the SADC Mediation Reference Group (MRG), which was held in Durban, South Africa. Coming out of the workshop the members of the MRG felt that the presentation should be made to the MCO. Mr Gounden is South Africa’s representative on the MRG, which is made up of representatives from eight SADC countries.
While in Maputo the Executive Director was asked to make a similar presentation at a Civil Society meeting held by the Chair of ACCORD’s Board of Trustees, Mrs Graça Machel, and arranged by Mrs Machel’s Maputo based Foundation for Community Development. The meeting was attended by representatives from around twenty civil society organisations.