ACCORD hosts dialogue on peacebuilding with Southern African and Irish Youth


Building global networks of young peacebuilders.

ACCORD, in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland in Pretoria, South Africa, hosted an Intergenerational Dialogue (IGD) on Peacebuilding for Southern African and Irish Youth.
The dialogue, which took place on 13 December 2022, aimed to create a space for Southern African and Irish peacebuilders to meet, share experiences, and draw inspiration from one another.

The event was opened by ACCORD’s Executive Director, Dr Vasu Gounden, with further opening remarks made by H.E. Fionnuala Gilsenan, the Ambassador of Ireland to the Republic of South Africa, Mauritius, Botswana, the Republic of Zimbabwe, and the Kingdom of Lesotho. These were then followed by a panel discussion, which featured peacebuilders and experts from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Southern Africa, and included, Mr Nqobile Moyo, Chair of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict Youth, Peace and Security Working Group, Dr David Mitchel, Assistant Professor in the School of Religion at Trinity College Dublin, Ms Lorraine Lally BL, Barrister at Law at the Law library, Ms Cynthia Chigwenya, the African Youth Ambassador for Peace for the Southern African Region, Ms Elle Cunningham, a volunteer at Youth Action Northern Ireland, and Ms Sibusisiwe Nkosi, Programme Officer at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Pretoria, and an Alumnus of the Kader Asmal Fellowship, a post graduate scholarship funded and administered by Irish Aid.

The discussion, which was moderated by ACCORD’s Programme Officer and Kader Asmal Fellowship alumnus, Mr Adam Randera, focused on the peace and security challenges facing both Southern Africa and Ireland, as well as the various efforts being made by young people in both regions to address and overcome these issues. The panellists agreed that while there is often a prevailing view that countries in the global south should be taking lessons from the global north, there were a number of crucial lessons those in Ireland and northern Ireland have taken from southern Africa, including adapting post-conflict reconciliation processes to address the troubles in northern Ireland. The panellists also agreed that greater collaboration between youth groups from Ireland and Southern Africa could greatly benefit both regions by broadening the perspectives of young people.

ACCORD is committed to enhancing the role of youth in the prevention, mitigation and resolution of conflict, and has identified the creation of youth networks and communities of practice for the sharing of ideas and experiences as a potential avenue to help build the capacity of youth groups. This event and others like these, provides the opportunity to strengthen global youth and peacebuilding networks to help build more peaceful and prosperous societies.

Article by:

Adam Randera
Programme Officer in the Operations Division