ACCORD, in partnership with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) participated in the Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development 2021. In its eighth edition, the Stockholm Forum provided an opportunity to explore novel approaches to promoting peace in the age of compound political, social, economic and environmental risk. This collaborative online event offered an innovative space for exchange between members of the development, peacebuilding and security communities to explore solutions. Co-hosted by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the four-day event, which ran from 4 – 7 May 2021, delved into ways in which collective action for peace in a COVID-19 world could be strengthened.
On 7 May 2021, Dr Vasu Gounden, ACCORD’s Founder and Executive Director, hosted ACCORD’s panel discussion entitled ‘Promoting Peace in the age of Compound Risk: Reflections and lessons for future mediation challenges in Africa’. ACCORD’s session brought together high-level practitioners in conflict mediation on the African continent to share their experiences and look at the ways in which lessons learned can be applied to future mediation challenges in Africa. A highly esteemed panel of speakers were convened for this webinar; including H.E Bineta Diop, the African Union’s Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security; Ambassador Said Djinnit, Special Advisor to ACCORD; Ms. Florence Mpaayei, Senior Advisor & Coordinator of Peacebuilding practice at Hekima Institute for Peace Studies and International Relations; Ambassador Mohamed Chambas, Former Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel and Ms. Betty Bigombe, Member of Femwise & the Commonwealth Women’s Mediation Network.
The main objective of the meeting was to:
- Provide a virtual platform to facilitate the discussion on mediation experiences in the African context.
- Promote and highlight the research and initiatives of ACCORD through the online platforms provided by the organizers of the Stockholm Forum.
- Facilitate a space for networking between ACCORD and other partners of the Forum.
Key takeaways from the panel discussion were that:
- funding and research into conflict prevention is important
- the role of women and youth in conflict situations cannot be overlooked
- the negotiation space must be broadened as so to ensure inclusive ownership of the negotiation process and durable peace and
- global solidarity is key to responding to an age of compound risk.
ACCORD’s participation in the Stockholm Forum for Peace and Development contributes to strengthening the collaboration of key stakeholders on mediation in Africa from the international, continental, regional and national levels. It further contributes to knowledge production on mediation practices that aims to guide and inform the AU and RECs/RMs on policy development for mediation in the African context.