In fulfilling its mandate of providing support to national, regional and continental frameworks as well as initiatives aimed at conflict prevention and mediation, ACCORD, through its Peacemaking Unit, has participated in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Consultation on “Building National Peace Infrastructures: Strengthening National, Regional and Continental Co-ordination in Conflict Prevention.”
This consultation took place in Maseru, Lesotho from 16-17 September, 2013.
Harmonisation of crisis prevention and recovery policies and mechanisms between the Africa Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) is essential to ensuring progress on the peace, security, stability and development agenda. Structural conflict prevention remains largely underdeveloped, while efforts in direct conflict prevention measures face challenges related to a lack of capacity and resource mobilisation in the areas of the identification of key actions, their sequencing, and a clear delineation of roles for local as well as international actors. Currently, ACCORD contributes to strengthening the mediation capacity of the AU and the RECs through its AU Mediation Support Capacity Project. In this regard, ACCORD’s participation provided perspectives from the civil society that contributes to shaping discussions aimed at developing frameworks for national infrastructures for peace. Notably, ACCORD made a presentation on “Enhancing the Role of Women in conflict prevention and mediation in Southern Africa.”
The Consultation, which was attended by officials of SADC Member States; representatives of national peace institutions, civil society organisations, representatives of SADC, the AUC, UNDP, research institutions and the media; resulted in the 17 September 2013 Maseru Declaration on a Framework for Peaceful Development in Southern Africa. The Declaration outlines among others: the encouragement of member states to establish/strengthen initiatives, structures and institutions for sustaining peace and development; commitment by member states to reinvigorate and integrate indigenous and traditional methods of healing, reconciliation and alternative dispute resolution into local and national efforts; and the facilitation of the self-empowerment of civil society, particularly women, youth, religious and community groups, and the media in the development and implementation of national infrastructures for peace and development.
ACCORD will continue to support the development of peace infrastructures on the continent and, as such, further collaborate with likeminded entities to contribute to the prevention and resolution of conflicts on the African continent.