On 27 February 2019 Dr Vasu Gounden, Executive Director of ACCORD, was one of three persons who briefed the UN Security Council open debate on Silencing the Guns in Africa. He joined Under-Secretary General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Ms Rosemary DiCarlo, and African Union High Representative for Silencing the Guns, Mr Ramtane Lamamra.
The “Silencing the Guns” campaign was launched as part of the 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration of the African Union, where African heads of State and Governments pledged to end all wars by 2020. The High Level Debate addressed issues on the major threats to peace and security on the African continent, how effective governance and development can be achieved, how tools for preventing and managing conflicts can be strengthened and how the African Union and United Nations can leverage their strategic partnership to the campaign.
As one of the speakers at the High Level Debate, Dr Gounden expressed that huge progress has been made in the field of peace and security in Africa over the last quarter of a century, but conflict persists in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, while drivers such as service delivery protests and electoral violence continue to have destabilising effect on the continent.
Dr Gounden highlighted that the aspiration and vision of the Silencing the Guns campaign is therefore still relevant today, serving as a mitigation tool in the absence of good governance and the limited transformation for the drivers of conflict. While the resolution adopted at the debate by the international community confirms their support for the campaign, Dr Gounden’s message to the Security Council was firm, advocating that more resources should be made available for preventing conflict and building peace.