On 23 April 2018 ACCORD’s Founder and Executive Director, Advocate Vasu Gounden, presented the closing remarks at the United Nations (UN) High-Level Roundtable on Security Sector Reform and Sustaining Peace which was held in New York. The High-Level Roundtable was hosted by South Africa and Slovenia on behalf of the UN Group of Friends of SSR. The two countries support the ‘Sustaining Peace’ agenda which emerged as a new approach to preventing the outbreak, continuation and recurrence of conflict. The agenda recognises that building peace should not be limited to post-conflict contexts, and requires strengthening linkages across all three pillars of the United Nations’ engagement and at all stages of conflict. The roundtable was opened by H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly and H.E. Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General.
On 24 April 2018, Advocate Vasu Gounden, was also invited to be a resource person at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, in New York. The High Level Meeting, which was opened by H.E. Mr. António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) and H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, focused on an assessment of efforts undertaken and opportunities to strengthen the UN’s work on peacebuilding and sustaining peace. As specific objectives, the meeting reflected on how to: 1) Adjust to the new UN approach to peace with the emphasis on conflict prevention; 2) Strengthen operational and policy coherence within the UN system towards peacebuilding and sustaining peace; 3) Increasing, restructuring and better prioritizing funding to UN peacebuilding activities; 4) Strengthening partnerships between the UN and key stakeholders in the field; 5) Addressing the root causes of conflict to sustain peace; and 6) Addressing the role of women and youth in peacebuilding.
ACCORD has a long standing partnership with the UN. ACCORD’s interventions approach is recognised by the UN as a viable model for supporting peace and in September 2005, ACCORD became the first African Civil Society Organisation to address the United Nations Security Council.