The African Union (AU)’s Agenda 2063, initiated in January 2014, is a vision and clarion call for the continental organisation fifty years after its inception. Rededicating itself to its long-cherished Pan African aspirations, the AU commits itself to forging “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena” by 2063.
Since its inception in Durban in 2002, the AU Commission has worked to promote the peaceful resolution of violent conflicts and to promote the socio-economic transformation of African countries to achieve peace and development. The OAU, the AU’s predecessor, spent fifty years tirelessly advocating and supporting the continent’s struggle for liberation and independence.
It is in this light that the African Union Commission will be awarded the 2015 Africa Peace Award. Created by the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) in 1993, the Africa Peace Award acknowledges individuals, communities, and nations who respect human rights, settle conflicts peacefully, and ensure the good governance of public affairs. ACCORD, one of the world’s preeminent conflict management institutions, has used the Award to celebrate peace throughout the continent, having previously bestowed the award unto various actors such as the Community of Mpumalanga in KwaZulu-Natal, Nelson Mandela, the Children of Africa, the nations of Nigeria, Burundi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Ghana.
ACCORD’s 2015 Africa Peace Award, scheduled for 21 November, will be the cornerstone of ACCORD’s Weeks of Peace. From 16-27 November, ACCORD will be also hosting and participating in a number of prominent engagements throughout the continent that will work towards furthering peace in Africa.
Some of these activities will be taking place in Durban:
The United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office, in partnership with ACCORD, will host its third global workshop from 16-20 November. The workshop will bring together political and technical practitioners from the majority of countries currently receiving support through the Peacebuilding Fund. Participants intend on using this unique forum to strengthen the inclusivity and accountability of PBF-funded activities and to engage UN officials on the outcomes and implications of the 2015 Global Peacebuilding Architecture Review. ACCORD’s Peacebuilding Handbook, now in its 2nd Edition, will be launched at the end of the workshop.
The United Nations Special Advisor on Africa and ACCORD, in partnership with the African Union Commission and the International Organisation for Migration, will convene a High-Level Experts Meeting to examine conflict-induced migration in Africa from 23-24 November. This meeting will bring to Durban prominent African and international organisations, civil society leaders, academics and specialists to consider the causes and consequences of forced migration and its implications for continental peace and security.
ACCORD staff will also participate in three additional activities beyond Durban:
The Training for Peace Programme (TfP), ACCORD’s flagship peacekeeping initiative, will be convening its annual International Advisory Board meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 17-18 November. Founded in 1995, the TfP programme has worked to strengthen civilian and police capacities for African peace operations through training, rostering, policy support and applied research. The Programme, funded by the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, is operated in partnership with the Institute for Security Studies (South Africa) the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (Ghana), the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (Norway). The International Advisory Board comprises nine eminent conflict management experts from across the world.
ACCORD will be supporting the African Union Commission in convening the Third Retreat of the Pan African Network of the Wise (PANWISE) from 16-17 November in Addis Ababa. The PANWISE is continental network of individuals and institutions with a focus area on conflict prevention and mediation, including the African Union Commission’s Panel of the Wise and its relevant counterparts from Africa’s Regional Economic Communities. This year’s retreat will focus on examining the potential synergies between peacebuilding and mediation-based actors at local, regional and continental levels, as well as maximising the potential of education, indigenous knowledge and arts-based activities to contribute to forging a sustainable culture of peace.
ACCORD will also support the African Union Commission and the African Peace Support Trainers Association (APSTA) in convening a Roundtable on Rostering and Training for African-led Peace Operations. The Roundtable, to be held in Pretoria, South Africa from 24-26 November, aims to strengthen the existing policy documents to ensure that the African Union and its partners can rapidly deploy experts with the necessary skills and background to make immediate and sustainable contributions to peace operations on the continent.
Over the past 23 years, ACCORD has proudly supported the Organisation of African Unity and the African Union. We will continue to be an active partner in developing and strengthening our continent’s efforts to realise a peaceful, prosperous and united Africa.
For more information on these events, please contact Wolfe Braude on firstname.lastname@example.org.