From the 11th to the 12th of February 2015, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) was represented at a conference hosted by the Institute of Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa, organised under the theme of ‘Advancing an African Peacebuilding Agenda’.
The conference aimed to consolidate the findings from a two-year-long ISS research programme on ‘Enhancing South Africa’s Post-Conflict Development and Peacebuilding Capacity in Africa’, and to contextualise this within a larger debate that considers these issues in relation to numerous other peacebuilding actors. This included the need to share best practices and innovative approaches from emerging countries (including South Africa), to consider the value added by these actors and how they can complement traditional approaches, and to develop stronger partnerships and linkages in peacebuilding. The goal of the conference was to therefore promote effective and functioning peacebuilding frameworks at national and international levels.
Discussions during the event mainly focused on:
- improving the effectiveness of peacebuilding;
- the role of south-south cooperation, and emerging powers in peacemaking and peacebuilding;
- South Africa’s global peacebuilding experiences, and innovative peacebuilding approaches; and
- examining best peacebuilding practices from the south.
The conference provided a critical platform for ACCORD, not only to share its own experiences in terms of conflict prevention and peacebuilding in Africa, but to learn and reflect on the current and unique insights provided by practitioners and academics, many of which were based on the work they were doing in conflict zones across the world.