On 1 March 2018 the Founder and Executive Director, Adv. Vasu Gounden was invited by the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (“DIRCO”) to be a resource person at the Conference on African Diplomatic Academies, Universities and Research Institutes, which was hosted on 28 February – 01 March 2018 at Pretoria, with the theme “African Diplomacy: Identity, objectives realities and futures in a dynamic and changing world”. The purpose of the conference was to create a platform for meaningful engagement among the African Diplomatic Academies, Universities and Research Institutions, with the following expected outcomes: i) to create a forum of African Diplomatic Academies, Universities, and Research Institutions specialising in African Diplomatic Studies; ii) to discuss and exchange ideas around major trends in diplomacy; and iii) to formalise a structure for collaboration between Diplomatic Training and Research Institutes in the continent.
Adv. Vasu Gounden’s presentation formed part of plenary discussion focussing on the topic “Peace Diplomacy on the Continent: Key Lessons”, along with fellow panellists, Professor C Hendriks from the University of Johannesburg, Mr. M Yedaly from the African Union, and Dr MP Genge from DIRCO.
For the duration of the conference ACCORD was also invited to provide a display showcasing ACCORD, its achievements and publications. The display was set up outside of the conference venue along with displays from other organisations, and it facilitated engagement with academics and diplomats, enabling them to learn more about the work of ACCORD.