On 19 November 2020 the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, was interviewed by the United Nations (UN) as part of their Building Peace During the Pandemic series.
The Secretary General has been increasing highlighting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on peace and security around the world. This is especially in countries already suffering from violent conflict or emerging from crisis. The pandemic is creating a whole set of new risks but is also exacerbating existing ones.
To explore and understand better these dynamics in specific country or regional settings, the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) has launched a new series of short video conversations to understand how the pandemic has affected Peacebuilding efforts, and what the UN and the international community are doing to support the authorities. It also highlights efforts by local peacebuilders and the solutions they are finding to confront these new risks. Every week they feature short video interviews with Resident Coordinators or partners from various countries or regions. It is broadly trying to highlight what the UN is doing to adapt and feature local Peacebuilders.
The interview with the Executive Director focused on three main questions: i) What are some of the new challenges for peacebuilding due to COVID-19?; II) What are some of the new opportunities that have come out from the pandemic?; and III) How can the UN contribute to a coordinated response around the Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) Nexus, taking into consideration the peace and conflict dynamics? The interview also looked at the impact of the pandemic on peacebuilding efforts in Africa and ACCORD’s focus on highlighting young people’s responses to peace and security challenges in Africa due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring that young peacebuilders are adequately equipped to mitigate potential risks posed by conflict.
In April 2020 ACCORD launched an on-line COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor to track the impact of the pandemic on the Continent.
Some of the Building Peace During the Pandemic interviews can be viewed here.