The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation has congratulated ACCORD’s Founder and Executive Director, Vasu Gounden, on his honorary Doctorate in Social Sciences, which was conferred by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) on 11 April 2016. The honorary Doctorate was given in recognition of his distinctive service and significant contribution to Conflict Resolution and the discipline of Peace and Security globally. UKZN noted that under his guidance ACCORD has developed into the largest Conflict Resolution organisation in Africa, making significant contributions to peace and security in Africa.
In his speech on 3 May in Parliament given during the debate on the International Relations and Cooperation Appropriations Bill, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Mr Moses Masango congratulated Mr Gounden on his honorary degree on behalf of the Committee. He noted that ACCORD had been ranked in 2015 as 63rd in the category of Top Thinks Tanks Worldwide by the University of Pennsylvania in the US.
View the speech here. The congratulatory message is located 30:16 into the video of the proceedings.
As the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Dr Gounden has brokered peace in trouble torn countries like Burundi, Madagascar, DRC, Somalia and South Sudan. Over the last 24 years under his leadership ACCORD has trained over 20 000 stakeholders; prepared armed groups for negotiations; and contributed to mediation strategies and the content of peace agreements. It has supported peace initiatives in 31 countries and several mediation processes on the continent. ACCORD’s comprehensive peace model was officially recognised by the United Nations in 1996 as a viable model for Africa.