On 28 – 29 June 2022, ACCORD hosted the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Commissioner for Gender Promotion, Human and Social Development, Ms. Kapinga-Yvette Ngandu for a strategic meeting in Durban, South Africa. During this meeting, ACCORDs Executive Director, Dr Vasu Gounden presented on the trends in peace and security and its geo-political implications on the African continent. He discussed the issue of porous borders and inadequate militaries that contribute to the problem, as well as the threat of urban protests and urban violence on the increase. From his analysis, there was consensus on the need to address these important thematic issues within the ECCAS region and for its relevant stakeholders to ensure that effective conflict prevention initiatives are undertaken.
This strategic meeting also provided the platform to unpack the details for the operationalisation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ACCORD and ECCAS that was renewed in 2021. The MoU places particular emphasis on strengthening the development and operationalisation of the ECCAS’ Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, and strengthening the development and operationalisation of a comprehensive agenda for Youth in Peacebuilding and Peacemaking. Specific initiatives were identified following the virtual ECCAS Women’s Meeting that was held on 01 June 2022. In addition, ECCAS and ACCORD deliberated on promoting the role of young people through the ECCAS Volunteer Programme and Inter-Generational Dialogues in the ECCAS region; as well as capacity building initiatives for the Committee of Elders. These discussions are important as they aim to strengthen the mediation and conflict prevention capacities of ECCAS to respond to complex conflicts in the region. ACCORD will continue to provide support to the implementation of ECCAS’s initiatives, and looks forward to contributing to enhancing ECCAS’s policy and institutional development for conflict prevention.