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Gounden to visit US

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The Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, will be visiting the United States the week of 6 November, where he will spend time in New York and Washington.

Mr Gounden has been invited by the Folke Bernadotte Academy, which is based in Sweden, to be a resource person at their Course on “ Facilitation of Dialogue Processes and Mediation Efforts” which will be held at Bear Mountain, an hour outside of New York, from 6-10 November 2006. The course will be run for Staff of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs. Mr Gounden forms part of an international panel of resource person’s that is drawn from: Canada; Denmark; Ghana; Guyana; Philippines; Sweden; United Kingdom; USA and Zimbabwe. The titles of Mr Gounden’s sessions are “A values based approach to dialogue and mediation” and “Difficult moments in Dialogue and Mediation”. Each evening a guest speaker has been invited to present informal reflections on a selected topic during dinner. Mr Gounden will be the guest speaker at dinner on Wednesday, 8 November, where he will present reflections on the topic “Dialogue and Mediation as Conflict Prevention in the African Context”.

On Thursday Mr Gounden will travel to Washington where he will hold a number of meetings with, among others, USAID. Mr Gounden returns to South Africa on Friday, 10 November.

In March this year Mr Gounden was a resource person at the Folke Bernadotte Academy’s “Facilitation of Dialogue Processes and Mediation Efforts” course which was held in Sweden. In September 2005 Mr. Gounden was the first member of an African NGO in the history of the United Nations Security Council to address the Council. This was the second out of three presentations that Mr Gounden made at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York within a five month period in 2005. In July 2005 Mr Gounden provided one of the closing addresses for the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) Conference which was held at the UN and in December 2005 he was invited to address the UNSC at its seminar on cooperation between the UN and African regional organisations in the field of peace and security.