The Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, was invited by the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs to be a resource person at a seminar on the evaluation of the impact and challenges of South African Foreign Policy in the last 14 years, including South Africa’s experience in the UN Security Council, which was held on the 26th and 27th of July 2008 in Durban.
Mr. Gounden was asked to make a presentation on South Africa’s peace making and peace building roles in Africa, using case studies as examples.
Some of the other topics discussed at the seminar focused on: perspectives of South Africa’s contribution to Africa’s evolving peace and security architecture; South Africa’s contribution to Africa’s socio-economic development in the context of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); South Africa’s strategic bilateral relations in Africa; South Africa’s Multilateralism in Inter-Governmental Forums of the South – the G-77, the New African Asian Strategic partnership and the Non-Aligned Movement; the evolving relations between South Africa and the European Union; South Africa in the UN Security Council and perspectives on South Africa’s engagement with cross cutting global challenges – Palestine/Israel, Iraq, East Timor and Western Sahara, among others.
Through its Training for Peace in Africa and African Peace Building programmes ACCORD has developed skills and competencies in the civilian aspects of these peace and security areas. Over the last year ACCORD has visited Palestine, hosted a Study Tour to South Africa for two delegations from Iraq and will later in the year host a delegation from Western Sahara. In 1996 ACCORD was recognized by the UN as a viable model for Peace and in 2005 ACCORD was the first African conflict management NGO to address the UN Security Council in the history of the Council.