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ACCORD presents USAID with citation of appreciation for support over 20 years

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On 10 May 2012, at a ceremony at USAID's Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C, ACCORD presented a citation of appreciation to USAID in recognition of support that ACCORD has received over its twenty years of existence. The citation was received on behalf of USAID by Mr. Earl Gast, the Assistant Administrator for the Africa Bureau. The citation was awarded by ACCORD in recognition of USAID's twenty year partnership with ACCORD in pursuance of ACCORD's mission "to encourage and promote the constructive resolution of disputes by the peoples of Africa and so assist in achieving political stability, economic recovery and peaceful co-existence within just and democratic societies".

ACCORD meets USAID Officials
L-R: Mr. Mike Curtis (Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa); H.E. Ambassador Welile Nhlapo; Mr. Earl Gast (Assistant Administrator for the Africa Bureau); Mr. Aziz Pahad; Mr. Vasu Gounden; Ms. Mikaela Meredith (Office Director, Office of Southern Africa Affairs); Ms. Sunitha Singh (General Manager: Administration and Finance, ACCORD); and Mr.Andy Karas (Acting Office Director, Office of Sustainable Development)

The awarding of the citation is part of ACCORD's twenty year celebrations that will culminate with the hosting of ACCORD's Africa Peace Award in the last quarter of 2012. The above ceremony formed part of ACCORD's United States (US) celebration of its twenty year anniversary, that included a function in Washington hosted by the South African Ambassador to the US, H.E. Ambassador Rasool, and a function held in New York, hosted by the South African Permanent Representative to the United Nations, H.E. Ambassador Sangqu, which brought together individuals that ACCORD has worked with over the last twenty years from USAID, the State Department and the United Nations, among others.

ACCORD delegation with H.E. Ambassador Sangqu and Embassy Staff
ACCORD delegation with H.E. Ambassador Sangqu and Embassy Staff

While in the US the ACCORD delegation, led by the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Mr. Vasu Gounden and which comprised of Mr. Aziz Pahad, the former South African Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and currently a Senior Political Advisor to ACCORD; H.E. Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, the South African Government's Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region and a Senior Political Advisor to ACCORD; Mr. Hayden Allen, General Manager: Corporate Affairs, ACCORD and Ms Sunitha Singh, General Manager: Finance and Administration, had a series of meetings in Washington and New York.

ACCORD with US delegation
L-R: Mr. Grant Harris (the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Staff) with the ACCORD delegation and H.E. Ambassador Rasool and NSS Directors for African Affairs Mr. Tyler Beckelman and Mr. Bob Leavitt.

In Washington meetings held included Grant Harris, the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Staff; H.E. Ambassador Johnnie Carson, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; H.E. Ambassador Princeton Lyman, the US Special Envoy for Sudan; as well as the Directors in the Bureau of African Affairs at the State Department focusing on Central, Eastern and Southern Africa. Meetings were also held with the World Bank and a variety of DC based Think Tanks such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies; the Atlantic Council; the Heritage Foundation; the International Crisis Group; and H.E. Ambassador Jendayi Frazer, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs based at the Centre for International Policy and Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University.

ACCORD with ambassadors
ACCORD delegation with South African embassy staff in New York

In New York the UNDP's Gender Team and Africa 1 Division of the DPA, in collaboration UNDP BCPR's Conflict Prevention and Recovery Team, hosted an inter-agency  Brown Bag lunch where Vasu Gounden made a presentation on "Twenty Years of Peacemaking in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities", which was also broadcast live via webcast to a broader based United Nations Staff audience and beyond.

ACCORD in US meetings
L-R (top) Mr. Vasu Gounden with Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi [Director, Democratic Governance Practice, Bureau for Development Policy (BDP)] and Mr. Sam Ibok (Director, Africa 1 Division of the DPA)

Separate meetings were also held with the Bureau for Development Policy, the Africa 1 Division of the DPA, and H. E. Ambassador Susan Rice, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations. The delegation also met with H.E. Ambassador Campbell at the Council on Foreign Relations.

ACCORD looks forward to an ongoing working relationship with its many colleagues in the US.