In the context of the 20th anniversary of peace in South Africa, which coincides with the country's fifth multiparty elections, ACCORD invited aspiring young African leaders to the country as election observers to the elections taking place, additionally training these individuals in conflict management.
ACCORD's commitment to work with like-minded entities to contribute to the advancement of the practice of mediation was further illustrated when it hosted the 9th meeting of the Mediation Support Network (MSN). The MSN is a global network of primarily non-governmental organisations that support mediation in peace negotiations. The meeting took place in Durban, South Africa from 26-28 March 2014.
As South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy, it is timely to recall some of the individuals and initiatives that helped to prompt the end of apartheid. Professor H.W. van der Merwe, described by the media as the man "who brings South Africa's enemies together", facilitated the first clandestine meetings between the ANC in exile and supporters of the South African government, the famed 'Lusaka meetings'. These meetings were unprecedented, and prohibited within South Africa. Professor van der Merwe gathered academics including Willie Esterhuyse and Sampie Terreblanche to begin talking to the ANC in exile. This year also marks the 50thanniversary of the inception of H.W.'s academic career as a lecturer and senior lecturer at Rhodes University in Grahamstown in 1963. Most of H.W.'s career, however, was synonymous with the Centre for Inter Group Studies in Cape Town, what is today the Centre for Conflict Resolution at UCT.
Accelerating the implementation of Liberia's National Peace and Reconciliation Roadmap, and building the capacity of implementing partners, is critical to ensuring the sustainability peacebuilding programmes as donor funding elapses. In order to establish concrete next steps for the implementation of the Roadmap, ACCORD has partnered with the Liberian Peacebuilding Office to facilitate local actors in developing a Reconciliation Trust Fund and an associated mobilisation strategy.
The Training for Peace Program at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD), was requested by the Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) of the African Union (AU) in partnership with the British Peace Support Team (East Africa), to attend the Fourth Lessons Learned Conference to capture lessons from AMISOMs operations and understand the current threat and dynamics, as the basis for Pre-deployment Training within ongoing operations. Further, it provided the opportunity to understand areas of strength and weakness at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. The conference provided a platform for parties involved in AMISOM to share their experiences and lessons learnt for the common good, in order that it may inform and enhance the continued development of AMISOM Pre-deployment Training, as well as its Tactics, Techniques and Procedures, and thus contribute to AMISOM's continued operational success.
Entitled Creating an enabling peacebuilding environment: How can external actors contribute to resilience?, the latest Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) published by the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) focuses on how external peacebuilding actors can contribute to a country's self-sustainable resilience to tensions, external influences and shocks.
In line with its objective of providing training in the skills of negotiation, conflict prevention, resolution and management, ACCORD, in partnership with the African Union (AU) and the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), has hosted a capacity building workshop for experts and practitioners in mediation of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). The training workshop, which took place in Durban (South Africa) from 24-28 February 2014, aimed at enhancing the mediation skills of participants in general as well as providing a reflective environment for debating on the case of the Central African Republic (CAR).
The African Union Commission (AUC) convened a High- Level Retreat on 28-29 April 2014 in Durban, South Africa, on the theme Silencing Guns in Africa: Building a Roadmap to a Conflict-Free Continent, with the intention of exploring concrete options towards silencing guns in Africa. The overarching objective of the Retreat was to lay a foundation for the subsequent elaboration of a Roadmap towards a conflict-free Africa.
The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD has participated in the TfP Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja. The AGM's purpose is to highlight TfP's main achievements and developments in 2013, and present its work plans for implementation in 2014. The meeting also allowed for the sharing of feedback amongst the TfP partners on issues relating to reporting and planning templates, management cycle timelines, curriculum development, applied research and enhanced collaboration.
Over the past years, a series of international, regional and national peacebuilding related policy processes have been initiated by the international peacebuilding community, and together these initiatives have generated a common space where several layers of actors working with peacebuilding frameworks on an international, national, regional and local scale interact. However, with this has developed an increased complexity within the peacebuilding field, especially in relation with other processes such as development, statebuilding, preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping. ACCORD's African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme, funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, recently created a space which brought relevant peacebuilding actors together to discuss issues of complexity, coherence and coordination within the peacebuilding policy community by holding a two-day seminar entitled "Towards a More Coherent Peacebuilding Policy Community".
The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), in partnership with the Durban University of Technology (DUT) and the International Centre of Nonviolence (ICON) recently launched the Durban Leadership Initiative (DLI) in response to strong demands for greater participation and leadership by young people. The launch was held on February 22nd, 2014 at the DUT's Steve Biko Campus in Durban, South Africa.
- ACCORD support sustainability of peacebuilding projects in final African Peacebuilding Coordination Network Training in Juba
- ACCORD seminar focuses on alternate dispute resolution in run up to 4th International Africa Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference
- Application for International Training Programme on Peace and Security in Africa 2014 - 2015
- TfP ACCORD evaluates its Collaborative Conflict Management Training Package for UNMISS
- TfP/ACCORD conduct AMISOM Gender Mainstreaming Strategy Workshop for the development of mission-specific strategy with AU Commission
- TfP/ACCORD conduct AMISOM Protection of Civilians Strategy Implementation Plan Workshop in collaboration with AU Commission
- ACCORD participates in GPPAC International Steering Group meeting
- ACCORD publishes paper examining successes and challenge of South Africa's mediation efforts in Zimbabwe
- ACCORD Brief discusses how South Sudan can achieve reconciliation without regret
- ACCORD takes part in international conference on the legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
- ACCORD takes part in Africa Portal content partners' meeting
- Internal seminar examines challenges and prospects for state formation in post-secession Eritrea and South Sudan
- Internal seminar examines large-scale agricultural land deals in Africa through focus on Ethiopia
- ACCORD participates in IGAD Conference to Launch Gender Milestones
- ACCORD internal seminar examines anthropology of violence in Great Lakes region
- ACCORD participates in SADC Regional Consultation on Building National Peace Infrastructures
- ACCORD publishes Policy and Practice Brief for AU's Agenda 2063: From OAU to AU
- TfP attends African Peace Support Trainers' Association 11th Annual General Meeting
- TfP hosts Fourth Annual African Standby Force Civilian Focal Points Planning meeting
- ACCORD engages in Civilian Capacities Network meeting in Oslo