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The ACCORD Peacebuilding Architecture Review Blog

With it now being 10 years since the establishment of the Peacebuilding Architecture, a second review has started. This review presents the international community with a unique opportunity to set the agenda for the UN's peace and development agenda and provide input into the type of architecture they would see as effective. With South Africa now holding a position of the Peacebuilding Commission's organisational committee as well as the Chair of the African Union Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development Committee on South Sudan, South Africa has pledged to support the work of the PBC and the successful implementation of the recommendations of the review. ACCORD, as an African based civil society organisation, has taken the initiative to start this blog which will reflect on the UN's intervention in Africa: challenges and success stories.

This blog will run from the beginning of April until the end of June 2015, with two pieces per month looking at issues relating to peacebuilding. The idea is to raise the African voice to the United Nations and ensure that the Advisory Group on the Peacebuilding Architecture Review hears these views.

Each post will be posted and comments, opinion and feedback will be open to the public to provide. There are rules of conduct for this blog, so please be aware of those. Any inappropriate feedback will be removed.

Some posts will have two opinions either in support or contrast to one another and this will allow for a debate to generate.

At the end of July, a synthesized report from all submissions will submitted to the Advisory Group on the Peacebuilding Architecture Review as part of an official submission to be considered by the panel.

Peacebuilding Multimedia

The African Peacebuilding Coordination Network Training Programme

The APCN training programme consists of three trainings in 2013- one in Liberia, Burundi and South Sudan. This network was made up of 18 participants from Burundi, DRC, Liberia and South Sudan. The participants were from CSOs, Academica and Government in the countries mentioned above. The programme focused on the development of peacebuilding planning skills and projects.

South Sudan

This is a video of the closing of the third training in the programme, held in Juba, South Sudan.

DRC

Burundi


Peacebuilding Seminar: Towards a more coherent peacebuilding policy community

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". This seminar was held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 19-20 February 2014. This seminar was attended by 50 participants from across the globe from Inter-Governmental Organisations, International NGOs and Civil Society Organisations, Think Tanks, Local NGOs and Civil Society Organisations as well as African and local partners. Participants included Ms. Sarah Cliffe (Assistant Secretary General for Civilian Capacity at the United Nations), Dr Khabela Matlosa (Director of Political Affairs at the African Union), Mr. Takwa Suifon (Expert on PCRD at the African Union) and Dr. Henk- Jan Brinkman (Chief of the Policy Planning and Application Branch of the United Nations), amongst others.

Opening Session Mr. Vasu Gounden - Executive Director, ACCORD

This is the opening session of the Peacebuilding Seminar: Towards a More Coherence Peacebuilding Policy Community held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 19-20 February 2014.

Session 1

Peacebuilding Coherence Dilemma Cooperation, Coexistence or Competition

This session set the tone for the workshop with opening remarks by Dr. Cedric de Coning: Advisor to the Peacebuilding Unit, ACCORD, who unpacked what we meant by Coherence and Coordination and what this workshop aimed to achieve.

Session 2

Opportunities to Overcome the Peacebuilding Coherence Dilemma: Speaker 1: Dr. Henk-Jan Brinkman

Session two looked at perspectives of coherence and coordination dilemmas within the international community. Dr. Henk-Jan Brinkman, Chief Policy Planning and Application Branch, UN Peacebuilding Support Office, reflected on the perspective of the UN Peacebuilding Planning Office about examples of how you the Dialogue has tried to overcome the challenges posed by coherence and coordination within the peacebuilding context.

Opportunities to Overcome the Peacebuilding Coherence Dilemma: Discussant: Dr. Erin McCandless

Session two looked at perspectives of coherence and coordination dilemmas within the international community. Dr. Erin McCandless Chief Editor, Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, was the discussant for the session providing to provide some critical analysis of the "ideas" presented as well as to highlighting some common themes. We would like you to provide new ideas, to comment on the topic, and to share your own thoughts on how to encourage coherence and coordination among the international and local players involved in peacebuilding policy processes.

Session 3

Regional and local Approaches to Peacebuilding Coordination

This session looked at regional aspects of coherence and coordination focusing on the UN, g7+ and perspectives from African civil society.

Speaker:

  • Dr. Samuel Doe: Policy Advisor & Team Leader, UNDP's Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR)
  • Dr. Helder de Costa: General Secretary of the g7+ Secetariat
  • Dr. Tim Murithi: Head of Justice and Reconciliation in Africa Programme, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
  • Mr Prosper Addo, the Senior Political/Humanitarian Affairs Officer in the African Union (AU) Liaison Office in Monrovia, Liberia, presenting on behalf of the Director of Political Affairs of the African Union, Dr. Khabele Matlosa.

Disscussant:

  • Ms. Oury Traore: Executive Director of the Partners for Democratic Change - West Africa

Session 4

Reflections on Coherence and Cooperation from Academia

This session looked at the theory behind coherence and coordination and raised many interesting and challenging perspectives on if more coherence is even what we need in the international peacebuilding community.

Speaker:

  • Prof. Roland Paris: Director of the Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS), University Research Chair in international Security and Governance, University of Ottawa
  • Ms. Frauke de Weijer: Policy Officer, European Centre for Development Policy Management

Facilitator:

  • Dr. Cedric de Coning: Advisor to the Peacebuilding Unit, ACCORD

Session 5

Peacebuilding Coherence Experiences at Country level

This session looked at Liberia and South Sudan - the focus countries of the ACCORD Peacebuilding Unit - and the perspectives of local approaches to peacebuilding being used in those countries.

Speakers:

  • Mr. Tobias Okori Atari: Director General of the South Sudan Peace Commission, South Sudan
  • Dr. Sirisio Oromo: Centre for Peace and Development Studies, University of Juba, South Sudan
  • Mr. Roosevelt Woods: Executive Director, Foundation for International Dignity (FIND), Liberia
  • Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu: Director, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Cuttington University, Liberia

Discussant:

  • Dr. William Tsuma: Dialogue Advisor, UNDP Zimbabwe

Facilitator:

  • Mr. Gustavo de Carvalho: Coordinator of the Peacebuilding Unit, ACCORD

Session 6

Principles for Coherence and Coordination

During session 6, the participants were divided into groups and asked to come up with five principles for better coherence within the peacebuilding environment. This is the feedback from the groups about the principles.

Judy Cheng-Hopkins Coherence and Coordination

Session 7

The way forward - Principles for Coherence: Dr. Takwa Zebulon Suifon

In this session, Dr. Takwa Zebulon Suifon: Expert in Peacebuilding at the Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) Unit of the Conflict Management Division (CMD), Peace and Security Department (PSD) at the African Union Commission, reflected on the workshop and, using his experiences with the African Union, looked at ideas on how to improve coherence and coordination in the future; establish almost a set of principles for future, improved coherence and coordination and identify opportunities to take us forward.

The way forward - Principles for Coherence: Ms. Sarah Cliffe

In this session, Ms. Sarah Cliffe, Special Adviser and Assistant Secretary-General for Civilian Capacities, reflected on the workshop as a whole and used her background with the World Bank and the Civilian Capacity initiative to look at ideas on how to improve coherence and coordination in the future; establish almost a set of principles for future, improved coherence and coordination and identify opportunities to take us forward.

The way forward - Principles for Coherence; Questions and Answers

This is the question and answer session for Ms. Sarah Cliffe and Dr. Takwa Zebulon Suifon reflecting on the way forward for better coherence and coordination in peacebuilding.

Closing of the Seminar

Ambassador Welile Nhlapo

Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, Senior Adviser to ACCORD, closed the seminar by reflection and summing up what the entire workshop has meant for the continent and the field of peacebuilding.

Somalia Initiative

ACCORD's engagement with Somalia started in 1995 at the early start of destabilising effect of lacking a central government. Through the Somalia Initiative the organisation deployed a presence in the country in February 2013 to initiate its contribution to the country's reconstruction.

The Federal Government of Somalia is a culmination of many years of effort by Somalis and international community to find a solution towards stabilising the country. The new government faces a number of challenges including facilitating and environment of: safety, reconciliation, economic recovery, governance, rule of law and friendly regional relations. These challenges are underpinned in the government's Six Pillar Policy on reconstruction. The SI intends to make contributions in these areas by leveraging ACCORD's two decades of experience in institution building and capacity building.

Over the years ACCORD has built solid relationships with Somali interlocutors at various levels of engagement in the peace processes that sought to stabilise the country. Through consultations, field missions, publications, study tours, facilitated dialogue session and support to international response the organisation has developed a unique understanding of issues, processes and peace initiatives.

The Somalia Initiative brings to bear ACCORD's expertise in: peace-making, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The initiative will use the presence in Somalia to ensure on-going engagement with Somali interlocutors and role players. Through partnerships and collaboration the initiative will undertake continuous research activities, support policy development, advocate for dialogue and problem solving as well as contribute in capacity building.

Through engagement with government and civil society the Somalia Initiative is focusing on: contributing in capacity building, providing technical assistance and project management.

  • Contributions in capacity building are inclusive of activities aimed at building the institutional capacity of government functionaries dealing with the reconstruction of Somalia. Capacity building also focusses on supporting efforts of civil society and other engaged role players.
  • Technical assistance refers to ACCORD providing specialised expertise in initiating and supporting comprehensive and sustainable governance: strategy, policy and processes development.
  • Project management interventions are ACCORD's efforts to source resources to undertake quick impact projects that support reconstruction. Project management of such projects is anchored on supporting local ownership through partnerships and collaboration.

The ACCORD presence in Mogadishu facilitates building of relationships with Somali stake holders and role players. This places the organisation in a position to make informed decisions regarding partnerships, initiatives and support interventions. The Somalia Initiative places high importance in working with and through local role players in partnership with international initiatives in determining the content, direction and pace of its contributions to the reconstruction in Somalia.

An Introduction to ACCORD

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) is a non-governmental conflict management institution based in Durban, South Africa. ACCORD was established in 1992 to impact on the process of negotiation and conflict resolution in South Africa. The Institution's focus has since broadened to include the whole of the African continent, and its activities stretch from the SADC in the South, through the Great Lakes region to West Africa and the Horn of Africa in the north-east. ACCORD strives to offer innovative and effective African solutions to African challenges. Through its work over the last twenty one years ACCORD has developed a comprehensive peace model, officially recognized by the United Nations in 1996 as a viable model for Africa.

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