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  • Author: Seema Shekhawat
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Two decades ago, history was made as far as gender security is concerned. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) led a revolutionary policy change by passing Resolution 1325 – also known as the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda – on 31 October 2000. The resolution marked the United Nations’ (UN) full-fledged attention to gendered aspects of peace and conflict. This was revolutionary: advocacy for placing women at the centre of peace processes – not merely as victims, but as peacebuilders. The resolution called for the full participation of women in all efforts towards conflict prevention, resolution, peacemaking and post-conflict reconstruction. This resolution is considered a crucial international document for advocating gender equality in all processes of peacebuilding, both during conflict and post-conflict.[1] It brought into focus the official endorsement of the involvement of women in formal peace processes.[2] This article[3] argues that since we recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of UNSC Resolution 1325 in Africa, and elsewhere, a reality check is in order.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Gender Issues, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Feminism, Equality
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Maryline Njoroge
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Since International Youth Day was celebrated on 12 August 2020, it is a good time to take stock of the youth and their role in peacebuilding and peace processes in Africa. With the youth, peace and security agenda gaining ground in recent years, this is an opportune time for youth-focused organisations to strengthen their work on youth and peacebuilding, while contributing to the ongoing discourse. The youth, peace and security agenda is currently backed by three United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions adopted between 2015 and 2020, namely UNSC Resolutions 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020). Among other priorities, the resolutions emphasise the importance of youth as agents of change in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security;[1] reiterate the need for stakeholders to take young people’s views into account and facilitate their equal and full participation in peace and decision-making processes at all levels; and recognise the positive role young people can play in negotiating and implementing peace agreements and in preventing and resolving conflict.[2] The third resolution, adopted in July 2020, also establishes a regular biennial reporting requirement on youth, peace and security by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, which is a great step forward in mainstreaming the youth, peace and security agenda into the work of the UN – especially since youth engagement in peacebuilding and peace processes is ad hoc and intermittent. The reporting requirement will therefore provide a snapshot of ongoing processes and how engagement can be enhanced and deepened in future processes.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Youth, Peace, Participation
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The 2020 United Nations (UN) peacebuilding review takes stock of the progress made over the first 15 years of the UN’s Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA). ACCORD consulted a number of stakeholders in Africa on their experiences to date with the PBA between March and May 2020, culminating in a virtual webinar consultation that took place on 10 June 2020 in partnership with the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the African Union (AU) Commission. The 2020 UN peacebuilding review has a special interest on the impact of peacebuilding efforts at the field level. In this regard, ACCORD decided that the theme for its African Regional Consultation will be “Sustaining Peace in Africa: Local Capacities for Peace”. Inputs received for the African Consultation show that despite policy commitments to local ownership and investments in local and national capacities for peace, the funding, coordination, planning, and the state-centric decision-making structures still favour UN agencies, international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and national authorities. Local peacebuilders are not sufficiently involved in the identification of needs, the framing of the issues or the design of the programmes and results frameworks. The majority of those who were consulted for this report had little knowledge of the Sustaining Peace concept. Those who are more familiar with the concept feel that the degree to which it emphasizes local and national ownership, early preventative action, and system-wide cooperation, collaboration, and coherence is exemplary. However, they felt its implementation strategies or mechanisms were weak.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, African Union
  • Author: Aya Chebbi, Helen Kezie-Nwoha, Verlaine-Dian Soobroydoo, Natasha Mutuwa, Pravina Makan-Lakha, Sibusisiwe Nkos
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: 2020 is a momentous year for gender equality. It marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), and the conclusion to the African Women’s Decade. These celebrations offer an important opportunity to take stock of what has been accomplished over the last two decades and assess the challenges that continue to persist. The outbreak of corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic and the measures put in place to curb its spread have quelled a host of opportunities for reflections, assessments and setting new strategic priorities for the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda. Consequently, concerns have emerged over lost momentum that jeopardizes the gains that have been made over the past two decades in securing women’s empowerment in the field of peace and security. Therefore, it is imperative that conversations among policymakers, practitioners and academics who support women’s leadership and strengthening efforts to empower and protect traditionally marginalized and vulnerable groups continue. At the same time, the youth of Africa have also been fighting to be recognized as agents of peace in their communities. 2020 marks the 5th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (UNSCR 2250) on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) which formally affirmed the important role youth play in maintaining and promoting peace and security. This has clearly been shown during the COVID-19 pandemic as youth are mobilizing in creative ways to support their communities combat the spread of the coronavirus. Yet, their voices continue to be on the margins of decision-making processes.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, United Nations, Women, Youth, Peace, COVID-19, WPS
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Daniel Forti, Priyal Singh
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The strategic partnership between the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), the two principal international organisations tasked with addressing peace and security challenges on the African continent, remains a priority for both organisations. The organisations and their member states have worked in tandem since the AU’s creation in 2002 and the subsequent establishment of the AU’s Peace and Security Council (AUPSC). During this time, the partnership has focused primarily on joint conflict resolution and crisis management efforts.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa