The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) hosted an African Dialogue Lecture, in partnership with the Finnish Embassy In South Africa and the SARCHI Chair For African Diplomacy And Foreign Policy at the University of Johannesburg on Friday 16 October 2015. The Keynote Speaker was Finnish former Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, and the Respondent was Former South African Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad. Ambassador Tuomoija presented on “Historians Without Borders” (HWB).
This exciting independent non-governmental organisation was established in June 2015. The initiative, with the support of former Minister Tuomioja, seeks to establish a network of historians from around the world which could work toward common goals and make a positive contribution toward the cause of peace mediation and conflict resolution. This stems from the Minister’s recognition of the critical role and place of history as a major factor in the maintenance and advancement of global peace, security and stability.
There are significant consequences and costs of historical abuse by politicians and policy-makers to maintain historical myths or stereotypical common perceptions of the ‘enemy’ in order to drive forward agendas. Historians could play a critical role in terms of working toward the convergence of understanding and historical narrative, that could be key toward advancement of conflict prevention, resolution and post-crisis management.