to give consent or agree to a demand, request, or the terms of a contract; to express approval; to assume an office or a title.
Accede isn't simply a synonym to agree. It implies that you've first expressed disagreement and you've been persuaded to yield to another party's wishes. Nowadays, nations around the world are intertwined due to global trade. You may see many examples of countries refusing to join conventions called to solve significant contemporary issues like global warming and cybercrime in the news. After resolving matters, international law and policy specialists use the term accede to announce the reaching of an agreement, the signing of a treaty, or the addition of a member to an organization.
You would probably find the other meaning of accede in articles discussing current issues in countries that are monarchies. For instance, after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they would not be returning as working members of the Royal Family and the news spread out worldwide, the question that arose was if the line of succession and the order of who will accede to the throne next would be rearranged.
Real-World Example of Accede
One year ago, the Council of Europe reported that Brazil was invited to accede to the Budapest Convention on Cyber Crime and that Brazil would be able to collaborate with 64 other countries after concluding its internal procedures.
On the other hand, Tunisia requested to accede to the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, known as Istanbul Convention, signed in 2011. The Council of Europe claims that the Convention is the most extensive international treaty to embark upon this human rights infringement. As a result, Tunisia and the Council of Europe have entered a Neighborhood Partnership.
In March this year, Malawi acceded to the New York Convention, which administers the acknowledgment of arbitral awards made in other countries. It was the 167th country to join. This step was defined by Rob Wilkins, an international arbitration specialist, as a "commitment to attract foreign investment."
History of Accede
Language specialists estimate that the term appeared in the Latin language in the early 15th century, and it meant to approach, come near, or enter upon. Middle English borrowed the verb with the meaning to come near or become adapted to. Accede was widely employed in the 18th century. Afterward, its usage gradually decreased. However, the term is well established in other languages like Italian and Spanish, and readers or viewers can often find it in the news on a variety of subjects like politics and sports.
Accede vs. Concede
You may think that both verbs entail surrendering, and essentially both verbs come from the Latin cedere, which, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, means to go away or yield. However, in the term concede, there's an element of defeat, while accede suggests embracing the situation. It is possible to concede without acceding when you reluctantly agree to a solution to a problem. Concede came into English two centuries later than accede, which may be why it is much more common today.