Between 30 March and 1 April 2022, Clingendael Academy had the honour to host the Annual Meeting of the Mediation Support Network (MSN) in the Hague and online. This global network consists of 25 primarily non-governmental organisations that support mediation in peace negotiations. It was extremely valuable for all members to interact with each other in person, learn from each other’s experiences, and explore avenues for strengthened collaboration in the field of mediation.
The meeting’s main focus was the nexus between mediation and diplomacy. Representatives of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs were present to share their views on and experiences with this topic. Delegates from the member organisations looked at opportunities and challenges for enhanced cooperation between the mediation and diplomatic field. They carried out a mapping exercise to render visible the global mediation field, and discussed professional experiences on bridging possible gaps.
Furthermore, MSN members discussed continued cooperation during the internal meeting, participated in a Clingendael negotiation skills training about inclusivity, and exchanged views on current challenges in the field of mediation.
We look back on a successful Annual Meeting, in which we were able to reconnect and strengthen our relationship with partner organisations. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions faced by some MSN-members, Clingendael organised this year’s meeting in a hybrid form to make it as inclusive as possible. In-person and online attendees were able to partake, interact and discuss in all sessions taking place at the Institute.
The programme moreover proved to be a stepping-stone for further discussions on mediation effectiveness and the nexus between the diplomatic and mediation field. Clingendael Academy, in collaboration with other MSN members, will publish a discussion note on this topic.