Regional organisations across the world are increasingly looking towards mediation as a tool for conflict resolution. But not all of them are suitably equipped to do so yet. In the cases that they are – both the conflicts as well as the political and institutional context of mediation efforts keep changing. So how can regional organisations best offer and support a mediation initiative? What are currently known best practices? And what (additional) capacity do they need in the long term? In the last months of 2019, Clingendael Institute brought together two groups from many different regional organisations to work on these questions.
In November, analysts and mediation officers from various organisations came together to strengthen their understanding of negotiation and mediation, compare best practices, and analyse three distinct, complex conflicts and possible dialogues and peacebuilding initiatives. What are the sources of each conflict? How do the parties relate to each other? How could a mediator intervene to start building trust? Participants then worked to develop concrete action plans for mediation (support) for each of these conflicts, from the perspective of the most relevant regional organisation(s).
In December, senior management from these organisations came together to consider their longer-term institutional capacity in order to offer and support such mediation efforts. Participants exchanged insights, identified challenges, and considered different solutions for mediation support. How to relate to and best support the mediator? How to connect track 1, high level political processes with social peace initiatives? How to work on frozen conflicts? and how to ensure rosters of available mediators are inclusive, representing the most skilled and capable mediators for a specific conflict?
Together with Academy Director Ron Ton and other experienced trainers, the participants built on insights in best practices, formulating a 'moonshot' vision for their organisation’s mediation capacity in 2025. Through identifying stakeholders, internal and external opportunities and threats and key factors in realising their ambitions, each organisation finished the course with a concrete action plan.
This will enable them to implement at least part of their moonshot in the coming years. Clingendael will continue its support to the further development of mediation support capacity for these organisations in 2020.