Last week Clingendael Academy brought together a group of insider mediators from across the globe. This two-week skills training was set up in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to further strengthen infrastructures for peace. After postponement of this training for two years due to COVID-19, we were thrilled to finally work with this group face-to-face.
Insider Mediators are mediators who are internal to the conflict and therefore, have thorough knowledge and understanding of the conflict dynamics at play. Nevertheless, this comes with several challenges. Handling trust, identity and impartiality can be more difficult, and they must find a balance between informal and formal processes whilst maintaining credibility.
Through interactive simulations, case studies and the use of a given toolbox the participants were able to acquire a better understanding of negotiation processes through the eyes of a mediator and reflect on their role as insider mediators back home. The training also provided the tools and opportunity for the participants to gain insights into their own mediation styles and as such allowing them to practice with their own competences and the application of instruments that could contribute towards reaching implementable peace agreements.