Clingendael Academy, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the South African Department for International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) have a strong relationship. During the last week of February, Clingendael Academy Director Ron Ton visited Pretoria, South Africa, to contribute to a three week programme for high level African Women Mediators.
Cooperation since the 90s
Clingendael Academy has a longstanding tradition of cooperation with Africa. In the early 1990s. Clingendael training staff supported South Africa in its peaceful transition of the diplomatic service by preparing the African National Congress (ANC) diplomats for their integration into the new Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since then, Clingendael Academy has been expanding its training activities into diplomatic training programmes, provided accross Africa.
Since 2013, Ron Ton annually delivers a three day seminar in conflict resolution negotiation techniques, focussing on strategies, personal skills development and practising in case studiess and simulations.
Other cooperation partners in the training activities on conflict resolution are the Centre for Mediation in Africa (CMA), ACCORD and the Mediation Support Unit of the UN.
Women in conflict resolution
One of the exercises analysed in particular how to promote the role of women in African conflict resolution and peace negotiations. Group responses included
- “It should be the mediators to demand inclusion of women in negotiation teams”,
- “Empowerment, mentoring programmes and training for more women negotiators”,
- “Have women involved from grass roots level to decision making level”
- “Awareness campaigns and publicity to attract national and international support”
Training in Madagascar
After finishing the training in Pretoria, Ron Ton continued to Madagascar to deliver negotiations and diplomatic training to 35 diplomats at their Ministru of Foreign Affairs in the capital of Antananarivo. The Netherlands and South African Ministries of Foreign Affairs supported the training mission. The skills training was warmly welcomed.
The training included:
- insights in concepts of negotiations and policy development
- how to prepare, execute and reflect on negotiations
- practical training on how to relate the national position to regional and multilateral fora.
Mr. Ron Ton had various meetings during the mission, amongst others with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Madagascar, Mrs. Beatrice Atallah (see photo), and the African Union representative to Madagascar, Mrs. Hawa Youssouf.
Participants to the training in Madagascar