With the increasing complexity of conflicts, the changing role of the United Nations in the global mediation context, and the impact of authoritarian governments on women’s and human rights, mediation supporters face numerous and interlinked challenges affecting their field. At the same time, insider mediation practices, which rely on a mediator’s personal closeness to a conflict, increasingly present interesting avenues to engage in peacemaking and conflict prevention.
To address both these challenges and opportunities, Clingendael Academy partnered with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to organise a comprehensive training in The Hague in November. The course gathered 16 professionals from UNDP, UN Women, the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UN DPPA), and the UN Department of Peace Operations (UN DPO) involved in (insider) mediation programmes worldwide, aiming to facilitate knowledge sharing and enhance their mediation support capabilities.
The week-long programme focused on strategic discussions on mediation support, inter-agency cooperation, and inclusiveness in peace processes, while negotiation and mediation simulations provided a practical framework for real-world scenarios. Notably, the Strategic Choice Framework, a tool developed by Clingendael Academy for insider mediation initiatives, guided participants in structuring their projects from the ambition down to the daily work and identifying potential bottlenecks.
The training also served as a platform for networking and knowledge exchange, allowing participants to share best practices from their own work and seek advice on challenges. As these UN experts return to their roles, the impact of this training will hopefully resonate across their ongoing mediation projects, aligning with the UN's global mission of conflict resolution and peacebuilding.