Training for ASEAN women mediators successfully completed
02 Sep 2016 - 15:55
Source: ASEAN Women Mediators visiting the Permanent Court of Arbitration

As part of the "Negotiation Training as a Conflict Resolution Instrument", Clingendael designed a new training exclusively for women mediators from ASEAN.

Negotiation skills for mediators

Training mediators starts with enhancing knowledge and skills in negotiation. Skilled mediators can facilitate a process through which the conflicting parties can work towards a sustainable outcome based on their interests.

The training looked into several important questions:

  • What drives the negotiator?
  • Who are the negotiators representing?
  • What are the mandates of the parties at the table?
  • What pressures are the negotiators experiencing?
  • What are the group dynamics at the table?
  • What role does the mediator play? and
  • What support could be given to the mediator from the regional level?

Mediators need to understand negotiations

By having a better understanding of negotiation processes and tactics and the procedures of mediation processes, ASEAN Women Mediators will be enabled to facilitate negotiation processes between conflicting parties. Even more than the negotiators themselves, mediators need to understand what is going on at the negotiation table. Participants have been prepared to better recognise and respond to negotiation strategies, conflict behavior at the table, and psychological processes of the parties.

Clingendael supports ASEAN mediation capacity-building

As a part of the training Clingendael Academy also supports ASEAN in the further development of a regional mediation support structure.

What is Mediation Support Unit design? How to deal with harmonisation issues between the regional (ASEAN) and national level? What standards should be installed to start a mediation support procedure? And how to integrate gender and the role of women in its policies?

Throughout the training, participants prepared and developed their own ideas for development of an ASEAN mediation support capacity. Mediation experts from the European MSU virtually joined these discussions by sharing their experiences with institutionalising the MSU under the European External Action Service since 2011.

Women mediators

During the week, Clingendael trainers and participants discussed lessons and practical experiences of being a female mediator. Although not always made explicit by the negotiating parties, women mediators may be faced with resistance to be accepted in their role.

Building rapport with the group and clarifying the mediator's mandate helps to remain in control of the negotiation process. This process may take a long time, but it is a necessity for effective mediation further in the process.

Negotiation as a conflict resolution instrument

Since December 2014, Clingendael Academy, in cooperation with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, started the multi-annual training facility “Negotiation Training as a Conflict Resolution Instrument”.

These trainings target groups of mediators as well as representatives of groups in conflict across different countries, aiming to enhance their negotiation and mediation capacities.

Other trainings that have taken place in the past year are ECOWAS and African Union Mediators,  Negotiation Training for the Technical Gender Committee of Cyprus and African Women Mediators.

New collaboration

Please do not hesitate to contact the course coordinators in case you wish to discuss ways of collaboration in setting up negotiation training for conflict resolution.