Last week, Clingendael Academy facilitated a pilot training in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar is host to one of the longest internal conflicts in the world. The conflict has eroded trust at many different levels: between parties, between communities, and in general, people have weak trust and do not feel represented in formal political processes.
On 15th October 2015, the Government of Myanmar and eight different armed groups signed a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. This signaled the start of a new effort for political dialogue to end the country’s armed conflict.
With the ceasefire agreement, the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee (JMC) was established as one of the key instrument to implement provisions of the agreement. The JMC comprises of:
- Tatmadaw (armed forces);
- Signatories to the peace agreement (armed groups);
- Civilian representatives.
Clingendael trained the members of the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee with the aim of strengthening their negotiation and mediation skills and enhancing their understanding of "Insider Mediation". Insider mediators need to be able to strategically prepare for negotiations, deal with trust issues, questions of identity and relationship building issues, handle passive and/or active resistance and design an effective and manageable process. At the end of the training the participants showed being able to work together throughout their differences and to apply their role of the Insider Mediator in a impartial way.
The training was jointly organised by Clingendael and the UNDP under the auspices of the JMC in Myanmar. This cooperation will continue in 2018.