Insider mediators and inclusive negotiations
10 Apr 2017 - 14:33
Bron: Clingendael Academy

From 20-31 March 2017, 15 insider mediators from 12 different countries participated in the 3rd  edition of the training on "Negotiation and Mediation as a Conflict Resolution Instrument". Emphasis was placed on negotiation skills, trust building and inclusive peace processes.

What is meant by an insider mediator?

Insider mediators, as defined by the UNDP, assist negotiations between two or more parties to help prevent or resolve conflicts. What distinguishes insider mediators, is that they are credible figures, groups or institutions internal to a conflict.

Why train mediators in negotiation skills?

Insider mediators know the culture, know the causes and roots of the conflicts and are present to react quickly if necessary. However, despite the obvious benefits of working with insider mediators, they do lack the training and resources to live up to their full potential.

It is important to train mediators in negotiation skills, as mediation is a facilitation of a negotiation process. Skilled mediators can facilitate a process through which the conflicting parties can work towards a sustainable outcome based on their interests.

Who to include in the process?

One of such conscious decisions is how to deal with the inclusion of diverse actors and topics in peace processes. This is important for two reasons;

  1. exclusion is one of the principal reasons why groups resort to violence after signing a peace agreement, and;
  2. research from the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative shows that peace processes with inclusion of more actors alongside the main parties can lead to a higher rate of sustaining peace agreement, upon the condition that they can exert meaningful influence.

For these reasons our training discussed questions such as when, how and under what conditions should the mediator start an inclusive negotiation process?

How to train Insider Mediators?

Clingendael Academy in partnership with the UNDP have set up a training for this specific group of insider mediators. The program provides a toolkit for insider mediators; a group of mediators which comes with their own training needs, wishes and challenges. With this training they are supported to make conscious choices in mediation processes, to avoid pitfalls of the inexperienced negotiator or mediator, all to enlarge the possibility of durable peace.

The training takes place in support of the larger project of UNDP to support and promote insider mediation. In addition to this two week programme in The Hague, Clingendael staff conduct training missions on location, for example in the Philippines supporting Bangsamoro mediators to ease tensions between different factions while in a larger peace process with the government.

This training falls under the “Negotiation and Mediation as an Instrument for Conflict Resolution” training facility, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Do not hesitate to contact us in case you would like to know more.