On behalf of the Clingendael Academy, Director Ron Ton delivered a training seminar in negotiation and mediation techniques to 30 high level African women mediators representing peace organisations, ministries, parliaments and the FemWise network of the African Union (AU).
The training seminar took place in Pretoria and was part of the longstanding strategic partnership with DIRCO, the South African Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the three day seminar the women mediators were trained on strategic tools, such as the PIN analysis (position-interest-needs analysis) and the four dimensional method applied to staying in control of the complexity of negotiations (content, process, behaviour and procedures).
Throughout the training, the participants were challenged to define the differences between facilitation, dialogue process, mediation and negotiation. In the various assignments, role plays and simulations, the obtained techniques were applied to realistic situations. For example in the context of pre talks: in deciding on inclusivity and managing local community conflict.
The seminar took note of actions to have more women represented in African mediation and conflict resolution by analysing root causes for underrepresentation of women in peace negotiation teams and addressing obstacles and plans of action. For example, during the seminar reference was made to the need of linking the databases of the AU and other regional organisations in Africa, promoting more training and experience activities for qualified women to play a role as mediator and actions in (social) media to provide better exposure to women in conflict resolution negotiations.
South Africa and the Clingendael Academy have been closely working together in the organisation of various mediation programmes in Africa since November 2013 and continue to do so in the future.