Peace Mediation & Crisis Diplomacy in Action
On a yearly basis, the Federal Foreign Office designs and realizes its Network Consolidation Programme for International Diplomats in close cooperation with the Center for Peace Mediation.
The first part of the interactive seminar focuses on preconditions and pitfalls of successful mediation, offers practical mediation training and an interactive examination of conflict cases from all fields of international politics. A series of creative problem-solving formats build the second part of the workshop. Here, the participants explore new perspectives on the conflicts in their own regions in order to identify potential entry points for the future. The third part of the workshop takes place in a tailor-made 1-to-1 coaching format. It offers participants a safe and focused environment to reflect on how to apply insights and competences gained in the program in their own working context, and identify their own possible role in and contribution to future mediation initiatives in their region.
2-6 September, 2019: 9th Network Consolidation Program
Peace Mediation & Crisis Diplomacy in Action: Managing Difficult Decisions and Dilemmas in Societal Transitions
Over the last decade, in numerous countries and contexts, peace mediation has become an ever more important response to political crises. Preventing and de-escalating crisis and giving new, constructive dynamics to conflict processes through mediation poses distinct opportunities and challenges to third party actors as well as their institutions. Above all, mediating third parties and support infrastructures are well-advised to act on a solid normative and methodological basis as well as to coordinate their engagements carefully with the interventions of other intermediaries in a conflict system. Peace mediation can be conducted by specialized mediation experts, diplomats with support teams and various non-governmental actors with a wide range of functions and roles involved. Based as it is on principles such as inclusivity, consensus and local ownership, peace mediation – especially if put into the wider context of multitrack diplomacy – can be seen as one key method of translating the idea of inclusive peace into practice. As many other states and international and regionals organizations, Germany explicitly regards mediation as an integral part of its conflict prevention capacities and as an effective instrument for re-establishing and consolidating peace.
Peace mediation and crisis diplomacy are full of inherent dilemmas, particularly in societal transition periods: For instance, should mediators work with or within autocratic systems, even if this might (first) stabilize these systems? And should they import democratic mediation values through the backdoor or better adopt autocratic methods themselves because it’s the only language that is understood?Should mediators engage with “terrorists” who have the power to stop the violence, even if this indirectly endorses their violent tactics? Should they let radical religious leaders agree to peace at the cost of hard-earned gender equality? This year`s program will focus on dealing constructively with such dilemmatic questions where – even with the best of intentions – all available options to move towards peace seem to risk doing harm.
The 9th Network Consolidation Program, taking place in Berlin and Frankfurt (Oder) from September 2 – 6, 2019, will offer practical insight of into the different methods, models and concepts of peace mediation, putting special emphasis on managing the inherent dilemmas of this field. Participants will explore these methods, models and concepts in interactive problem-solving formats and simulated case sequences. Participants are explicitly asked to bring in difficult decisions and dilemmas they see in view of mediating conflicts in the context of political transitions, particularly in own (potential) activities. A coaching session will finally provide the rare opportunity to focus intensely on individual issues and activities of participants to translate the week’s discussions to the conflict system they are (potentially) involved in. The week will be realized in close cooperation between the German Federal Foreign Ministry, the Center for Peace Mediation at the European University Viadrina and mediation experts from Switzerland.