Third High-Level Seminar, Helsinki, 13-15 May 2014
Fourth High-Level Seminar, Oslo, 18-20 November 2014
Fifth High-Level Seminar, Oslo, 24-26 March 2015
Sixth High-Level Seminar, Helsinki, 19-21 May 2015
The second series of seminars started in 2016 with the Seventh High-Level Seminar held in Oslo on 11–13 October 2016.
The Eighth High-Level Seminar will be held in Helsinki in 2017.
14 October 2015: Together with CMI, UN DPA and the governments of Finland and Norway, PRIO co-organized a panel discussion on Gender and Inclusive Mediation at the UN. Panelists, which included seminar alumni Lisa Buttenheim and Monica McWilliams, discussed the important role of the seminar series and lessons learned. The panel event was one of several events marking the 15th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. It is available to watch online here.
27 March 2017: UN DPA has launched a Guidance on Gender and Inclusive Mediation
Strategies, which "draws on
the seminar materials and guidance notes and feedback provided by seminar
participants and senior mediation experts, including UN envoys and members of
the UN Standby Team of mediation advisers". The Guidance is available on the UN Peacemaker website here (pdf).
Promoting women’s effective participation in conflict mediation and addressing their specific needs in peacemaking efforts is a high priority for the United Nations and Member States since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security. However, in spite of many global and regional commitments and initiatives, the number of women and gender experts involved in formal peacemaking processes remains rather low, and few peace agreements include gender-relevant provisions or harness the resources women may contribute to reach more sustainable peace.
The overall objective of the High-level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Processes for envoys, mediators and senior mediation experts, is therefore to generate more consultative processes by promoting women’s effective participation and building inclusive, gender-sensitive mediation capacity at international, regional and national levels. The Seminar will introduce practical "how-to" strategies and tools for more inclusive peace process design, as well as options for gender–relevant provisions, including specific language, for the key thematic areas of peace agreements.
Inclusive mediation rests on the assumption that building a sustainable peace would require an integration of societal perspectives – those of conflicting parties and other stakeholders – and its design includes multiple entry points and diverse mechanisms for participation. An inclusive mediation process, however, does not imply that all stakeholders can participate directly in the formal negotiations, but it can facilitate a structured interaction between the conflict parties and other stakeholders to include all perspectives in the process.
The High-level Seminar is rooted in the premise that women living a conflict have strategic knowledge and networks to contribute to its resolution and can be actors in implementing sustainable peace. Gender dynamics thus create unique opportunities and challenges for peacemaking and need to be understood, analyzed, and used for strategic advantage. As inclusivity may increase opportunities for reaching sustainable agreements, more systematic consultation of and outreach towards women across societies would assist mediators in their jobs.
The seminar is designed to:
- Increase participants’ awareness of the roles women may play in resolving and sustaining peace;
- Deal with dilemmas of inclusivity and efficiency in mediation; e.g. how opportunities for women’s participation in mediated processes are affected by culture and local traditions;
- Apply the UN’s normative women, peace and security frameworks as leverage for mediators; High-Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Processes
- Offer practical strategies and tools for conflict assessment and process design to expand participation and opportunities for women and civil society; and for including women more systematically in implementation bodies; and
- Provide specific information, advice, and language on gender-relevant components of substantive issues, including on conflict-related sexual violence, in ceasefire- and peace agreements.
For questions, please contact Julie M. Hansen: