United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women

Training Course on Conflict Management for Women
"Enhancing Women's Capacity to Negotiate and Mediate"

(Kigali, Rwanda, 15 – 19 September 2003)


A. Introduction

The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in close collaboration with the Centre for Conflict Resolution of the University of Cape Town, will organize a training workshop on conflict management for women from 15 – 19 September 2003 in Kigali, Rwanda, to follow up on some of the recommendations arising from the sub-regional consultation meeting on enhancing women's participation in peace-building held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 23 to 25 April 2001. The training will be conducted by the Centre for Conflict Resolution.

The training workshop is an essential part of the project, entitled "Activities for the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action", funded under the Development Dividend.

B. Background

The International Decade for Women identified three themes for the advancement of women, namely, equality, peace, and development. During the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, these themes were reaffirmed in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Women and armed conflict was identified as one of the 12 critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action. In order to achieve these goals, Governments made commitments to implement the Beijing Platform for Action to ensure that gender perspectives are reflected in all policies and programmes, and urged full commitment to implement the Platform for Action by the UN system, regional and international financial institutions, other relevant regional and international institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations, and all sectors of civil society.

The five-year review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, which took place in June 2000, indicated that while there was some positive progress made, further efforts were urged to accelerate the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. Prior to this five-year review, the Commission on the Status of Women, in its agreed conclusions on women and armed conflict at its forty-second session (March 1998), proposed various steps to accelerate implementation of the strategic objectives in this area, taking into account the Commission's conclusions on human rights of women, violence against women and the girl child. Actions were proposed to be taken in the following areas: 1) ensuring gender-sensitive justice; 2) addressing specific needs of women affected by armed conflict; 3) increasing the participation of women in peacekeeping, peace-building, pre- and post-conflict decision-making, conflict prevention, post-conflict resolution and reconstruction; 4) preventing conflict and promoting a culture of peace; and 5) taking disarmament measures, including prohibiting illicit traffic, trade and transfer of small arms, and eliminating anti-personal landmines.

C. Context

Under the theme "Women Uniting for Peace," on International Women's Day in 2000, UN entities emphasised the importance of women's involvement in peace activities. The President of the Security Council on behalf of the Security Council stressed the need for adequate representation of women at all decision-making levels with regard to conflict resolution, conflict management, post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction.

Recognizing the importance of the issue of women and armed conflict, the President of the Security Council (Namibia) organized an open discussion on the topic "Women, Peace and Security" in the Security Council on 24 and 25 October 2000. At the discussion, the Secretary-General, members and non members of the Security Council underlined the importance of protecting women in armed conflict as well as ensuring that women participate in the all stages of peace process. In addition, the Security Council reaffirmed, "the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building", and stressed "the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security".

Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security adopted in October 2000, reiterated the importance of bringing gender perspectives to the centre of attention in all United Nations peace-making, peace-building, peace-keeping, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. The resolution provided a number of important operational mandates, with implications for both individual Member States and the United Nations system, which included:

  • Increase representation of women in decision-making for the prevention, management and resolution of conflict and peace processes (paras 1 and 2);
  • Increase appointment of women as special representatives and envoys (para 3);
  • Provide training guidelines and materials on the rights and needs of women to Member States and incorporate gender perspectives into national training programmes (para 6) and increase voluntary financial, technical and logistical support from Member States for gender-sensitive training efforts (para 7);
  • Adopt a gender perspective in negotiation and implementation of peace agreements, including attention to the special needs of women and girls; support local women's peace initiatives; and ensure protection and respect for the human rights of women and girls (para 8);
  • Ensure respect for international law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls (para 9);
  • Adopt special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence (para 10);
  • Ensure that Security Council missions take gender considerations and rights of women into account, including through consultation with local and international women's groups (para 15).

On 8 March 2001, the issue of women and peace was, once again, selected as a central theme for International Women's Day. During a panel discussion moderated by Ms King, Special Advisor on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, the Deputy Secretary-General Mrs. Louise Fréchette stated that women can be a powerful force for peace and reconciliation and must be more effectively integrated in the peace process. The President of the Security Council stressed the need for full implementation of the Security Council resolution 1325 by all stakeholders. He urged all relevant United Nations agencies and bodies to take into account this resolution in their respective areas of work. The President of the General Assembly stressed the need to promote equal participation of women in all forums and peace activities at all levels, particularly at the decision-making level, and to integrate a gender perspective in conflict resolution.

An Inter-agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security was established to address the role of women in peacemaking, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and other activities. Requested under paragraph 16 of Security Council resolution 1325, the Secretary-General's study and report on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls was prepared within the framework of the Task Force and coordinated by the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women. In its forward, the Secretary-General stated, "Efforts to resolve these conflicts and address their root causes will not succeed unless we empower all those who have suffered from them - - including and especially women. Only if women play a full and equal part can we build the foundations for enduring peace - - development, good governance, human rights and justice."

Based on the findings of the study, the Secretary-General submitted a report on women, peace and security to the Security Council during the open debate on 28 and 29 October 2002. On 31 October 2002, the second anniversary of resolution 1325, the President of the Security Council issued a statement following the open debate. The Presidential Statement reaffirmed the Council's commitment to the full implementation of resolution 1325. It urged the Secretary-General to increase the number of women serving as special representatives or special envoys and to ensure that all reports on peacekeeping missions to the Council systematically address gender perspectives. The Council encouraged the Member States and the Secretary-General to establish regular contacts with local women's groups and networks and to ensure that such are actively involved in reconstruction processes, particularly at decision-making levels. The Security Council requested a follow-up report on the implementation of resolution 1325 in 2004.

Project Activities

The three-year project entitled "Activities for the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action" was approved under the Development Account, and is being implemented by the Division for the Advancement of Women. The overall objectives of the project are to strengthen the capacity of national, regional and sub-regional mechanisms and institutions for the advancement of women, to collect, analyze and apply knowledge, information, and expertise to policy development. Emphasis is placed on supporting the increased role of women in leadership and decision-making, in particular during the peace-building process.

  1. Consultation Meeting on "Enhancing Women's Participation in Peace-Building", Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, April 2001
    The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) organised a consultation meeting on "Enhancing Women's Participation in Peace-building" in Addis Ababa in April 2001 in close collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Women Committee on Peace and Development (AWCPD). This aimed to: (1) review current initiatives in relation to women and peace-building to identify strengths and weaknesses; and (2) identify capacity building needs for women to enhance their contribution to the peace process.

    The consultation identified the following capacity building needs:

    1. to launch and support a women's peace network in the Great Lakes Region;
    2. to train women in political skills, including communication, mediation, and negotiation skills;
    3. to train trainers in conflict resolution and in assisting women in exercising their human rights;
    4. to build support for alliances with and between grassroots, national, regional and international women's groups;
    5. to support training in stress and trauma healing and counseling;
    6. to train NGOs in early warning methods.
  2. Training workshop on Conflict Management for Women, Cape Town, South Africa, October 2001
    In order to address some of these capacity building needs identified in the consultation meeting, DAW organised, under the same project, a training workshop on "Conflict Management for Women" in close collaboration with the Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR) of the University of Cape Town in October 2001 This training specifically aimed to create a learning situation to enable women participants to: 1) apply theory and tools to analyse conflicts; 2) critically compare and use various negotiation styles; 3) understand mediation approaches, process and challenges through case studies; 4) apply their understanding in simulation exercises; 5) identify and draw key lessons for facilitating intra-state or national peace processes; and 6) learn lobbying and advocacy.
  3. Advanced training workshop on Conflict Management for Women, Conakry, Guinea, October 2002
    To follow up the training workshop held in Cape Town, DAW, in collaboration with CCR and the Mano River Women Peace Network, organized an advanced course for those who completed the 5-day basic conflict resolution training. In addition, several participants who have already been involved in negotiation and mediation in conflict situations in the Mano River region were invited to the workshop. The workshop aimed to further strengthen knowledge, understanding and skills aquired at the basic training through role-plays and simulations based on generic conflicts.

D. Objectives and Format of the Training Workshop

The objective of the workshop is to enhance the capacity of senior women government officials and NGO leadership in more effective conflict management, including preventing conflicts from escalating into crises. The achievement of this objective will complement UN efforts to support cooperative regional security.

The workshop aims to strengthen knowledge, understanding and practical skills in the following areas:

  1. Identifying, designing and applying mediation processes in conflict situations;
  2. Developing communication skills for negotiation and mediation;
  3. Creatively handling emotions, issues and interests of parties through skills development and understanding of mediation processes;
  4. Developing skills and knowledge of mediation through participation in role-plays, simulations and a variety of exercises;
  5. Critically assessing and identifying the appropriate use of mediation in different contexts.

This workshop will be conduced through an interactive training format. Each participant will have the chance to mediate and negotiate followed by an in depth debriefing session. The emphasis is on utilizing the processes of mediation and interest-based negotiation in an effort to hone skills and evaluate processes for conflict resolution. Role-plays and simulations will highlight the challenges government officials and politicians face in their daily work.

E. Expected Outputs

The expected outputs include the following:

  • Improved capacity of senior government officials and NGO leadership in applying mediation processes in conflict situations;
  • Enhanced communication skills for negotiation and mediation;
  • Improved skills in the management of emotions, issues and interests of involved parties;
  • Development of a better understanding of the dynamics of constructive management of inter- and intra-state conflict;
  • Ability to apply theoretical models to analyse, design and manage negotiation and peace processes;
  • Acquisition of skills to constructively resolve issues that emerge in negotiation and peace processes.

F. Administrative Matters

The training workshop will be organized by the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) in collaboration with the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR), and will be hosted by the Ministry of Gender and Women in Development of the Government of Rwanda. Overall organizational responsibility for the preparations and conduct is with DAW/DESA and CCR.

DAW will be responsible for:

  1. the planning and preparation of the workshop;
  2. the selection as well as the invitations of participants from selected countries in Africa;
  3. the provision of substantive support during and after the meeting;
  4. travel arrangements to and from Rwanda for participants from Africa funded by the United Nations.

CCR will be responsible for:

  1. Preparing training materials for the workshop both in English and French.
  2. Conducting a 5-day training workshop on conflict management, in the forms of presentations, exercises, simulations, and role-play, to examine the role of mediators and try out the processes of mediation and interest-based negotiation.
  3. Providing 2 CCR staff to facilitate the training.
  4. Identifying and recruiting 1 – 2 resource persons to provide inputs to the training on negotiation and mediation.
  5. Carrying out an evaluation of the workshop and its objectives. This will be accomplished through written evaluations undertaken by workshop participants, by correspondence from participants and by follow-up requests to provide deeper long-term training support to participant governments.
  6. Keeping the UNDESA/DAW informed of any issues that may arise in the preparation of the workshop.

As the official host, the government of Rwanda will be responsible for:

  1. Identifying the venue of the workshop and arranging conference rooms, meeting facilities and office space as required;
  2. Identifying and arranging interpretation services during the workshop (English – French);
  3. Identifying and arranging accommodations as well as local transportation between the airport and hotel on arrival and departure days.
  4. Providing administrative support, including secretariat assistance for the workshop, and confirmation of return flight reservations for participants;
  5. Providing office supplies, stationery, office and reproduction equipment such as personal computers, typewriters and photocopying machines;
  6. Identifying a national consultant who will assist in the preparation as well as the organization of the workshop and produce a final report.

G. Venue and Participants

The training workshop will be conducted at (venue to be identified) in Kigali, Rwanda, and is scheduled to take place from Monday 15 to Friday 19 September 2003.

The number of participants will be approximately 30, and will include senior women government officials and women in NGO leadership positions from selected countries in Africa [Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania].

In addition, the following will participate:

  1. UNDESA/DAW as an organizer to provide substantive and administrative support
  2. Representatives nominated by the host government
  3. Resource persons and facilitators
  4. CCR staff

Language of the consultation

The working language of the workshop will be English with interpretation from and to French. Documentation for the consultation will be provided both in English and French.

Passports and Visas

Participants will be expected to make necessary arrangements with regard to passports, visa and health certificates for travel and consultation attendance.

All relevant correspondence should be addressed to:
Makiko Tagashira
Division for the Advancement of Women
Tel. (212-963-4836)
Fax. (212-963 3463)
E-mail: tagashira@un.org


Aide-Mémoire (French)

Programme [PDF]

Statement by Ms. Carolyn Hannan, Director of the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women

Division for the Advancement of Women -- DAW

Website: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
United Nations