As the international landscape of conflict has been evolving, and changing dramatically, over the last twenty years, so too have the international community’s efforts in preventing or resolving them peacefully. Today, a multiplicity of actors, mechanisms and initiatives are in place to help conflict parties come to early and constructive understandings to settle their disputes; support peace processes and the implementation of agreements; and make them more inclusive, both in terms of groups involved, and issued addressed.
Yet the track record shows that serious challenges remain. New and violent transitions in the Middle East and North Africa region evidence that existing conflict resolution mechanisms struggle to adapt to new dynamics. At the same time, long-standing conflicts in several places, such as parts of the former Soviet Union, have turned into ‘protracted peace processes’ – in other words, international peace process support has not always been able to break the conflict dynamics, but instead runs the risk of becoming part of them.
The Advanced Peace Mediation Laboratory, Coaching and Training programme 2014-2015 is an advanced peace mediation coaching and training programme, bridging the existing gap between basic mediation programmes, and dealing with the complexity of current conflicts that requires more targeted support. It acts as a laboratory for practitioners to jointly reflect on their experiences and challenges in peace mediation, systematic evaluations, trouble-shooting and development of new ideas. It provides a unique opportunity for self-development among peers.