Women Mediators across the Commonwealth (WMC) members met in London this week as part of the first all-member meeting since the inception of the network over a year ago. The women shared their mediation learning and discussed the future development of this international network of mediators, which is hosted by Conciliation Resources.
31 October marks the 19th Anniversary of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on Women, Peace and Security. This commitment reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and stresses the importance of their equal participation.
On this day, one year ago, I was in Asmara in Eritrea, witnessing the signing of a declaration ending over 20 years of armed conflict in the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia (commonly referred to as ‘Ogaden’). For six years, I’d accompanied every twist and turn of these peace negotiations, and to see how far we had come was a moment of real pride. But we all knew that although this singing marked the end of the Ogaden insurgency, the hard work of transitioning from war to peace was just beginning. So, one year on, how far have we come and what needs to happen next?
The phases of peace processes before formal talks are marked by deep distrust, security challenges, and the need for discretion and secrecy. This results in sparse analysis or documentation of this crucial but unpredictable period of supporting pathways to peace talks. In many ways this phase remains uncharted territory compared to later phases – once public negotiations begin and when a ceasefire or peace deal is struck.
How to get peace processes off the ground sustainably and inclusively is a vital but comparatively uncharted challenge for peace support. This Accord Spotlight explores priorities for more effective policy and practice.
Women Mediators across the Commonwealth (WMC) is a network that connects women with a broad range of experiences - from mediating conflicts at the community level to formally mediating conflicts as part of official peace processes. In this film, members of the network discuss why Women Mediators across the Commonwealth is needed, and what makes this network so unique.
Last week the United Nations Security Council announced a new Secretary-General (UNSG). António Guterres, former head of the UN refugee agency and Portuguese prime minister, will take up the position at the start of 2017, succeeding Ban Ki-moon.