Conciliation Resources will be welcoming mediation support experts from more than 20 organisation from around the globe to London from 5 March, for the annual meeting of the Mediation Support Network (MSN).
The meeting will explore the roles mediation and mediation support can play in supporting sustainable change, once a peace agreement has been signed. Experts will draw on their own experiences to discuss how mediation adapts to the post-agreement environment, to both end the conflict, but also to help conflict-affected societies move forward.
Felix Colchester, Policy, Accord and Learning Officer at Conciliation Resources, is helping to organise the event:
We decided to focus on the post-agreement phase, because of the current interest in the Colombian peace process. Often the focus of mediation and mediation support is on getting parties to agreement, but as Colombia is showing, the challenges of implementing agreements are often as substantial, if not more so.
To support the discussions, the three-day meeting will begin by exploring some of the emerging challenges and opportunities for Colombia’s peace process in light of lessons learnt from Northern Ireland’s peace process – 20 years on from the signing of the Belfast Agreement. Laura Henao Izquierdo from CINEP in Colombia and Brendan McAllister, senior associate at mediatEUr, will offer perspectives from the two contexts.
Through our work, and with networks such as MSN, we promote mediation practice, and seek to improve its effectiveness, as a means to end violent conflict and consolidate peace. We believe effective peace processes should be inclusive of the many stakeholders engaged or affected by a conflict, and that mediation has a key role to play in creating opportunities for inclusion.
As well as sharing learning on effective mediation practices, we work in a number of regions to practically support mediation. As part of the International Contact Group, we provide support to the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and we also provide support to the peace process between the Ogaden National Liberation Front and Government of Ethiopia.
To coincide with the MSN meeting, Conciliation Resources will also organise a panel event, hosted by the Swiss Embassy, to discuss the role of mediation after the signing of a peace agreement. The event will be attended by MSN members, as well as UK-based peacebuilding practitioners, diplomats and policymakers.
MSN is a global network of primarily non-governmental organisations that supports mediation in peace negotiations. The aim of the network is to promote and improve mediation practice, processes and standards to address political tensions and armed conflict. Members meet once a year in different locations, at events organised and hosted by individual members.