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The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) has joined the Smart Peace consortium, a global group of specialist organisations which will develop an innovative four-year conflict resolution programme to address the challenges of building sustainable peace in some of the world’s most fragile and conflict-affected regions.
In support of efforts to mitigate the consequences of conflicts worldwide, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) today hosted a closed-door roundtable on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in conflict settings at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The event, organised jointly by the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations (UN) Office in Geneva and Legal Action Worldwide, explored creative and innovative legal approaches to addressing SGBV in conflict.
Demonstrating the value of conflict mediation
Mediation offers a proven and cost-effective method for resolving armed conflicts. More than 70 per cent of conflicts which ended between 1985 and 2015 were resolved through an agreement. However, measuring the impact of mediation efforts remains a challenge for both practitioners and donors.
Improving the mediation of armed conflict
A global series of mediation retreats
The Oslo Forum is widely acknowledged as the leading international network of conflict mediation practitioners. Co-hosted by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Oslo Forum regularly convenes conflict mediators, high-level decision-makers and key peace process actors in a series of informal and discreet retreats.
Peacemaking and mediation literature has often portrayed neutral ‘outsiders’ as the most suitable mediators, given their physical and emotional distance from the parties in conflict. However, in many parts of the world, communities in conflict prefer to deal with ‘insiders’ whom they already trust, who are part of the local society’s fabric, and who can make a long term commitment to resolving the conflict.
HD RELEASES ITS 2016 ANNUAL REPORT
The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) continued to expand its operations in 2016, responding to a growing demand for its experience and skills in engaging with those involved in armed conflict, particularly hard-to-reach groups. By the end of 2016, HD had more than 40 ongoing projects in over 25 countries, working at the heart of the world’s most dangerous conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, as well as East and Central Asia.
This year’s Oslo Forum, which took place between the 14-15 June, was attended by around 100 prominent mediators, peace process actors and high-level decision-makers. The report from this meeting, which is released today, summarises the discussions during the event.
Mediation through a media lens
Interviews from the Oslo Forum 2016 on the nexus between mediation and the media
What are the responsibilities of the media during a conflict, and during a peace process? Can media reporting influence the behaviour of conflict parties, or the outcome of negotiations?
Mediators of armed conflict and actors in peace processes rarely have the opportunity to reflect on experiences, compare lessons learnt, and develop a shared understanding of good practice in the field. In support of their work, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) initiated the Oslo Forum in 2003 with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The issues facing mediators of armed conflict and actors in peace processes are both numerous and complex, and peacemaking is often undertaken in highly competitive and politically-sensitive environments. To help mediation practitioners face these challenges, every year the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) organises the Oslo Forum jointly with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
1. The UN: in need of a check-up?
International norms such as United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 which support women's contribution to peacemaking, are not yet well integrated in the drafting of peace agreement texts.
The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (the HD Centre) is pleased to announce the new 2010 Annual Report.
The Annual Report provides a review of some of the HD Centre’s projects and an introduction to some of the people who have contributed to the success of that work.
From the peace process in Mindanao, to humanitarian mediation in Darfur, and advising on election dispute resolution in Somaliland, the annual report presents tangible evidence of where the HD Centre’s strengths – independence, impartiality and flexibility – are having the greatest impact.
The question of whether mediation can contribute to the long-term transformation of societies seeking to end violent internal conflicts is of great interest and concern to mediators. Where does their responsibility lie? Should they be primarily thinking about ending the violence and saving the lives of civilians or considering the long-term needs of societies in order to prevent them from relapsing into conflict? Are the two goals contradictory? Can mediators realistically pursue them both given the pressures of peace processes and the reality of limited resources and time?
Interacting with armed groups is challenging and comes with significant dilemmas and risks for mediators. As primary actors in today's conflicts, non-state armed groups are also essential participants in peace processes. Mediation practitioners should carefully consider how to deal with them.
The Oslo forum 2010 was held just outside Oslo, Norway from the 15th-17th June. Some 90 participants gathered to exchange experiences and to reflect critically on the practice of mediation.
Peace is seldom concluded when a peace deal is signed. The principal external role in consolidating peace frequently falls to United Nations (UN) missions and agencies. Their ability to achieve this task is contingent on many factors including resources and cohesive international political support. It depends most critically on effective leadership. What are the unique, defining challenges to UN leadership in conflict and post conflict environments? How have effective UN leaders approached these challenges?
The HD Centre celebrates its tenth anniversary at a critical time for the practice of mediation. After a period of confrontation marked by the 'war on terror', and the polarisation of international relations, there is renewed demand for diplomacy and negotiation. Yet, in many respects the peacemaking enterprise faces crisis. Conscious that the HD Centre's progression is but one part of a much larger picture, this paper looks at the challenges and opportunities facing mediation practitioners as we begin the second decade of the 21st century.
In 2009, the HD Centre celebrated its tenth year of existence. On this occasion, the publication Mediation for Peace 2009 takes an in-depth look at the field of peacemaking - the way it has evolved in the last decade and the prospects for the years to come. The publication also takes a look at some of the HD Centre's milestone projects and provides insight into key aspects of mediation, such as the value of confidential processes and the importance of supporting peace processes.