Conflict resolution is the set of methods and approaches used to facilitate the peaceful de-escalation and termination of a conflict. Defined broadly, it may include democratisation or even development. Indeed, political participation through democratic processes may be a method to avoid conflict in the first place or at least to ensure the fair treatment of the causes of the conflict. Alternatively, conflict resolution can be defined more narrowly to refer solely to those efforts undertaken to resolve conflicts directly through communication (negotiation, mediation, peace conference, diplomacy, etc.).
The course explores traditional and alternative techniques in conflict resolution with a narrow focus on activities which directly aim at resolving international conflicts through communication. The course explores existing conflict and conflict resolution theories, methods and practices relevant for the resolution of conflicts in which United Nations peace operations are deployed.
At the end of the course, participants will be able to:
- Distinguish and apply conflict and conflict resolution theories;
- Apply conflict resolution tools to a current conflict;
- Describe and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the main diplomatic tracks in light of a case study;
- Appraise mediation and negotiation techniques;
- Prepare for negotiations and mediation in a current conflict;
- Discuss the role of the United Nations and regional organisations in conflict resolution.
The course is composed of five modules that will be covered over six weeks:
- Module 1: Research on conflict resolution
- Module 2: Introduction to conflict resolution
- Module 3: Diplomatic tracks in conflict resolution
- Module 4: Methods in conflict resolution
- Module 5: The United Nations and regional actors in conflict resolution
In each module, the interactive learning components introduce the key points and provide background information. Activities such as research, reflection and case studies allow participants to apply the knowledge acquired through the lessons. Discussions are organized for participants in order to facilitate collective knowledge construction and sharing of experiences.
Facilitators guide participants through this process, delivering and conveying information, clarifying doubts and supporting participants through different activities.
The course is open exclusively to United Nations Volunteers, holding a valid contract. Please note that a verfication will be carried out by UNVs Programme prior to the beginning of the course. Only those participants for whom possession of a valid contract is confirmed will be enrolled in the course.
No reimboursement will be possible for participants who enroll without a valid UNV contract.
- Minimum hardware and software requirements:
- Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP or superior; MacOS 9 or MacOS X.
- Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader (download for free at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html).
- Adobe Flash Player (download for free at http:/get.adobe.com/flashplayer)
- Microsoft Office (Windows or Apple version) or Open Office (download for free at http://www.openoffice.org )
- Modem: 56 K
The course Introduction to Peace Operations has been awarded the 2012 international Open ECBCheck Standards.