This Fellowship Programme will offer advanced training in conflict analysis, negotiation and mediation to international and national civil servants who wish to learn or refine these skills. The programme will be based on the latest knowledge, with the primary focus on preventing and resolving international disputes through the United Nations.
Sponsored by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the International Peace Institute (IPI), the programme will draw on the expertise of both organizations, as well as that of a number of distinguished and expert faculty from both academic and applied settings, including current and former UN Secretariat staff. As an autonomous organ of the United Nations, UNITAR has had extensive experience in the training of diplomats in multilateral diplomacy, negotiation, human rights, economic and social development and peace operations. The IPI, an international nongovernmental organization, has long been involved in training mid-career and senior military officers and diplomats in peacekeeping and peacemaking.
Participants will be provided with a comprehensive framework for understanding how disputes begin, escalate, and are resolved. This will include a systematic overview of the nature and causes of conflict, different types of conflict, the process of conflict escalation, the various transformations that occur during escalation, and the process of conflict de-escalation. Different kinds of negotiation and mediation will be reviewed, as well as the various stages, multiple levels, and common obstacles to negotiation and mediation. Particular attention will be given to early detection of disputes and to the type of information required to provide sound political analyses and options for conflict prevention. The UN’s ability to function as a dispute settlement system and the limitations and constraints of the international system, as it is currently constructed, will also be discussed.
Several case studies of past or current conflict situations will be presented by senior officials who have been involved in attempts to resolve them. These case studies will serve as the basis for extensive discussion of the issues, obstacles and problems which occur in real-life international dispute resolution.
The skills training part of the programme is designed to build on the conceptual framework described above by providing hands-on practice in the skills needed to carry out effective preventive diplomacy and peacemaking. Negotiating skills will be practiced through exercises, simulations, role-playing and feedback. Participants will receive extensive practice in the skills needed for negotiation, including listening and summarizing; identifying and reformulating issues, positions and interests; creating and combining options; searching for principles or precedents upon which to base solutions; controlling emotions; and managing unfair negotiation tactics.
Participants will also be given practice in third party mediation. Through role-playing, Fellows will learn how to set procedural rules; enhance cooperation and trust between the parties; determine interests; create and package innovative options; maintain control over the proceedings; and draft agreements. Strategies, techniques and issues will be highlighted and discussed during debriefing sessions.
Middle and senior level professional staff from the substantive departments and agencies of the UN, staff from regional organizations, diplomatic staff from foreign ministries, and relevant personnel from nongovernmental humanitarian organizations.