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The United Nations plays a major role in the management and resolution of international conflicts. It is a unique actor in the field of international conflict management which successfully negotiates and implements many of the settlements that have ended some of the most protracted conflicts in the world. Mediation is deployed in the context of international conflicts and intra-state conflicts to advance peacemaking, and requires individuals who have the necessary experience, professionalism and judgement to effectively resolve disputes. By improving one’s mediation skills and developing an understanding of the UN’s role in the mediation process, diplomats will be better equipped to prevent and manage international disputes. This e-Learning course will enable participants to enhance their knowledge, strategies and skills in mediation processes.
This e-Learning course aims to improve the practical skills of diplomats in international mediation and in understanding the role of the UN in resolving conflicts. The course will offer insights into the mediation process. The course will also assess the process of gaining entry into a mediation initiative and examine the early and later stages of mediation. In particular, it will touch upon the importance of re-framing, active listening and communication when trying to generate options and crafting an agreement that is acceptable to all the parties.
By the end of this e-course, participants should be able to:
- Define mediation;
- Explain the UN’s role in international mediation;
- Develop mediation skills which can be utilised in international diplomacy;
- Discuss the mediation process;
- Understand the political, diplomatic and cultural dimensions of mediation.
The course will tentatively include the four following modules:
- Introduction to mediation in international diplomacy and the role of a mediator;
- Pre-mediation, gaining entry and the early stages of mediation;
- The role of proximity talks, re-framing, active listening and communication in generating interest-based options to craft an agreement;
- Case studies and a simulation exercise.
e-Learning: The course is internet-based, moderated by senior international experts, asynchronous, and places emphasis on online discussions and self-paced learning. The participants will be primarily responsible for their own learning over the four-week span of the course. The course will consist of the following components:
- Compulsory and optional reading material, intended to teach the basic concepts and principles of the lesson's subject-matter;
- External links to additional books, articles, documents, and websites related to the lessons;
- Quizzes and case studies at the end of each module. To be eligible for the course certificate, a passing grade of 80% on both quizzes and case studies is required;
- A Community Discussion Board will be available for participants to post questions or comments visible to the instructor and other participants. This discussion board will be moderated by the course director and UNITAR;
- Estimated learning time: minimum of 40 hours;
- Participants will be eligible to receive a certificate after the successful completion of the course.
The course targets mid to senior-level government officers in line ministries as well as staff of intergovernmental / nongovernmental organizations preparing for and/or taking part in mediation initiatives or multilateral conferences. It also targets entry-level and mid-career diplomats working in a multilateral setting. Private sector specialists and students whose work or studies relate to this subject are also encouraged to apply.
The course participation fee is 600 USD. You will receive an invoice by email after registration.
Participants from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are eligible to apply for a fellowship. Please click here for more details. Registration will be closed as soon as the course is full and your place will be secured once your payment is confirmed.
UNITAR recommends the following as a minimum in hardware and software to take our e-Learning courses. Please consult your Network Administrator or Systems person to ensure that you have the following:
- Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP or superior; MacOS 9 or MacOS X; Linux
- Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space
- Browser: Internet Explorer 7 or higher (click here to download for free); it works better with Firefox 3.6 or higher (click here to download for free)