Historically, the participation of women in international affairs and diplomacy has been limited. Until recently, women have occupied only a small share of senior leadership positions in the United Nations system and in government hierarchies, including the diplomatic services. Since 2007, the number of women holding positions at senior management level in the United Nations has increased by 40%. With regard to women ambassadors to the United Nations, the share has increased from 5.7% in 2000 to slightly over 12% in 2012, still remaining low overall. Women's participation in peace negotiations also remains ad hoc, not systematic. Fewer than 3 percent of signatories to peace agreements are women. No women have been appointed Chief or Lead peace mediators in UN-sponsored peace talks, but in some talks sponsored by the AU or other institutions women have joined a team of mediators. One case is the role of Graça Machel as one of the three mediators for the Kenya crisis in 2008.
The under-representation of women has been recognized by the international community, amongst others, through the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) , look up resolutions urging Member States to amplify the voice of women on issues of peace and security by increasing their representation at all decision-making levels. The Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing stresses that the active participation of women in decision-making positions, coupled with the incorporation of women’s perspectives at the policy formulation level, are indispensable components to achieving equality, development and peace .
The latest Resolution, S/RES/2122 (2013) , seeks to address the issues to mainstreaming the Resolution 1325 (2000) as well as reaffirm the importance of women’s engagement in facilitating sustainable peace. Such sustainable peace requires an approach “based on the coherence between political, security, development, human rights, including gender equality, and rule of law and justice activities” as well as the enhancement of women’s engagement in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
Moving towards the post-2015 Agenda, the present Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-58) has included in the draft conclusions the necessity to “adopt specific measures to implement the MDGs for women and girls in armed conflict and post-conflict situations and ensure women’s participation in all aspects of peacebuilding and recovery (based on E/CN.6/2014/4 para 88 (h))” . These developments mark an opportune time for women diplomats to assess challenges faced by women in aspiring to leadership positions in the diplomatic context and to identify and train skills suitable to address such gender-specific challenges, in particular in the area of negotiations and leadership.
Within this broader context, this workshop focuses on enhancing the negotiation skills of women, especially women diplomats. In a multilateral context, effective negotiation skills are critical for managing interdependencies, leveraging power and influencing outcomes. Mastering negotiation tools can therefore assist in securing beneficial agreements at the international level, especially when it comes to negotiating peace agreements. Participants in this workshop will receive training from top negotiation experts on effective negotiation skills. They will also learn firsthand from experienced women diplomats and UN staff who have had a successful career and accumulated a wealth of experience. These experiences include negotiating agreements in the sphere of peace and security as well as facilitating sustainable peace and development.
- Promote the participation of women in the sphere of negotiation, peace, and development through capacity and confidence building;
- Promote the goals of UN Security Council resolutions, including SC Resolution 1325, calling for women to be engaged in the peace processes;
- Promote a better understanding of sustainable peace, and the special role that women bring to ensuring sustainable peace negotiations.
- Promote career development of women diplomats through the enhancement of their negotiation skills; and,
Provide participants with insights and experiences from other women diplomats and senior UN women officials.
Through this workshop, participants will:
· Learn about multilateral negotiation styles and positioning;
· Understand the strategies and techniques for producing good negotiated outcomes and the link for developing sustainable peace;
· Learn about gender specificities and gender differences/influences in negotiation, leadership, and communication styles;
· Learn about more about the SC resolutions on promoting the role of women in peacebuilding, the role of women linking peace and development as highlighted in the Commission on Status of Women, (CSW 58);
· Enhanced relevant skills to assume leadership positions and active roles in the negotiation of peace agreements.
This workshop is organized over two full days. The structure entails:
Ø Presentations from Women Ambassadors, providing their histories and giving their recommendations to younger women diplomats;
Ø Presentations from Women academics, on the role of gender and peace, especially sustainable peace
Ø Presentations from Senior UN Women, sharing their experiences and insights with the women diplomats;
Ø Presentations from women who act as advocates for peace;
Ø Simulation exercises, consisting of 90 minutes of game theory, strategies, and 30 minutes of Q&A.
· It will further set up an online platform (Moodle) where registered participants will be able to access all documents and presentations made during the course series.
The workshop will take an interactive, participatory and practice‐oriented approach, involving practical exercises, case studies, interactive lectures, and peer‐to‐peer learning. Women Ambassadors from Permanent Missions to the UN, Senior women in the UN will serve as keynote speakers during the workshop. Other guest speakers from the United Nations system, academia will contribute perspectives on gender-approaches to negotiation, leadership and communication. A workbook with reference documents will be provided to all participants. Further, UNITAR will set up an online platform (Moodle) where registered participants will be able to access all documents and presentations made during the course series. The workshop will be conducted in English.
UNITAR policy finds that evaluation is the best way to gauge learning response. The New York Office carries out, after each of its training activities, an empirical evaluation. For these proposed workshops, it will specifically target participants’ responses to the courses’ content and process.
Prior to closing workshop, UNITAR NYO will request participants to complete evaluation questionnaires. It will ask questions such as: the extent to which the course met its stated learning objectives; their “most valuable lesson learned” from the course; the organization of the course; the quality of the experts; the relevance of the topics covered; and their suggestions for future courses/how to improve them.
All participants who successfully complete the workshop will receive a UNITAR Certificate of Completion.