Columbia Law School and The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) are pleased to announce the third series of workshops on Conflict Resolution, Mediation and Negotiation.
The workshops will deliver the most rigorous, intellectually engaging, interactive, custom programming for United Nations diplomats. Our individual day-long courses will leverage Columbia’s unparalleled strength in the area of conflict resolution, weaving it in with skills building programming that acknowledges the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals.
We will kick off this session by discussing the current state of women’s role in the peacemaking process. There is a critical need to include women in informal and formal peacemaking and negotiation roles. We will start with a brief discussion of dilemmas in peacemaking and barriers for women (SDG 5.1). There are conceptual barriers, structural barriers, and practical barriers to their complete and effective participation.
There has been some great progress on gender inclusiveness in negotiation. We will review comparative statistics highlighting the slow but steady increase in women’s participation in negotiation processes. Next, we will discuss the important differences between mere presence at the table and full, effective participation (SDG 5.5). We will emphasize that women have a positive impact when they take on greater roles in peacemaking processes. We will present digests of relevant literature and statistics on the greater possibility of success of peacemaking agreements when women—and other historically-underrepresented constituencies—are included. We plan to discuss reports explaining how inclusion works in practice by comparing case studies of peacemaking negotiations.
Turning to on-the-ground practicality, we will dive into ways to increase women’s roles in negotiations and peacemaking processes (SDG 5.C). On a micro level, we will consider literature on perceptions of “feminine” speech and body language patterns, and how those perceptions cause women to be arbitrarily devalued at the negotiation table. Can consciousness of these misguided perceptions change outcomes?
A comprehensive understanding of women’s role hinges on a comprehensive and reflective understanding of the negotiation process itself. After outlining basic guidelines for negotiation, including identifying the 5 stages of negotiation: Preparation, Relationship Building, Information Exchange, Problem-Solving/Bargaining, Designing & Closing the Agreements, we will turn to discussing some strengths of adding a women’s perspective to this traditionally male-dominated field. For example, what are some benefits of a highly collaborative style with low interpersonal conflict patterns? Some literature suggests that superior outcomes and more durable solutions result. More perspectives at the table also results in the “creation” of value, or an ability to see beyond the “fixed pie”. Furthermore, bargaining based upon interests and not positions tends to be beneficial to outcome.
UN Ground Passes are required for this event