Global Justice Academy Director, Christine Bell (Professor of Constitutional Law, Edinburgh Law School), has been invited to deliver the keynote lecture at upcoming UN High Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Processes in Oslo on 9 October 2018.
Professor Bell's lecture is entitled 'Principled Pragmatism': a New Approach to Inclusive Peace Processes, drawing on the work of the GJA-led Political Settlements Research Programme and its PA-X Peace Agreements Database project.
Promoting women’s effective participation in conflict mediation and addressing their specific needs in peacemaking efforts is a high priority for the United Nations and its Member States since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security. However, while more gender expert advice has been provided to peace processes and a growing number of peace agreements have included gender-relevant provisions, the number of women involved in formal peacemaking processes remains low.
Inclusivity in mediation is one of eight ‘mediation fundamentals’ of the UN Guidance on Effective Mediation (2012); resting on the assumption that building a sustainable peace requires the integration of societal perspectives, both of conflicting parties and other stakeholders.
The High-level Seminar is rooted in the premise that women living with conflict have strategic knowledge and networks to contribute to its resolution and can be actors in implementing sustainable peace. Gender dynamics thus create unique opportunities and challenges for peacemaking and need to be understood, analyzed, and used for strategic advantage. As inclusivity may increase opportunities for reaching sustainable agreements, more systematic consultation of and outreach towards women across societies would assist mediators in their jobs.