PRESS RELEASE 

Better Peace Initiative (BPI) 

Executive Seminar & Certification Course on Inclusive and Gendered Mediation 

Washington DC  July 13, 2018 

The International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) at the University of Ottawa are delighted to announce the launch of the first comprehensive Better Peace Initiative executive seminar on inclusive and gendered mediation to better address the world’s most complex conflicts today. The Honorable Senator Mobina Jaffer, Chair of ICAN’s Board of Directors and former Canadian Envoy to Sudan, will open the event. The Honorable Senator said, “We are delighted to host the women peacemakers who are at the frontlines, making the change for peace in their communities. Canada supports their endeavours in making the world a more peaceful inclusive place.” 

With wars in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere growing in complexity and international mediators facing a proliferation of warring parties, traditional methods of peace making are no longer effective. Peace processes must include state and non-state armed actors, but research shows that they alone cannot bring sustainable peace. It is imperative to include peace actors and other civilians, not least women, in the peace process. With knowledge of on-the-ground realities, they are active in every sphere, from providing relief to the refugees, to mediating local ceasefires, negotiating peace, countering violent extremism, disarming fighters and helping with reconciliation and transition to sustainable peace and development. Yet this know-how and commitment is still all too often absent from peace processes.   

The Better Peace Initiative (BPI) seminar will tackle these issues drawing on ICAN’s pioneering work in this field and its innovative Better Peace tools and resources.  25 women peacemakers from Myanmar to Colombia and from Kenya to Afghanistan, who have been at the frontlines of peacemaking in their communities and nationally, will attend the 5 day program at the University of Ottawa, July 16-21, 2018.  

“We are aiming to establish a ‘gold standard’ of practice and a cadre of women with depth of knowledge and practical expertise in negotiating and mediating peace that can be inclusive, just and sustainable,” says ICAN’s Executive Director and co-founder, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini.  

“We are delighted to link arms with ICAN and host this amazing group of women leaders from around the world with the aim of contributing to more effective peace processes in everyone’s interest”, adds John Packer, Neuberger-Jesin Professor of International Conflict Resolution and Director of the HRREC at the University of Ottawa.  

This endeavor is supported by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), as part of Canada’s demonstrable commitment to gender equality in its international foreign policy and development aid.  

For more information about the program, please contact Helena Gronberg: helena.gronberg@icanpeacework.org 

For media requests, please contact Rana Allam: rana.allam@icanpeacework.org 

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