ICAN’s Program Director Helena Gronberg presented ICAN’s work on gender responsive and inclusive mediation at the Xth Conference World Mediation Forum which took place in Luxembourg on July 8-9, 2019.
Co-organized by Université du Luxembourg and Université de Montréal the conference, entitled Mediation: A Transversal Approach with Multiple Purposes, brought together academics, students, and practitioners from 20+ countries for two days of presentations and reflections on the state of the field of mediation, specifically intercultural mediation. Four interrelated roundtables and presentations in French, English and Spanish reflected on the role of mediation in our modern societies. Presentations touched on topics from family mediation to restorative justice and sought to respond to four questions:
- Is mediation a way to prevent conflict?
- Is mediation a mode of regulation or of security?
- Does mediation have a future in the management of intercultural conflicts?
- Does the institutionalization of mediation help to reform institutions or does it distort mediation?
ICAN’s presentation focused on the Better Peace Initiative and the practical steps we have developed for effective inclusion of civil society, especially women, in peace negotiations – including high level talks. It presented ICAN’s conceptual framing of why inclusivity matters; the political actions needed by mediation parties; the technical support and expertise needed; and the logistical dimensions of enabling civil society peacebuilders to be prepared and represented at talks. To spark discussion it also showcased some of the materials that ICAN has developed, including animations on gender responsive peacetalks.