Insider mediators gaining recognition


The ACTION Support Centre was represented at the UNDP, Department of Political Affairs and European Union training process that took place in Casablanca, Morocco from the 21st to the 23rd of October. The training focused on how best external actors could provide support to Insider Mediators and add value to insider mediation processes. Using the recently published Guidance Note on Insider Mediation, to which the ASC contributed directly, and through the African Insider Mediator Platform initiative hosted by the ASC, the training tapped into the collective experience of the high powered group of delegates from all over the world.

There is growing recognition that insider mediators are often better equipped to deal with the intricacies and nuances that form part of every complex conflict context. The fallacy of neutrality on which many Harvard originated contemporary approaches to mediation have been based has often been exposed as lacking value when applied to the types of social and political conflict affecting communities around the world. The meeting noted that the Guidance Note represented a shift in thinking amongst international actors about the relative value of the roles external and internal actors play in ensuring the effectiveness and sustainability of peace processes.

The meeting also discussed the notion of infrastructures for peace (I4Ps) and recognised that while often used as a fashionable term that is not properly understood, these infrastructures could have a valuable role to play. If an existing I4P can be strengthened and built as part of an effort to systematize the spaces and processes that enable the transformation of relationships, they will inevitably be useful in a longer term response to the dynamics of conflict. Using examples from Malawi, Ghana, Guatemala, and the Middle East, the discussions were rich with new insights into the importance of valuing and building on local knowledge and local efforts to transform conflict, end violence and build peace.

The ASC will be working with several of the participants in the meeting, including UNDP, to try and galvanize concrete support for the AIMP on the back of the political will and experience-based insights that were so apparent during the meeting in Morocco.

Photo by Global Panorama on Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0