UN Women teams up with Swedish Embassy and Folke Bernadotte Academy to reinforce women’s role in peace process

Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Remaining high on Georgia’s Women, Peace and Security agenda is the creation of an enabling environment for women’s increased involvement in national institutions and international mechanisms aimed at preventing and managing conflicts.

Welcoming the Peace Negotiation and Mediation Workshop participants
Welcoming the Peace Negotiations and Mediation Workshop participants; From right to left: H.E. Martina Quick, Ambassador of Sweden to Georgia, Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Country Representative, Khatuna Totladze, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Maia Kipshidze, Director of the Diplomatic Training Center, Birgitta Holst Alani, Special Representative for Inclusive Peace Processes - Swedish Women Mediation Network; Photo: Levan Mikeladze Diplomatic Training Center

UN Women has been actively supporting line ministries to ensure equal career development opportunities for women and men. Currently, among the Georgian participants of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) and Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), women comprise slightly over 30 per cent. Despite positive trends, attaining women’s meaningful participation in peace negotiations, conflict resolution and related political processes still calls for further efforts.

A workshop on high-level negotiation and mediation skills was conducted at the Levan Mikeladze Diplomatic Training Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Georgia. This workshop resulted from a joint collaboration between the MFA, UN Women Country Office, Swedish Embassy, and Folke Bernadotte Academy.

During the two days, the participants learned more about the role of women in peace negotiations, gendered dimensions of conflict and respective conflict analysis, multitrack engagement and inclusive mediation process design.

Workshop participants engaged in group exercise
Workshop participants engaged in group exercise to identify mechanisms for effective mediation and gendered dimensions of peace negotiations; Photo: Levan Mikeladze Diplomatic Training Center

The workshop targeted a diverse group of professionals already engaged in formal negotiations or soon taking up important roles as negotiators and mediators, particularly the staff of state institutions regularly represented at the GID and IPRM meetings

The participants were welcomed by Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Country Representative; H.E. Martina Quick, Ambassador of Sweden to Georgia; Khatuna Totladze, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia; and Maia Kipshidze, Director of the Diplomatic Training Centre. In her remarks, Ms. Totladze emphasized the significance of promoting women’s participation in peacebuilding processes: “We fully acknowledge the importance of women’s meaningful participation and their leadership in the negotiations. We believe that ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment are the key issues towards sustainable peace.”

Advancing the capacity of women in negotiation and mediation is MFA’s commitment under Georgia’s 2016-2017 National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security. The MFA also plans to continue this work in the framework of the NAP’s next phase (2018-2020) by integrating the principles of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) in the training modules offered to career diplomats at the Diplomatic Training Centre.