November 2018, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thirty-three female peacemakers from across the continent took part in UNITAR’s intensive two-week Training Programme Strengthening the Capacities of African Women Peacemakers conducted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Building upon the annual UNITAR regional training organized for senior and mid-level officials and peace mission staff in Africa, this requested programme was the first dedicated training for women peacemakers from every region deepening knowledge and strengthening skills in conflict analysis, interest-based negotiation and mediation, dialogue and reconciliation processes.
Participating officials came from Offices of Presidents, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, UN and African Union peace missions, the African Union, sub-regional organizations, and civil society focusing on the prevention and sustainable resolution of conflict. A former minister of foreign affairs, and a Member of the COMESA Committee of Elders counted among the participating officials. Seven FemWise members, a newly created mediation network of African women, completed this first dedicated UNITAR peacemaking training programme for women. “This training programme helped me to understand conflict analysis tools in order to identify the interests and needs of each party. It has exposed us to a “spectrum of conflict-handling mechanisms”, and the architecture of mediation. A strong network of women peacemakers has been created.” - Participant comment
Expert resource persons included scholars and specialists in Africa from UN peace missions and the African Union, as well as experienced practitioners of conflict resolution, mediation, reconciliation and women, peace and security from the continent and beyond. One of the objectives of the training programme was to provide the opportunity for peer to peer exchange of knowledge and experience among the participating women across Africa. At the Participants’ Forum, six case studies from different regions were presented, followed by active discussion. This was one of the highlights of the programme. UNITAR is grateful to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, the Government of Canada and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden which made this first dedicated training programme for women peacemakers possible. UNITAR is engaged in fundraising in order to organize a second regional training programme for women peacemakers.
Photo 1: Group photo of the participants and resource persons
Photo 2: During the training