Despite the fact that landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1325 is soon going to celebrate its twentieth anniversary, the number of women who lead or participate in high level peace mediation processes remains disappointing.
Why is it so hard to translate lip service into concrete results? One of the issues practitioners and policy makers including Kathrin Quesada from mediatEUr who gathered at last year’s symposium on advancing women in high level mediation in Durham identified is the selection process:
Generally, appointments for high level mediation processes are made on the basis of political nominations and diplomatic prestige rather than because of mediation skills or experience. There is also a lack of transparency in the criteria that are applied to this selection process, which has heavily favoured the appointment of senior male figures.
Meeting again in Geneva, on 27 June, the symposium of experts will examine in more detail what kind of skills based criteria a high level mediator needs to fulfil, and secondly, how some of the newly created national and international women mediation networks could support a more skills-based approach to the selection process.
This get together is organised by the Durham Global Security Institute, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), as well as Mediators Beyond Borders International.
Stay tuned for the outcome of the discussions on our website!