UN High-Level Seminar on Gender and Peace Mediation Strategies. Photo: Maria Santto, CMI
UN High-Level Seminar on Gender and Peace Mediation Strategies. Photo: Maria Santto, CMI

Over two dozen top peace negotiators gather this week in Oslo for the thirteenth UN High-Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Strategies.

The forum brings together top officials from conflict and post-conflict zones including Afghanistan, South Sudan and Colombia, with the goal of strategizing how to put women at the peace table.

Research shows that including women in peace processes enhances both the quality and durability of peace agreements. When women participate, peace agreements are 35 per cent more likely to last 15 years compared to those negotiated without them.

The High-Level Seminar is designed to advance women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace processes. It offers a platform to share experiences, challenges and practical strategies for inclusive mediation. It builds on participants’ knowledge in dealing with complex mediation situations and experiences of handling multiple dilemmas related to inclusion. It offers practical strategies and tools for more inclusive mediation process design and conflict assessment. It also provides advise on gender relevant provisions for key thematic areas, such as conflict-related sexual violence, in ceasefire and peace agreements.

Torunn L. Tryggestad, Deputy Director of PRIO and Director of the PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security, has attended the seminar every year since it was established. “As we convene for the thirteenth time, the strides toward embedding women’s perspectives in peace processes are undeniable. However, in many contexts women still continue to be marginalized from peace processes. We must continue efforts to close the gap between presence and influence, ensuring women not only have seats at the table, but a decisive role in shaping and sustaining peace processes.”

The global forum is a collaborative effort, jointly organized by the PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security, CMI – the Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation and the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.

Since its establishment in 2013, it has been organized every year, except between 2020 and 2021 when the Covid-19 pandemic occurred. It is financially supported by the governments of Norway and Finland.

For more information on the event, contact PRIO’s Communication Director, Michelle Delaney on 00 47 941 65 579 or by email at michelle@prio.org.