Negotiation processes are commonly structured around nine different issues: purpose, format, mandate for facilitation and mediation, participation, agenda, timetable, methods for reaching consensus, confidence-building measures, and ratification and implementation of a negotiated agreement.
From the perspective of process design and management, the role of mediators, purpose, format, participation, agenda, timetable, and the methods for reaching consensus are particularly important issues. They often require a very pro-active mediator to help parties reach consensus about the conduct of their dialogue before and during formal negotiations and they represent areas in which problems are likely to occur that mediators need to be aware of and plan for. While every peace process is unique in its specific design, design options, the problems likely to be encountered before and during formal negotiations, however, are not, and neither are the solutions. While mediatorsâ€™ and participantsâ€™ creativity will shape the particular design and conduct of a negotiations process, comparative experience can serve as a useful reservoir of options to consider.
This talk, first, offers an overview of the different options that can be used to design negotiation processes in relation to process design and the role of mediators, purpose, format, participation, agenda, timetable, and the methods for reaching consensus.
The second part focuses on some of the likely problems that mediators might encounter along the way and how to deal with them constructively and swiftly so that mediators can demonstrate results and retain their relevance in the peace process.