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REGIONS AND THEMES

CMI’s programme is focused on making meaningful contributions to peace processes in three regions – the Middle East and North Africa, Eurasia and Sub-Saharan Africa. A strong focus on women’s participation and gender-specific aspects of conflict is extensively integrated into all parts of CMI work.

Today’s violent conflicts tend to be highly complex. They have wide regional impact and involve multiple actors and a diverse array of political interests. In such conflicts, unofficial conflict resolution actors like CMI have some important advantages over official bodies. Independent organisations bring to the negotiating table not only their own wealth of experience and expertise, but also opportunities that are not always open to state-related bodies. And as an independent, conflict resolution organisation with Finnish origins, CMI has the added benefit of being truly impartial and without a power agenda of its own and is thus able to work in the most challenging regions in the world. Each context and conflict is unique – they involve different factors, actors and dynamics. Similarly processes to resolve them are also unique.

Middle East and North Africa
Eurasia
Sub-Saharan Africa
Women in Peacemaking
Policy and Learning

Middle East and North Africa
The Arab Spring of 2011 might seem long gone, but its legacy continues to reshape the politics of the Middle East and North Africa in many ways. In addition to having been one of the underlying drivers of the 2011 uprisings, the inability of Middle Eastern and North African states to decisively tackle ongoing challenges and to accept and implement critical reforms has contributed to undermining the stability of many societies.

CMI works in the Middle East and North Africa to foster inclusive dialogue and to support and complement nationally-led peace efforts. We believe that the region’s underlying challenges can be only solved if all the relevant actors are genuinely included in developing and implementing local and sustainable solutions. CMI’s added value is in its ability to facilitate, enable and support unofficial dialogue together with local actors. Despite continuing change in the political environment, we believe it is possible for peacemaking processes to proceed steadily for a more stable and equitable overall outcome.


Supporting Iraqi national reconciliation

CMI supports national reconciliation efforts in Iraq by facilitating informal dialogue and providing expert support.

iraq

CMI’s Project Manager Hussein Al-Taee, Senior Adviser Ilkka Uusitalo and Project manager Saana Keskitalo in Iraq. CMI’s work in Iraq is focused on supporting local efforts towards reconciliation through informal dialogue and expert support.

The violence and instability in Iraq are rooted in deeper political struggles within society. The protracted sectarian conflicts stem from historical grievances, foreign interventions, and past policy decisions. Lack of effective agreement on fundamental concerns risks prolonging instability and violence by causing increased marginalisation and discord within the political system. However, there is now widespread acknowledgement at all levels of Iraqi society that these obstacles must be tackled vigorously and inclusively.

CMI’s work in Iraq is focused on supporting local efforts towards reconciliation, peace and stability through informal dialogue and expert support. CMI’s independent and impartial nature, and our focus on supporting local efforts without imposing an agenda of our own, enables us to work with all relevant Iraqi parties. As a result, we have been able to foster trusting relationships with political actors from across the political spectrum in Iraq.

CMI’s work remains resolutely independent of all official talks and contacts and is based on the primacy of local ownership. In our work we highlight the importance of Iraqis setting their own agenda, visions and strategies, while we provide the space and opportunity to hold constructive discussions and offer expert advice, where this is considered useful by the actors involved.

CMI remains accessible to all the relevant actors at every step of the informal dialogues, thereby helping to ensure the best possible convergence between the various unofficial efforts to bring about a peaceful and prosperous Iraq.

  • In Iraqi society there is a growing awareness of the need for comprehensive changes
  • CMI’s work in Iraq is focused on supporting local efforts towards reconciliation, peace and stability through informal dialogue and expert support
  • CMI’s work remains resolutely independent of all official talks and contacts and is based on the primacy of local ownership

Supporting an inclusive transition process in Libya

CMI facilitates national- and local-level dialogue in order to support efforts towards peace in Libya.

libya

CMI has held nation-wide consultations with various stakeholders throughout Libya.

Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, Libya’s political actors have failed to establish a new, inclusive order. Libyan society continues to suffer from the country’s severe fragmentation of power and political polarization, with a proliferation of armed groups. Political divides are shaped by regional, ideological, economic and societal cleavages. Elites that prospered under the Gaddafi regime and new, post-revolutionary elites continue to fight for political power and resources.

To support an inclusive and peaceful transition process in Libya, CMI facilitates national- and local-level dialogue among the relevant stakeholders, including political parties, civil society organization and tribal entities to jointly tackle the root causes of tension and conflict. Over the coming years CMI will continue to create spaces for encountering and communication to various stakeholders, in order to enhance mutual trust and help overcome the persisting divisions between the country’s political and social groups.

  • The political situation in Libya is increasingly polarized and fragmented, and armed groups continue to proliferate
  • Political divides are shaped by regional, ideological, economic and social divisions, with ongoing struggles for political power and resources
  • To support an inclusive and peaceful transition process in Libya, CMI facilitates national- and local-level dialogue among the relevant stakeholders to jointly tackle the root causes of tension and conflict

Supporting Palestinian dialogue

CMI together with its local partner supports efforts towards Palestinian reconciliation.

palestine

Palestinian reconciliation can support the democratic development of Palestinian society, and in the long run also contribute greatly to peace and security throughout the Middle East.

Palestinian politics and society remain divided despite several agreements between rival groups. Internal struggles have made it increasingly difficult for broader Palestinian society to be part of the political process. Internal division hinders democratic development in Palestinian society, with seriously harmful consequences for the entire population.

Since 2010, CMI and its local partner Masarat have supported the national reconciliation process in Palestine. We work to bring together in informal dialogue a wide group of Palestinian actors from Gaza, the West Bank, the Palestinian community in Israel, and Palestinian diaspora. With this effort we aim to create mutual trust, and develop broadly acceptable solutions on fundamental challenges that have been overshadowed and left unresolved by internal discord and power struggles. The advantage of informal dialogue is also that all relevant actors can continue to meet and discuss together even when formal processes become stalled.

The project has so far created trust between the Palestinian stakeholders and established a wide network of actors motivated to support the Palestinian reconciliation. The dialogue has resulted in a number of concrete proposals that have been widely presented to various Palestinian actors and to the official mediator Egypt. Palestinian reconciliation can support the democratic development of Palestinian society, and in the long run also contribute greatly to peace and security throughout the Middle East.

  • Efforts to create reconciliation in Palestine remain hampered by internal disputes
  • CMI and its local partner Masarat in Palestine continue to create spaces for mutual trust and inclusive dialogue
  • Informal talks amongst Palestinians from all sectors of society both at home and abroad have led to a number of concrete proposals, which have been presented to the relevant actors

Enhancing the inclusiveness of peacemaking efforts in Yemen

CMI facilitates informal dialogue among all key Yemeni constituencies on critical national questions.

yemen

CMI works to enhance women’s meaningful inclusion in conflict resolution and peacemaking efforts in Yemen.

After the first promising three years of transition, Yemen spiralled into a complex conflict that has brought the political process in the country to a halt and created a severe humanitarian crisis. Much work remains to be done to build foundations for a peaceful, inclusive society. The solutions developed at the 2013-2014 National Dialogue Conference in Sana’a are broadly accepted by Yemeni society, but their implementation cannot succeed as long as widespread violence continues.

In this context, CMI facilitates informal dialogue among all key Yemeni constituencies on critical national questions. This enables entities from across the political spectrum to build mutual trust and develop joint solutions to the key issues for peace and stability in the country. We also work to enhance women’s meaningful inclusion in conflict resolution and peacemaking efforts in Yemen. CMI supports the Women’s Forum for Dialogue and Peace, an inclusive group of influential Yemeni women who aim to ensure that women’s views and needs are given weight in all negotiations to steer the country’s future in a better direction.

  • The political breakdown in Yemen remains to be resolved
  • Peace efforts are required for the alarming humanitarian situation and issues underlying the fighting to be addressed
  • The National Dialogue recommendations are promising, but their implementation cannot succeed amidst continuing violence
  • CMI facilitates informal dialogue among all key Yemeni constituencies and works to enhance women’s inclusion in peacemaking efforts in the country

Middle East and North Africa
Eurasia
Sub-Saharan Africa
Women in Peacemaking
Policy and Learning
Eurasia

For almost a decade, CMI has worked to contribute to a peaceful future in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia. We support ongoing peace processes in the region and help enable dialogue and enhance good governance in countries struggling with transition and violent conflict. Strengthening local, national and regional conflict resolution capacities are at the core of our support strategies. Our aim is to open and maintain stable channels of communication and to build confidence across conflict divides in the post-Soviet space and beyond. CMI’s regional experience and commitment to long-term engagement, and our impartiality and Finnish identity uniquely enable us to pursue private diplomacy and to remain honest brokers in support of the region’s most difficult peace processes.


Engagement in the crisis in and around Ukraine

CMI has supported Ukraine’s peaceful development since 2009, and since 2014 has facilitated high-level expert dialogue between political representatives and other influential public figures.

From left to right – Mr. Denis Matveev, Eurasia Programme Adviser, Ms. Roxana Cristescu, Head of the Eurasia Programme and Ms. Irma Pidtepa, Project Officer for the Eurasia Programme.

Ukraine remains in the process of transition from its Soviet institutional, economic, and socio-cultural legacy. Before the escalation of the current crisis, little attention was given to supporting and encouraging dialogue between and among elites and the wider society on building a shared vision of how Ukraine can, both as a state and as a nation, develop in the wake of its Soviet past.

Domestic and international dialogue

CMI has supported Ukraine’s peaceful development since 2009 in a regional Black Sea format. Since February 2014 we have been working to support high-level expert dialogue involving representatives of Ukraine’s political and intellectual elite. Since July 2014, this platform has helped in developing constructive and inclusive searches for solutions to existing contradictions and disputed issues between key socio-political groups, both within Ukraine and further afield.

The Dialogue Group consists of senior members of the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament), heads of think tanks, and representatives of major corporations and local government. Members of the high-level Group represent a broad spectrum of political and community views and opinions from different regions of the country, including the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The Group meets regularly in Kyiv, engages in peer exchange with relevant international actors, and studies experiences from other peace processes. As part of its international outreach, the group has met with senior representatives of the European Parliament, European Commission, EU member states, the OSCE, and high-level Russian experts.

Support for the official peace process

CMI works with negotiators engaged in the official Trilateral Contact Group subgroups, providing expert support and international expertise from peace processes and on focused topics related to Ukraine’s peace process.

Support for national peacebuilding capacities

CMI supports Ukrainian actors in strengthening their capacities for effective engagement in the peace process. We work with many official and unofficial stakeholders from Ukrainian civil society and the expert community, and with individuals in the executive and legislative spheres. In this component of our work we offer opportunities to examine international experience on political dialogue, decentralisation, peace process implementation, reconciliation, and other related topics. One practical way in which this work is carried out is through study visits to places of relevance to Ukraine’s current situation, by bringing international experts to Kyiv for briefings, and producing focused thematic papers upon request.

  • Ukraine’s institutional, economic and socio-cultural transition from post-Soviet conditions has a long way to go, and still needs support
  • CMI provides expert support and international expertise to negotiators from the official Trilateral Contact Group subgroups
  • CMI also works with a range of experts and official and unofficial stakeholders from Ukrainian civil society to support better understanding of international experience in political dialogue, decentralisation, peace process implementation and reconciliation

 

CMI’s Ukraine work is funded through its Programme Partnership with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Irish Government’s Development Cooperation Programme, the Government of Switzerland and  by corporate donors from Finland’s private sector and by Finnish private philanthropists who comprise CMI’s premium donors group.  More information can be found in CMI’s latest Annual Report.


South Caucasus

CMI supports dialogue across conflict divides and the capacities of government officials in peace mediation efforts.

caucasus

Since 2010, CMI has been working with actors from all sides of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh to establish channels of communication and increase confidence between groups of individuals.

A difficult process of transition that has continued since the collapse of the Soviet Union has left the South Caucasus deeply fragmented politically. With some of Eurasia’s major energy corridors and competing geopolitical interests, the region has major historical challenges and is also continually confronted with clashing geostrategic options, unstable economic development, and national and regional integration dilemmas. The three South Caucasus countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia – have all chosen separate and at times opposing political paths, while trying to tackle severe domestic security and democratic development challenges.

Today, national and international actors are still searching for conflict settlement frameworks to address the unresolved statuses of Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. In light of the general instability now stretching from Ukraine to Syria, the illusory convenience of the status quo is no longer an option. The need is more urgent than ever for reinvigorated peace processes and tackling highly militarized conflicts that have polarized and alienated societies for decades. In a region that has seen human relations deteriorating to a point of almost no return, international mediation efforts and support for official peace negotiations must be complemented with long-term social transformations.

CMI has been active in the South Caucasus since 2006, bringing discussions about conflict settlement to a broader constituency and enabling otherwise marginalized civil society actors to participate in dialogue and to contribute suggestions relevant to the official talks.

Dialogue efforts at civil society level – Youth Platform

Since 2010, CMI has been working with actors from all sides of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh to establish channels of communication and increase confidence between groups of individuals isolated or deeply affected by ongoing hostilities or by the lack of progress in official negotiations.

CMI has focused its efforts on the generation that grew up in isolation from each other after the 1990s war. This is a generation with very little positive experience of co-existence. More than twenty years of living alongside violence and personal exposure to military action have polarized these young people and profoundly challenged any shared vision they could have of how a potential settlement could be developed. The attitudes of the youth in these areas range from indifference to the conflict and its consequences, to aggression and polarizing nationalist stereotyping. In these circumstances, the chances of broad societal endorsement or support for official compromise grow increasingly slim.

More than five years of sustained engagement by CMI, with the support of the European Union (through the European Partnership for the peaceful settlement of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, EPNK) have resulted in the creation of a cross-conflict platform of emerging professionals. This platform may be able to come to terms with and positively transform their political and societal environment. The platform’s members are currently mid-level peacebuilding actors working within their respective institutions (including NGOs, mass media, and executive and representative bodies).

Supporting official actors

Since 2015, CMI has also focused on supporting key actors from official institutions engaged in conflict resolution in Armenia and Georgia. This support is designed to enhance peace mediation competences and to enrich the debate on these issues within each of the respective institutional systems.

Peace mediation is a very cost-effective means of conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and its value to local and regional peacemaking is widely recognized. Of vital importance to sustainable peace agreements is the ability of state actors and institutions to analyse complex conflict scenarios and explore inclusive pathways for settlements. For the official peace processes in the region to progress, the South Caucasus countries need a broad base of competent and experienced official actors who fully understand the complexities of mediation and peace processes. These actors must be able to provide analyses and recommendations within their institutions, and to the negotiators in the official talks.

In 2015, CMI together with partners in the region (International Centre for Geopolitical Studies – ICGS, Tbilisi and NGO “European Integration”, Yerevan) and with the support of the Finnish and British Governments, worked to help Armenian and Georgian officials to learn international best practices from peace processes in Europe and elsewhere. This learning model is now being piloted in other peace processes in the region.

  • CMI has been active in the South Caucasus since 2006, promoting broad-based discussion on conflict settlement and enabling participation by otherwise marginalized civil society actors
  • Since 2015, CMI also works to support key actors from official institutions involved in conflict resolution in Armenia and Georgia
  • An essential element in sustainable peace agreements is the capacity of state actors and institutions to analyse complex conflict scenarios and explore inclusive solutions. CMI provides support in precisely these areas

Supporting the efficient exercise of Gagauzia’s autonomy within Moldova

CMI works to facilitate informal and official dialogue processes between the Parliament of Moldova and Gagauzia’s People’s Assembly to improve mechanisms of center-autonomy relations.

gagauzia

CMI’s Manager Jale Sultanli (centre) and Project Officer Natalia Djandjgava (left) at the first meeting of the official working group on Gagauzia in the Parliament of Moldova in Chisinau.

In the early 1990s, the Gagauz-Yeri autonomous region was established in southern Moldova to safeguard the rights of the Gagauz minority. In 1994, Moldova passed a law on the Special Legal Status of Gagauz Yeri, which includes a legislature (the People’s Assembly, with 35 members) and an executive branch headed by the Governor (the Bashkan). International experience has shown that establishment of autonomy is often a successful conflict resolution model. However, implementation of the 1994 law has been inconsistent, resulting in frequent disputes and growing tension between the Moldovan central Government and the executive branch of the autonomous region.

To address these challenges, in 2015 CMI convened an informal dialogue group of legislators from Chisinau and Comrat to work on making the autonomy more functional. The initiative is funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Moldova. CMI facilitates the joint meetings between the two sides and organizes study trips to learn about other models of autonomy and other centre-autonomy dialogue mechanisms.

Following increased attention to the question of Gagauz autonomy, in November 2015 the Moldovan Parliament launched an official initiative to create the first permanent working group on improving the functionality of Gagauzia’s autonomy within Moldova’s constitutional framework. The members of this group are Members of the Moldovan Parliament and the People’s Assembly. The group held its first formal meetings in early 2016.

CMI will provide good offices to this parliamentary platform, while our informal dialogue group consolidates its work through joint analysis and problem-solving. Both official and unofficial dialogue processes are used to establish mechanisms for efficient and effective centre-autonomy relationships, and to develop a roadmap for harmonizing legislation. This process is implemented in cooperation with key international actors, including the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the European Union.

  • The Gagauz-Yeri autonomous region was established in southern Moldova in the early 1990s to safeguard the rights of the Gagauz minority
  • In late 2015 the Moldovan Parliament launched an official initiative to create the first permanent working group to improve the functionality of Gagauzia’s autonomy within Moldova’s constitutional framework
  • CMI provides good offices to this parliamentary platform, and our informal dialogue group supports the platform’s activities through joint analysis and problem-solving

Transdniestrian settlement process

Since 2011 CMI has contributed to efforts towards a peaceful and equitable settlement to the Transdniestrian conflict.

moldova

Roxana Cristescu, CMI’s head of Eurasia, and Moldova’s former deputy prime minister Victor Osipov continue to seek ways to solve the conflict.

The Transdniestrian conflict zone is less than 100 kilometres from the EU’s Eastern borders. Since the war in 1992, the Republic of Moldova and Transdniestria have been engaged on and off in negotiations towards a political solution for the inhabitants on both sides of the River Dniestr / Nistru. The tensions have had a serious impact on the population of both sides and have hampered the whole region’s socio-economic development. Despite years of international mediation efforts, the conflict remains unresolved.

CMI’s work in the region includes support to the peace process on multiple levels, focusing on building confidence across the conflict lines, providing support to the conflict settlement process, and engaging with conflict sides on key issues where international and local expert support can be of most help.

Since 2011, CMI has worked to support the conflict settlement process by convening and supporting ongoing dialogue between high-level independent experts and former officials specializing in the conflict. The Dialogue Group includes political analysts, former negotiators in the official political process, former senior diplomats and current advisers to the political leadership in Chisinau, Tiraspol, the EU, Moscow, Washington, and Kyiv. The members of the Group engage in regular exchanges and joint analyses of the major long-term political, economic and social trends that influence the settlement process. The outputs of this strategic identification of risks and opportunities have been developed into joint recommendations, and have been provided in briefings to participants of the official negotiation process and international actors. The Group also engages with the key international actors influencing the Transdniestrian settlement process and makes regular visits to Brussels, Moscow, Berlin, Vienna and other key capitals.

CMI also engages with Chisinau and Tiraspol on a regular basis, focusing on issues and actors that are most central to the settlement process. This has led to provision of tailored support to the political negotiators and to Track 1 working groups, particularly in the areas of education and trade. All these efforts make use of relevant international experience, peer exchange events, and development of analytical materials. Most recently CMI has also begun analysing the role and potential of parliamentary cooperation within the conflict settlement process.

  • CMI’s work in the Transdniestrian region includes a wide range of activities in support of the peace process
  • CMI facilitates an ongoing dialogue process among former officials and high-level independent experts on the conflict
  • Most recently, CMI has also begun analysing the role and potential of parliamentary-level cooperation within the settlement process

Middle East and North Africa
Eurasia
Sub-Saharan Africa
Women in Peacemaking
Policy and Learning
africa
Conflicts in Africa are characterized by their regional impact; they are typically transnational and span across national boundaries. In this context, supporting regional approaches to conflict prevention becomes ever more important. The core principle underlying CMI’s work in Africa is that sustainable solutions to complex, and typically borderless conflicts require regional efforts and the participation of all levels of society. We support the organizations in promoting peace and security on the continent, help them build their mediation capacities, and assist in their mediation efforts.

In addition to our partnership with the African Union (AU), CMI has established institutional partnerships with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)


Strengthening African mediation capacities

CMI’s work in sub-Saharan Africa involves a number of regional partnerships and collaborations with actors at all levels.

Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East and North Africa teams discuss regional dimensions of conflicts at an informal meeting at the Swedish mission.

CMI works to enhance the capabilities of African national, regional and sub-regional actors, and to provide operational, technical, and advisory support to official and unofficial peace processes, including those in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. CMI works with local and regional actors to identify and enhance the capacities of relevant actors in projects related to conflict analysis, mediation, gender, and inclusion. CMI also creates spaces for constructive dialogue among different actors and helps them address common concerns, such as cross-border security and sub-regional peace.

Our work is based on a number of regional partnerships and collaborations with actors at all levels. For instance, at the request of the African Union, CMI has since February 2014 provided operational support to the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in building its mediation capabilities and strengthening its role in resolving the crisis in the Central African Republic. CMI is also part of a broader consortium that supports the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in its mediation efforts, in line with ECOWAS’s own conflict prevention framework. The consortium provides high-level peace and security expertise to ECOWAS and aims to strengthen its mediation capabilities within the broader African Peace and Security Architecture. To further support peace and security efforts in the region, CMI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

CMI has also established cross-regional working groups focused on the Great Lakes Region, the Sahel and the Red Sea in response to evolving political dynamics within these regions. Bringing together the specific regional expertise of CMI, the groups actively monitor the evolving regional dynamics providing good offices and analysis.

  • Conflicts in Africa are typically transnational and shaped by regional dynamics
  • CMI focuses on identifying and enhancing the capacities of African regional and sub-regional organisations in issues related to conflict analysis, mediation, gender, and inclusion
  • CMI supports the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and is part of a consortium that assists the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in its mediation efforts
  • CMI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

Supporting the African Union’s mediation capacities

CMI’s long-standing work with the African Union is centrally focused on further strengthening collaboration between the Union and the regional economic communities.

amc

Ambassador Nicolas Bwakira (left) together with CMI’s senior advisers David Kapya and Nureldin Satti discuss peace mediation in Africa at a seminar in Helsinki.

One of CMI’s most enduring partnerships is with the African Union, which has a key role in consolidating peace and security in Africa. Since 2009, CMI has worked with the Union’s Peace and Security Department and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) to improve the AU’s capacity to respond to conflicts through preventive diplomacy and peace mediation.

Because the AU works in a diverse and highly complex environment, it is imperative that CMI is flexible in its support of the Union’s activities. We provide the AU with needs-based operational support in contexts where such assistance can make a substantial contribution to the AU’s capacity to design, implement, and support any given mediation process. CMI’s support includes wide-ranging advisory service and other expertise, ranging from process design and facilitation of thematic areas including national dialogue, gender, and inclusion.

The fundamental focus of CMI’s work is on systematising, fostering, and solidifying collaboration between the African Union and the African Regional Economic Communities. For example, at the AU’s request CMI has since 2014 provided operational support to the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to build ECCAS’ mediation capacities and strengthen its role in resolving the crisis in the Central African Republic. CMI’s support for the AU also includes conducting targeted country assessments and providing analytical briefings to various Union bodies. CMI also helps to strengthen coordination between civil society actors and regional and sub-regional organizations. In collaboration with African non-state actors, the AU, and the Regional Economic Communities, CMI has gathered data on the added value of non-state actors in mediation processes, and has produced recommendations for deepening and solidifying collaboration between non-state actors and regional organizations.

  • CMI’s strong partnership with the African Union continues with confidence
  • Together with our partners the African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Conflicts (ACCORD), CMI augments the Union’s conflict response capacity through preventive diplomacy and peace mediation
  • CMI’s work focuses on furthering collaboration between the AU and the Regional Economic Communities
  • At the request of the AU, CMI has worked in many areas, including Madagascar, the Central African Republic, and Côte d’Ivoire

Strengthening the role of South Sudan political institutions in conflict resolution

The current fragile and dynamic transitional context in South Sudan requires careful attention to in order to build resilient institutions.

sosu

CMI’s head for Sub-Saharan Africa, Itonde Kakoma with Tanzanian president Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and CCM secretary general Abdulrahman Kinana prior to the signing of the reunification agreement of the South Sudanese ruling party on 21 January in 2015.

CMI has been active in South Sudan since its independence in 2011, and has established a reputation as an independent and effective actor there. CMI works to create an environment that supports sustainable and inclusive implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS). The Agreement was signed in August 2015, and was the successful outcome of coalition-building and transformation of key leadership in South Sudan. The current fragile and dynamic transitional context requires attention in order to produce resilient institutions that can withstand the fragile economic and military situation.

We engage with key political actors relevant to the peace process towards dialogue and transformation across the political divide and between varying sectors and levels of governance. Existing partnerships with the political party, the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, and national think tanks provide entries into the national context. Broader CMI partnerships with the African Union and IGAD, as well as strong links to various actors in the international and regional community allow for appropriate sequencing, focus and coordination of CMI efforts within the broader context.

Our ongoing initiative with the South Sudan’s Woman’s Parliamentary Caucus models inclusive approaches to the ongoing peace process in South Sudan to wider stakeholders, and is geared to strengthening the role of parliament in conflict resolution, and the implementation of ARCISS specifically. CMI also supported the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Intra-Party Dialogue alongside the ruling parties of Tanzania (CCM) and South Africa (ANC). The Dialogue convened the principal groups of the SPLM Groups in Arusha, and resulted in the signing of the SPLM Reunification Agreement on January 21, 2015. CMI has since worked with the Co-Guarantors of the Agreement, CCM and ANC, to implement the Reunification Agreement.

  • CMI’s efforts are aimed at creating a environment that is conducive to sustainable and inclusive implementation of the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS)
  • CMI’s ongoing initiative with the South Sudan’s Woman’s Parliamentary Caucus aims at strengthening the implementation of ARCISS and the role of parliament in conflict resolution
  • CMI also supports the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Intra-Party Dialogue alongside the ruling parties of Tanzania and South Africa

 

See our video on our work with female parliamentarians in South Sudan.


Middle East and North Africa
Eurasia
Sub-Saharan Africa
Women in Peacemaking
Policy and Learning

Women in Peacemaking

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Women are the largest group to be systematically affected by violent conflict and yet to have the least participation in its resolution. This is a reality that is being recognized by the international community, but change is slow to come. Gender equality and inclusiveness are core operating principles of CMI. Thus everywhere we work we strive to highlight the importance of women’s participation in building and sustaining peace and to carve out greater role for women in peace processes.

Supporting a stronger role for women in peace processes

One of the key principles guiding CMI’s work is inclusiveness.

Senior Manager for Women in Peacemaking, Johanna Poutanen, at the Nordic Women Mediators (NWM) annual meeting in Helsinki.

The United Nations first legislated to promote women’s role in conflict resolution with its groundbreaking Security Council Resolution 1325. Passed in 2000, this resolution recognized the women’s rights as a vital part of international peace and security. Since then the UN has passed seven more resolutions that support women’s rights and roles in conflict zones and peacemaking. The UN tracks its progress in implementing these resolutions through annual reports from the Secretary General, and, in 2015, a major Global Study. So far all their conclusions have been depressingly similar: despite small advances, women and their views are still massively under-represented in peace processes worldwide. Less than two percent of the peace agreements signed since 2000 were signed by women. Less than nine percent of peace negotiators were women. This lack of inclusiveness may be one significant factor in why half of all peace agreements fail in their first decade.

Inclusiveness as one of the key principles

Inclusiveness is one of CMI’s core operating principles. We highlight the importance of women’s participation in building and sustaining peace, and work to create a greater role for women in peace processes. One way we do this is by promoting gender-sensitive mediation. One of our major goals is to make it standard practice for gender considerations to be an integral part of all peace agreements. Sustainable peace demands many interconnected, mutually supportive structures for inclusiveness. This is a principle that CMI follows in all its work.

Emerging research shows that inclusiveness creates better results and sustainability in peace processes. Gender-sensitivity and women themselves have a crucial role in promoting inclusiveness.  CMI helps to increase the amount and impact of women’s meaningful engagement in peace processes. We help women from diverse social and political backgrounds to discuss and build consensus on the issues that matter to them. We support them in ensuring that these recommendations then become part of peace and transition processes.

CMI promotes women’s inclusion in conflict prevention and peacemaking in parts of the South Caucasus, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East.

Advancing gender-sensitive mediation

CMI also supports mediators in tackling questions of inclusiveness in peace processes. Our partners include the UN Department of Political Affairs, the Peace Research Institute Oslo, regional organisations, and various local actors in each country we work in. CMI works with its partners to promote extensive and nuanced awareness of gender in peacemaking and mediation. Among our most important engagements in this regard is our annual High Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation. We combine this with various other capacity-building efforts in close cooperation with regional peacemakers.

CMI works with Nordic Women Mediators

CMI is proud to be an operational partner of the Nordic Women Mediators. This is a growing network of professional women mediators from the Nordic countries that specializes in inclusive peacemaking. The platform works to make it common knowledge that women worldwide have a great deal to contribute to peace processes. The Nordic Women Mediators is also keen to establish wide-ranging partnerships with like-minded initiatives, in particular boosting the work of women mediators in conflict affected countries across the world.

Read more about the network and other partner organisations here

  • CMI works to support a stronger and larger role for women in conflict resolution and peacemaking processes
  • CMI contributes to providing the extensive help that regional actors need in making their mediation practices gender-sensitive and inclusive


Middle East and North Africa
Eurasia
Sub-Saharan Africa
Women in Peacemaking
Policy and Learning

Policy and Learning

CMI contributes to the development of the field of peace mediation in three ways: i) the cumulative lessons learned from CMI’s experience in different contexts and themes, ii) the expertise and experience of President Ahtisaari as a leading global mediator, and iii) CMI’s partnerships in the international peacemaking community, convening platforms and dialogue with peer organisations, governments, think tanks and international and regional organisations. Within this focus, special effort is made in seeking complementarity with Finnish efforts to support the international peacemaking community, and in seeking innovations for joint development with other actors.

CMI’s focus on policy and learning is aimed at creating positive feedback loops between thematic topics identified and informed by CMI’s work and learning from key national, regional, and international actors. These topics are based on CMI’s internal learning mechanisms, centred on internal reviews and critical friend practices, combined with CMI access, networks and analysis. Selected topics are certain to develop further in accordance with local dynamics and emerging trends.