International Relations

United Nations Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation for Special Envoys


United Nations Department of Political Affairs, United Nations


Provision of seminars for UN Special Envoys, mediators, and mediation experts


Working with the gender experts of the UNDPA Mediation Support Unit, Susan Podziba designed the seminar framework. To do so, she interviewed special envoys and others to identify barriers to women’s participation, women’s past contributions to peace processes, and gender components of key peacemaking issues such as cease fires, transitional justice, constitutional reform, and wealth sharing. Based on her experience mediating complex conflicts, she tailored each seminar module to specific actions available to mediators -- from process design to the language of peace agreements. As part of the seminar team in New York, Oslo, Helsinki, and Brussels, she presented on mediator assessments and on process design, including an analysis of the Yemen National Dialogue as an inclusive process with former Special Envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar. 


Past, current, and future special envoys and members of mediation teams from around the world have participated in this seminar. Seminar participants shared valuable knowledge and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to consider inclusive mediation strategies and techniques. UNDPA offers this seminar annually and continues to use its original structure and content. 

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