Call for Participants - International Commercial Negotiation & Mediation Training and Practice Programme for Students at Universities in Iraq and Kurdistan Region of Iraq

November 13, 2023


The United Nations Development Programme is pleased to announce a call for participants in:

International Commercial Negotiation and Mediation Training and Practice Programme

19 – 24/25 January 2024 in Baghdad, Iraq 📍

15 - 20/21 February 2024 in Erbil, KRI 📍


🔍 Are you a student of law or business interested in international commercial dispute management and resolution?

🔍 Do you want to learn about negotiation skills and improve your own skills?

🔍 Do you want to gain experience in international commercial mediation?

🔍 Would you like to work in English on all the above and improve your professional English?

🔍 Would you like to meet and network with other students and professionals in the field of dispute resolution?

If the answer is yes to all the above then continue reading!


This six-day training and practice programme will introduce international commercial negotiation and mediation as a form of dispute resolution in international business. Participants will learn:

  • The basic principles of mediation and how it differs from other forms of dispute resolution such as litigation and arbitration,
  • How to analyse disputes and prepare for commercial negotiation/mediation,
  • How to prepare strategy for commercial negotiation and mediation as or on behalf of the parties to the dispute,
  • Key negotiation skills,
  • How to conduct a mediation session in the role of business and legal representatives and negotiators of parties in dispute.


Each training and practice week consists of: 

  • Four days of intensive training,
  • Two days of simulated negotiations in a practice (competition) format, with teams competing against each other in several rounds.

During both the training and the competition, the trainers and professionals will give individual feedback to the teams.


The practice part of the week is intended to put the best teams forward to apply to compete in either:

Participation of the teams in the training and practice program, as well as preparation and participation of the selected teams in the above international competitions, will be supported and funded by the European Union-funded “Support to Justice Initiatives Curbing Corruption and Promoting Commercial Dispute Resolution Project“ of UNDP Iraq.


Who can apply:

Teams applying for the training and practice in Baghdad or Erbil should meet the following criteria:

  • Consist of four full-time or part-time student members, at least two of which must be students of law,
  • Team members must still have undergraduate student status to the end of August 2024 to be eligible for participation in the international competitions. Master’s students may be considered if they have no more than one year of work experience and graduated as bachelor’s students no earlier than 2022. They may not be practising mediators,
  • Team members must have a sufficiently good command of the English language, as the training, practice and international competitions will be in English,
  • Team members must be fully committed to all six (full) days of the training, 
  • Team members must have an interest in different forms of dispute resolution and in acquiring negotiation skills, 
  • To be considered for participation in the competitions in Vienna and Colombo, teams must be willing and able to commit time for further (virtual and in person) training and preparation throughout 2024 and the days required to travel to and attend the competitions.


Trainers and Coaches

Dr. Greg Bond

Greg is based in Germany where he works as a mediator and trainer with his own company, bond and bond mediation and coaching (, as well as a university lecturer in conflict management and mediation at Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau (near Berlin). He has a Master’s in Mediation from European University Viadrina Frankfurt / Oder, Germany. He is a certified mediator in Germany and works internationally as a trainer and expert. He is a member of the academic advisory board of the Master’s in Mediation and Conflict Management at European University Viadrina and a professor in mediation at New Vision University, Tbilisi, Georgia. He has trained mediators with UNDP and USAID programmes in a number of countries. He has extensive experience in international student moots and competitions in commercial mediation, including:

  • International Chamber of Commerce International Mediation Competition, Paris, France: former member of the Rules Working Group; current chair of the Problems Working Group; mediator, judge, coach
  • IBA-VIAC IBA – VIAC CDRC Mediation & Negotiation Competition, Vienna, Austria: former chair of the Case Working Group; expert assessor
  • International Investor-State Mediation Competition (IIMC), Colombo, Sri Lanka: chair of Case Drafting Working Group; consultant

Greg will coach teams from Iraq and KRI if they are accepted to compete in Vienna or Colombo.


Sophie Tkemaladze

Sophie joined UNDP Iraq in May 2023 as Team Lead on Commercial Dispute Resolution of the Anti-Corruption and Arbitration Initiatives funded by the European Union (EU). Previously, Sophie advised EU, UNDP, USAID, GIZ programs on the development of arbitration and mediation in several countries of Europe, Central and South-East Asia.  In her own country, Georgia, Sophie leads the field of Dispute Resolution in many capacities, including as the Chair of the Georgian Association of Arbitrators (2017–2021) and as the member of the Governing Board of the Georgian Association of Mediators (2019–2022).

Sophie is a practising mediator and arbitrator. She also has 15 years’ experience of training judges, lawyers, public servants and students in the skills of mediation and the law and practice of international commercial arbitration. She is assistant professor at New Vision University and a fellow and approved international faculty of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). Since September 2022 she has been a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Commission on Arbitration and ADR.

Sophie holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University, an LL.M. in International Business Law from Central European University, and a Diploma in Law from Tbilisi State University. 

How to apply for the training

Each university can only nominate one team for the training and practice program. Teams interested in participating should Register on or before December 14, 2023.

Teams selected to apply for the international competitions will be guided through the application process by the trainers at a later stage.



Contact for questions about the training program: 📧

Information Session on this initiative will be held on November 23 at 5:00 pm Baghdad time via Zoom. To sign up for the information session please fill out this Form. The Zoom link will follow accordingly.