SUSTAIN-Peace: Negotiation-Mediation Training to help address polarization and strengthen social cohesion in post-election Bangsamoro

Posted July 5, 2022

MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES - To help address polarization and strengthen trust and social cohesion in the Bangsamoro region, UNDP Philippines, with support from the Embassy of Australia in the Philippines, organized a training workshop on negotiation and mediation for representatives of Bangsamoro civil society organizations and sectoral groups, such as women, youth and faith-based leaders from different geographical areas in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Facilitated by resource persons from the Clingendael Academy—one of the largest international diplomatic training centers around the world, the training sought to enhance the knowledge and skills of participants (10 females, 21 males) in addressing divisions and resolving conflicts against the backdrop of tensions related to the recently-completed 2022 elections . Participants were trained on the use of negotiation and mediation tools to aid them in possible polarized situations, where there are multiple groups with conflicting interests, and where a collective and collaborative outcome is pivotal.

Given the critical work of sustaining the gains of the peace process, there is an urgent need to bring together representatives from civil society organizations, sectoral groups and government institutions to work together and maintain the region’s path towards sustainable and lasting peace.

Conducted from 15–17 June 2022, the training provided a venue for participants to enhance their understanding and capacities in utilizing negotiation and mediation as vital coordination and collaboration instruments to help promote social cohesion. The negotiation and mediation training also served as an avenue for the participants to identify actions plans to contribute to preventing the escalation of violence and facilitating the reduction of tensions that may lead to conflict within communities in the Bangsamoro region.

This initiative was made possible through the support of the Embassy of Australia in the Philippines through the UNDP project entitled Sustainability, Transformation, Accompaniment, and Inclusion (SUSTAIN-Peace): An Integrated Approach to Sustaining Peace and Development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Since 2016, UNDP and Australia have supported several trainings on negotiation and mediation for different sectors and groups in the Bangsamoro, including the Bangsamoro Insider Mediators Group. [E]