Mediation and Facilitation

Mediation and facilitation are two broad categories of tools used in conflict management, resolution and prevention. For example, a neutral third party can mediate between warring factions and help facilitate meaningful and productive conversations to manage, resolve or prevent conflict from becoming violent.

Myanmar’s Difficult Path Toward Peace

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 10:00
Fri, 11/04/2016 - 12:00
Prospects for Ending Myanmar’s Ethnic Conflict, and Ways the International Community Might Help

International attention toward Myanmar has focused largely on the country's transition from a half-century of military rule toward democratic governance. But ending nearly 70 years of civil conflict among the country's ethnic nationalities remains essential to the country's stability and success. In its first eight months, the elected government of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has invited more of the country’s ethnic armed groups to join new peace talks. Still, fighting has continued and in some places worsened. On November 4, the U.S. Institute of Peace will gather specialists on the peace process to examine its current state and highlight ways that the international community can help.

Read the event coverage, Myanmar Peace Process: Slow Progress, Delicate Steps.

In October 2015, several of Myanmar’s ethnic armed organizations signed a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with the government of former President Thein Sein. Since taking office in March, Aung San Suu Kyi’s government has likewise made peace its priority. It convened its 21st Century Panglong Conference in August, bringing nearly all of the country’s ethnic armed groups into a nascent dialogue process. Since then, fighting in Shan, Kachin, and Karen states has expanded, and fresh clashes in Rakhine state continue to undermine trust and confidence in the process.

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Celebrating Peace: 70 Years of the United Nations

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 19:00
Wed, 11/04/2015 - 20:30
The SDGs, Goal 16, and a Vision for Peaceful Inclusive Societies

The United Nations is celebrating its 70th year, and with this landmark anniversary, has chosen to integrate peace into the architecture that will govern development for the next 15 years. On November 4, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Alliance for Peacebuilding and the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area will host Ambassador Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, for a discussion on how to turn commitments of peace into action in today’s global development assistance systems.

Read the event coverage, U.N. Eyes Early Human Rights Intervention to Promote Development.

Recurring humanitarian crises, overstretched development programs, and tenuous peace processes – all occurring in fragile states – call for a united effort to nurture states and societies to address the issues that plague their countries.  The inclusion of Global Goal 16 – to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies – in the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is an important achievement. The challenge now becomes translating that commitment into reality in systems and strategies for global development assistance.

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Seeking Security: Georgia Between Russia and ISIS

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 15:00
Wed, 08/19/2015 - 16:00
Defense Minister Tinatin Khidasheli Speaks on Challenges to Georgia and the Black Sea Region

As world headlines focus elsewhere, international security remains at risk in Georgia: Russian troops, in July, continued a creeping seizure of new Georgian territory, including part of a strategic pipeline. ISIS was recruiting fighters throughout the Caucasus for its war in Syria. Georgian Defense Minister Tinatin Khidasheli, in Washington to meet with top U.S. officials, made her remarks at USIP August 19. She discussed how her country is navigating regional security threats that have deepened in the 18 months since Russia attacked Ukraine.

Read the event coverage, Georgia, Facing Russian Pressure, Needs NATO Path, Defense Chief Says.

Minister Khidasheli made her first visit to Washington as defense minister just weeks after little-reported events that underscore Georgia’s continued importance to regional security. In July, Russian troops, who invaded in 2008, quietly advanced from South Ossetia to take over part of a BP-operated oil pipeline that supplies Europe. Georgia placed major orders with Western firms for defensive radar systems compatible with those of NATO. The trans-Atlantic alliance conducted its first exercises in Georgia involving troops from multiple member states.

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Using the Arts to Promote Human Rights in Peacebuilding

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 14:00
Wed, 04/22/2015 - 16:00

Genesis at the Crossroads, a Chicago-based organization that uses the arts in peacebuilding, joins the U.S. Institute of Peace on April 22, 2015 to host an interactive panel discussion on building peace and human rights—and the role that the arts and artists can play.

Genesis at the Crossroads uses education and the arts — including innovative performances of music, dance and other genres — to creatively promote human rights, inter-ethnic dialogue and the building of peace. Join us April 22 for a conversation with academic, artistic and human-rights specialists about this intersection of human rights and the humanities. As part of a “new conversation for human rights in peacebuilding,” panelists will discuss how to mesh human rights concerns with the reconstruction of societies and governments following war or other violent conflict.

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Aid to Civil Society: A Movement Mindset

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 14:00
Fri, 03/06/2015 - 15:30

People worldwide have been stirred by the dramatic images of “people power” movements calling for democracy and economic justice. The U.S. Institute of Peace invites you to a panel discussion on Friday, March 6, on strategies for governments and non-government supporters to lend backing to movements for social change.

In Hong Kong and Malaysia, Ukraine and Egypt, Brazil, Venezuela and elsewhere, throngs of citizenry  have challenged their governments over corruption, political repression, discrimination, and other scourges.

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Repairing the India-Pakistan Rift

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 14:00
Mon, 02/09/2015 - 15:30

Pakistan’s expression of alarm at President Obama’s recent visit to India became another example of how relations between the two South Asian nations have turned increasingly sour in the past year. On February 9, the U.S. Institute of Peace will host a panel discussion to explore the deteriorating India-Pakistan ties and the ramifications for the region and beyond.

Ties between India and Pakistan showed tentative signs of warming in late 2013 and early 2014. But optimistic calls for trade liberalization and diplomatic dialogue have given way to escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors over how to address terrorism and the disputed territory of Kashmir. Foreign secretary-level talks have been scuttled, and exchanges of fire left at least 10 people dead and thousands displaced along the Line of Control in late December and early January.

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Iran Sanctions: What the U.S. Cedes in a Nuclear Deal

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 09:30
Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:00

The last event in our three-part series addressed the complex questions and challenges of sanctions in the Iran nuclear talks.

Since 2006, the United States has imposed more sanctions on Iran than any other country, so it may have to cede the most ground to get a nuclear deal in 2014. Over the years, Republican and Democratic administrations have issued at least 16 executive orders, and Congress has passed ten acts imposing punitive sanctions. What does Tehran want? What are the six major powers considering as incentives to cooperate? What isn’t on the table? The White House and Congress have imposed their own types of sanctions. What would either need to do to lift them?

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National Dialogue in Sudan

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 12:30
Mon, 03/24/2014 - 14:30
Options and Outcomes

USIP and Sudanese experts discussed key questions surrounding a national dialogue process in Sudan in an online-only event. 

Read the event coverage, USIP Examines Sudan National Dialogue in Online Discussion

Sudan faces a daunting mix of political, economic and security challenges, all of which are likely to intensify as elections -- scheduled for 2015 -- grow near and President Bashir’s term concludes. The potential shift creates opportunities for new political arrangements, possibly including drafting a new constitution. There's also an imperative to end the conflicts in Sudan's west and south.

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Mediating Violent Conflict

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 09:00
Fri, 01/27/2017 - 17:00

Take on the roles of mediators and conflict parties in simulations and role-plays, as you learn what it takes to structure a successful mediation effort, as well as what a third party needs to do when deciding to get involved in a peacebuilding effort. This course is currently at capacity.


Guest speakers: Dr. Chester A. Crocker (former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Georgetown University), Ambassador William B. Taylor (former Ambassador to Ukraine, current Executive Vice President of USIP), Dr. Anthony Wanis-St. John (American University), and Dr. Alison Milofsky (USIP)

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U.N. Human Rights Chief on His ‘Impossible Diplomacy’

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 16:30
Thu, 02/16/2017 - 21:30

Georgetown University's annual Trainor Award and Lecture recognizes excellence in the conduct of diplomacy. It has been awarded to senior American diplomats and distinguished public servants from around the world.  Please join the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and the United States Institute of Peace in honoring the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. The High Commissioner will deliver a remarks on "The Impossible Diplomacy of Human Rights," moderated by Ambassador William J. Burns.


The Institute for the Study of Diplomacy is pleased to announce the 2017 Raymond "Jit" Trainor award to Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the seventh United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Appointed in 2014, he is the first Muslim, Arab and Asian to serve as High Commissioner and will be honored for his lifetime's work to advance the rule of law in defense and protection of the world's most vulnerable and to hold accountable those who violate these values.

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Articles & Analysis


The violence of extremists—and the chaos they spawn—takes place in towns, villages, streets and homes, not along some far-off front line. That’s where extremist groups seek recruits and where residents they victimize plot revenge, said the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Sarhang Hamasaeed in a Ted Talk-style presentation during the Jan. 10 “Passing the Baton” conference. While national and international efforts to bring peace to such areas can help, dialogue and mediation at the community level has proven to be a successful key to curbing conflict, he said. 

Fred Strasser

Relations between India and Pakistan are becoming less predictable as nationalist sentiments in India heighten political pressure there to escalate its response to clashes in the disputed territory of Kashmir, specialists on the two states said. The incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump should develop clearer U.S. policies to ease strains between the nuclear-armed states, the analysts said at the U.S. Institute of Peace. 

Fred Strasser

The peace process in Myanmar, which seeks to end decades of conflicts between the country’s army and an array of rebel groups, is progressing fitfully but could still face a reversal, experts on the Southeast Asian nation said in a discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace. To drive it forward will require that the country’s new democratic leadership to skillfully manage relations with the still-powerful military while pushing negotiations and building confidence with the nation’s diverse armed movements.

Videos & Webcasts

The violence of extremists—and the chaos they spawn—takes place in towns, villages, streets and homes, not along some far-off front line. That’s where extremist groups seek recruits and where...

Iraqi government troops and allied Kurdish forces opened their assault on the city of Mosul before dawn today, fighting to recapture Iraq’s second-largest city from guerrillas of the Islamic State...

The president of one of the four civil society organizations in the Nobel Prize-winning Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet said her country will need to make changes in its education system to...

Our Work In The Field

Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Israel and the Palestinian Territories

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Classroom Courses

Pamela Aall, Senior Advisor for Conflict Prevention and Management
January 23, 2017
Take on the roles of mediators and conflict parties in simulations and role-plays, as you learn what it takes to structure a successful mediation effort, as well as what a third party needs to do when deciding to get involved in a peacebuilding effort. This course is currently at capacity.

Online Courses

Nadia Gerspacher
This online course is targeted at international professionals with competence in their own craft who will participate in a capacity strengthening mission to a foreign region undergoing reform or transition.
Most interventions today are capacity strengthening missions.


The promises and visions articulated in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent UN resolutions and position papers that recognize the connection between gender equity and women’s participation in all aspects of peace processes and peacebuilding on the one hand, and international peace and security on the other, have not been fulfilled. Nonetheless, these resolutions have opened the way for advocacy that has had some successes in specific contexts. Colombia offers one such case. 
Las desapariciones forzadas son un legado de medio siglo de conflicto armado interno en Colombia.  Afectan a sectores pobres en el campo y en los centros urbanos, trabajadores, campesinos y campesinas, periodistas, defensores y defensoras de los derechos humanos, políticos de la oposición y lideres y lideresas afro-colombianos e indígenas.  Además, miembros de las fuerzas públicas y de la guerrilla han desaparecido en el contexto del conflicto armado colombiano.  Este informe analiza un acuerdo sobre los desaparecidos acordado en octubre 2015 entre el gobierno colombiano y las FARC-EP.  Si se cumple bien, el acuerdo ofrece la oportunidad de aliviar el sufrimiento y de ofrecer respuestas a los familiares de los desaparecidos y a toda la sociedad colombiana. English version also available.