On Monday 5th October, Forward Thinking, in cooperation with the House of Wisdom Institute, delivered an online workshop to provide training on mediation skills. This session was led by Professor Alain Lempereur in response to requests from senior officials in Gaza to learn more about the role of a mediation during negotiaitons.

Professor Lempereur presented a theoretical overview of mediation and also drew on his own experiences working as a mediator. Participants were also able to work on a simulation exercise based on cross-factional talks to gain practical experience of mediating between parties.

The seven principles of mediation are: independence, impartiality, neutrality, confidentiality, fairness, respect for the law, self-determination. Working on a principle of neutrality is fundamental for ensuring that mediators do not come to a negotiations process with pre-conceived ideas of what an acceptable solution or end result could be. A negotiations process is the work of both parties; while a mediator can help to build solutions, they cannot determine what outcomes should look like.

Professor Alain Lempereur is the Professor and Director of the Conflict Resolution and Coexistence Programme (COEX) at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. He is an affiliated faculty and executive committee member of the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School. Over the last 25 years Alain has conducted consultative missions and training for several international organisations including UN agencies, NGOs, and national governments on conflict reconciliation.