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Negotiating Toward Peacemaking: Experience of the U.S. Institute of Peace

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This article outlines the approach of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to training in negotiation and associated skills. USIP has provided such training for over a decade to a wide array of international practitioners, both those who are in some way directly engaged in, or at least affected by, a conflict, and international third parties from outside the conflict zone. USIP concentrates in its negotiation training on building an understanding of the negotiating environment as well as on building specific negotiation strategies. In addition to skill-building, the training programs focus on developing an understanding of the nature and dynamics of conflict and of the overlapping and interlocking nature of actors, issues, and interests in a conflict situation. The article points out five elements of content that must be included to ensure a successful program, providing illustrative examples from actual workshops. These elements include helping participants to establish effective relationships with negotiating counterparts; presenting basic concepts; acquiring and improving skills; practicing through simulations; and working together on how best to apply these skills to the real world conflicts with which they are dealing. The two case studies describe training programs for Serbian and Albanian leaders in Kosovo, and for Iraqi civil servants.

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