Folke Bernadotte Day 2016: Mediation for peace

Sweden’s future ambitions in the area of international conflict prevention was the theme of this years seminar in commemoration of Folke Bernadotte, UN's first official mediator. Birgitta Holst-Alani, engaged in the Syria peace talks, was one of the participants at the FBA seminar on 16 September. She addressed the issue of women’s participation in peace processes.

The Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) carries the name of Count Folke Bernadotte, who became the first UN mediator when he accepted the mission to negotiate peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The mission became his last; Folke Bernadotte was killed on 17 September 1948 in Jerusalem. FBA organizes a seminar every year in connection to this day, in commemoration of Folke Bernadotte’s determined efforts for peace.

This year the seminar was about mediation for peace. The number of conflicts in the world is growing, and the conflicts are becoming more intractable and complex. The Swedish government is increasing its ambitions in conflict prevention and peace mediation, and with a feminist foreign policy a special focus is placed on the issue of women's meaningful participation in peace processes.

How can mediation be used as a tool for peace, which are the Swedish government’s new ambitions in the area of peace mediation, and how can women and the civil society better be included in peace processes?

These are some of the issues that were addressed during the seminar in Stockholm on 16 September.

The participants were: Birgitta Holst-Alani, member of the Swedish Women Mediation Network organized by the FBA and recently advisor to the UN’s Special Envoy to Syria, Judy McCallum, Executive Director at Life &Peace Institute, Isak Svensson, Professor at Uppsala University with international mediation as one of his research areas, Ulrika Modéer, Swedish State Secretary to the Minister for International Development Cooperation, and Sven-Eric Söder, Director-General at the FBA. The seminar was moderated by Markus Derblom, Head of the Department for Prevention, Peacebuilding and Governance at the FBA.

You can watch the seminar in retrospect above.

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