Roundtable: "Nexus of peacemaking and constitution building'

21-22 May 2018

From 21-22 May 2018, Cheryl Saunders participated in an experts meeting on the topic of "Towards sustainable peace: The nexus of peacemaking and constitution building". The Roundtable was co-convened by the Berghof Foundation and the United Nations’ Mediation Support Unit in New York, USA and brought together constitution-making and mediation experts from around the world to share their insights and experiences. At the conclusion of the meeting, Professor Saunders produced a short paper on the intersection of constitution-making and mediation, reflecting on both opportunities and challenges.

The Roundtable explore how peacemaking, particularly processes which include mediated peace negotiations, interface with
constitution building in practice. What are the fundamental principles and approaches common to both fields? What lessons can be drawn from each field to inform the other? How and when can practitioners work together for better outcomes? When attempts are made to coordinate actors in the two fields, what challenges emerge?

The Roundtable was convened in support of a larger 14-month project (January 2018 – February 2019) being implemented by Berghof Foundation and the United Nations’ Mediation Support Unit to explore these questions. Through studying a number of country cases, reviewing existing literature from each field and facilitating discussions between experts and practitioners, the project aims to increase knowledge and understanding about the intersection of peacemaking - with a focus on mediation - and constitution making, and to strengthen collaboration and cooperation between the two fields so that they can better reinforce each other. The project, which is supported by the Federal Foreign Office, Germany, will develop a practical, hands-on Guiding Note on the nexus of peacemaking and constitution making.