Practitioners supporting the Centre for Multilateral Negotiations
There is definitely an urgent need to learn more systematically from past negotiation processes to make them more successful in the future.
This is a great initiative, which I fully support. In multilateral negotiations, the quality of the process is as important as the substance in order to reach significant agreements.
This centre represents a great opportunity to provide negotiation chairs with facilitation best practices, and thereby accelerate the crafting of multilateral agreements on trade and other global issues.
Negotiations cannot be improvised if they are to be successful. An understanding of the rules and dynamics inherent in any multilateral negotiation are as important as knowledge of the substance. An effective negotiator does well to learn these as key tools of the trade.
I and my team greatly benefited from Kai Monheim’s presentation in 2014 on the lessons learned from previous presidencies. It helped us structure our approach to prepare and later exercise the presidency of COP21. The lessons drawn by Kai resonated in the many steps we took when interacting, at different levels, with parties to the UNFCC, and, in no small ways, contributed to the success of Paris.
Any multilateral negotiation is a highly complex process. So, best practices of negotiation management, especially of transparency, will increase the chances to reach desirable outcomes. There is no doubt a centre like this will enrich the skills of young as well as experienced facilitators.
How do we ensure we don’t start from scratch with every new presidency or President?
There would clearly be a need and demand for such an institution.
The knowledge management function is important.
Practitioners in every field of multilateral negotiations rightly believe their circumstances are unique in terms of substance, history and culture. But this does not mean that they cannot learn from each other – and so improve results. This important initiative provides the missing link.
International negotiations would certainly benefit from a forum where chairs could exchange experiences and learn from each other.
This is an excellent initiative. Foreign Policy and economies increasingly depend on multilateral solutions. Thus, training people in multilateral negotiations and their facilitation has become essential to address global challenges.
Academics welcoming the initiative
This excellent initiative is a unique opportunity to make research on multilateral negotiations useful to policy-makers in their attempts to address global challenges.
It is time to identify and secure lessons learned from the experiences of global multi-party negotiations and transform them into best practices. This centre seems excellent to reach this goal.
Even when there is a broad common interest in solving an important set of global problems, failures of negotiations can result from poor negotiation management. This is where a centre focused on managing multilateral negotiations could make a real contribution.
Multilateral Negotiation is all about interests – with regard to both the process and the substance. By refining the strategies of eliciting, formulating and reconciling these interests, the centre may lead modern summit diplomacy to a next level.
The success of multilateral negotiations also rests on the negotiation strategy and management. This project is the first to provide evidence-based, concrete suggestions on how to ensure the success of international conferences.
Many have identified the importance of the chair in multilateral negotiations, but no one has undertaken a systematic analysis of the requirements for success or even the parameters for analysis that get us beyond simply personality. This centre should do so.
There is a significant gap in global governance in collecting the fragmented experience in facilitation and providing it to future chairs. Governments and civil society have a lot to gain from this.
Great idea. I don’t think there is anything like it.