2019 has been another difficult year for multilateralism. Recent global events highlight how it is more pressing than ever to equip negotiators with the tools to navigate challenging negotiations to build compromise. As COP 25 President Schmidt gavelled the final plenary to a close this past Sunday, it marked the end of the longest conference in UNFCCC history. In the WTO, the failure to nominate new judges to the Appellate Body is another example of the deadlocks that multilateral institutions face.

Here at the Centre for Multilateral Negotiations, we have seen a very busy and productive second half of 2019. This fall we continued our collaboration with the WTO regime, this time providing a high-level advisory working to the Kazakh government in preparation for chairing MC12. In climate negotiations, we shared some of our research insights in a training event with the incoming British Presidency of COP26. We have also continued our support for the Danish Ministry of Environment, and completed another training for African Delegates to the Montreal Protocol mandated by GIZ (the German Development Agency). We also showcased the Multilateral Negotiation Database at the Paris Peace Forum – our flagship research project that systematizes key insights on the multilateral negotiation process. Finally, we are proud to introduce the first issue of our policy brief series.

As always, you are welcome to follow us on LinkedIn or on cemune.org; If you want to learn more or support us, please reach out to kai.monheim@cemune.org.

Best regards
Dr Kai Monheim and Dr Magnus Lundgren
Director and Deputy Director
Centre for Multilateral Negotiations

Negotiation Management Workshop with Kazakhstan in Preparation for the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference
The Centre facilitated a two-day workshop with the government of Kazakhstan and the WTO on strategic negotiation management in preparation of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, in June 2020. Key host country facilitators from the last two Ministerial Conferences in Nairobi and Buenos Aires as well as seasoned experts and WTO representatives shared best and worst facilitation practices to help maximize the outcomes of MC12.

The Chair of MC12, Mr Bakhyt Sultanov, Kazakh Minister of Trade and Kazakh Ambassador to the UN Zhanar Aitzhanova spent two days discussing key drivers of effective negotiation management such as the role of transparency, alignment between the host country and the WTO Secretariat and the use of informal settings. In his closing remarks, Minister Sultanov highlighted that building relationships and being in continuous exchange with the different stakeholders will be key to navigating the negotiations that take place in the challenging current context. The workshop was warmly welcomed by our Kazakh partners and experts in attendance.

To tie-in with the high-level workshop, we published a policy report, lead-authored by Cemune principal Hayley Walker, on improving negotiation management in the WTO. We are grateful to the funding partners of the workshop, the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the World Economic Forum, the German Development Institute and the Asian Development Bank.


High-level workshop attendance with WTO 12th Ministerial Conference Chair & Trade Minister Sultanov and Kazakh UN Ambassador Aitzhanova.

The Multilateral Negotiation Database as showcase at the Paris Peace Forum
We had the pleasure of showcasing our Multilateral Negotiation Database at the Paris Peace Forum hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and co-organized by the Koerber-Foundation. The database is an open-access digital wiki containing best practices for facilitating multilateral negotiations and illustrating examples. Visit the pilot-version of our database at our website. Highlights from the Forum included a project pitch on the exhibit floor and promising exchanges with partners of future projects, such as the French Foreign Ministry, GIZ, and other international foundations. Please reach out to henrik.jepsen@cemune.org if you are interested in supporting this project.


Director Kai Monheim pitching the showcased negotiation database project.

Launch of our New Policy Brief Series: Issue No 1 on Procedural Justice
We are proud to introduce the first issue of our policy brief series: “Procedural Justice in Climate Negotiations” by Lynn Wagner and Dan Druckman. It discusses the drivers and outcomes of procedural justice in multilateral negotiations, drawing on evidence from UNFCCC negotiations. Key points include:

  • Negotiations that adhere to principles of procedural justice lead to better and more durable outcomes.
  • Procedural justice is achieved through transparency, fair representation, fair treatment, and voluntary agreement.
  • The success of the UNFCCC negotiation process depends on the level of trust between the presidency and negotiators, and procedural justice contributes to building this trust.

You can download a pdf version of the brief here.

Research Tips
Our picks of new publications on multilateral negotiations:

For more detailed information on our recent and upcoming projects we invite you to visit our website cemune.org or connect with us via LinkedIn.

Dr Kai Monheim, Director
Dr Magnus Lundgren, Deputy Director
Centre for 
Himmelstraße 19e 
22299 Hamburg 
+49 176 21204113



Newsletter No. 2/2019