UNU-GEST´s objective with participating, organising and/or hosting international conferences, seminars and workshops is in line with its mission; to use a multidisciplinary approach to promote gender equality and social justice in developing, conflict and post-conflict countriesin three broad ways: (1) through high-quality, collaborative, and policy-relevant research; (2) by strengthening capacity of professionals, scholars and organizations; and, (3) by creating a platform for transnational dialogue, knowledge production and exchange.
UNU-GEST organizes conferences, seminars and workshops for special events or around specific themes and topics. The overall objective is twofold: firstly, to support and increase the capacity of the participants inaddressinggender equality issues in their work; and, secondly, to have an impact on high-level policy and the UN system. The workshops aim to generate or introduce new knowledge in the field of gender equality work, share tools and lessons learned, and serve as a platform for transnational dialogue. Some events are organized in collaboration with other UN agencies and serve to support their missions. UNU-GEST hosted for instance expert meetings for UNDP HDRO in 2015 and UNEP in 2016 in Iceland. UNU-GEST also organizes lecture series each spring semester with open lectures featuring leading international experts. Furthermore, information and knowledge is disseminated via the Programme´s website (www.gest.unu.edu), Facebook and Twitter.
UNU-GEST also participates in international conferences to highlight research methods and findings, with a poster, a talk, participation in panels, symposiums, etc. In 2016, UNU-GEST researchers participated in the Nordic Africa Days in Uppsala, Sweden in September 2016 to highlight its research on the gender value chain in the fisheries sector in Tanzania. UNU-GEST director is a member of the organizational committee of the Nordic Women Mediators (NWM), a network which consists of women from the Nordic countries with professional mediation and negotiations experience. UNU-GEST coordinates the Icelandic Women Mediation Network in close collaboration with the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
In April 2016, UNU-GEST and EDDA – Research Center at the University of Iceland with support from the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs organised an international conference titled Inclusive Peace: Women, Peace and Security post 2015. The conference addressed the progress and implementation of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda.
Another reason for participating in international conferences is to increase cooperation between specialists and professionals in the field of gender research and policy-making. UNU-GEST and EDDA – Research Center at the University of Iceland is a board member of RINGS – The International Research Association of Institutions of Advanced Gender Studies – an international association with the aim of bringing together research institutions engaged in gender and feminist research on a global basis. UNU-GEST will host RINGS next conference and annual meeting to be held in October 2017.
UNU-GEST supports financially former fellows to participate in international conferences.