UNU-GEST coordinates the Icelandic network of the Nordic Women Mediators (NWM) in close collaboration with the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The network consists of women from the five Nordic countries with professional mediation and negotiations experience. The NWM network was officially launched in Oslo on 27 November 2015, followed by an international launch in March 2016 at the United Nations in New York.
What is the Nordic Women Mediators?
The Nordic Women Mediators (NWM) is a network of women from the five Nordic countries with professional expertise relevant to conflict mediation, peacebuilding and negotiations. They share a commitment to sustaining peace through the inclusive and meaningful participation of women in all phases of peace processes. NWM is an instrument for the involvement of Nordic women in advocacy and operational engagement in support for peace.
The membership of the network comprises Nordic women with diverse professional experiences, ranging from foreign affairs and international law to multilateral or regional organizations such as the UN, the EU and the OSCE as well as civil society.
NWM network members have expertise on a variety of issues relevant to all phases of peace processes, including mediation, ceasefire arrangements, constitutional reform, civil-military relations, international humanitarian law, human rights, communications and inclusive strategies. Promoting women in negotiations, mediation and all phases of peace-making is at the heart of the work of the NWM.
NWM is a collaborative forum, building on national women mediators’ networks in all five Nordic Countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The Network was launched in Oslo in November 2015.
The Nordic Women Mediators (NWM) mission is to enable Nordic women mediators and peacebuilders to advance the inclusion and meaningful participation of women in all phases of peace processes, to contribute to achieving and sustaining peace.
To achieve the mission of the network, the NWM will work according to the following objectives:
1. To strengthen women’s participation in peace processes at all levels, including by:
Amplifying the voices of women mediators and peacemakers in conflict affected areas
Advocating for all peace processes to be inclusive;
Developing and fostering partnerships with other mediation and peacebuilding networks and organisations; and
Creating and supporting joint activities among members and with partners, as appropriate.
2. To strengthen Nordic women actively involved in international peace-making efforts, including by:
Enabling the sharing of experiences, knowledge and know-how among members, including through networking opportunities;
Promoting and supporting members in their functions, as well as drawing on that expertise across networks.
Facilitating access and providing networking opportunities with mediating and peacebuilding actors globally.
The NWM network aims to reach out to actors engaged in peace processes, transitional processes and post-political settlement processes and institutions. Interacting with other similar women’s networks will be an important component. The NWM also aims to make women’s competence in this area more visible, to counter arguments about the shortage or low availability of women with mediation expertise.
How is the NWM organized?
The NWM is a collaborative forum composed of national networks in each of the five Nordic countries.
The NWM meets once a year with some ten women participating from each country. Hosting of meeting rotates between the Nordic countries.
A contact group representing participating Nordic ministries serves as a strategic-level coordinating body. A group of operational partners from the five Nordic countries (contact details below) are responsible for the organization and implementation of all network activities whether at the national or Nordic level. The operational partners play a central role in convening and organizing the annual Nordic-level meeting.
An advisory group consisting of senior Nordic women mediators and peacebuilders provides input and advice on the overall substantive direction of the NWM. At the national level, each network may have its own profile.