Negotiation Simulations

Negotiation Simulations

PILPG designs and runs negotiation simulations on various aspects of conflicts around the globe in order to train parties in negotiating techniques, surface critical issues in each conflict, and develop innovative diplomatic solutions.  The negotiation simulations are run both as part of training programs for parties to a conflict and for the policy-making community in Washington, D.C.  Following the simulation, PILPG drafts and distributes a Lessons Learned Report, which highlights key lessons applicable during upcoming negotiations.  The simulations follow the methodology used by the U.S. Department of State’s National Foreign Affairs Training Center to train American diplomats prior to negotiations.

The following is an example of the negotiation simulation materials PILPG prepares.  This particular example focused on the conflict in Darfur and raised key issues between representatives of Darfur, the Government of Sudan, and international mediators.  PILPG ran this simulation in Juba, Brussels, London, Nairobi, New York, Paris, and Washington, D.C.  Below are the briefing packets for the Darfur simulation:

Darfuri Delegation Packet

Government of Sudan Packet

International Mediators Packet


PILPG has also created negotiation simulations for the following conflicts:

Afghanistan Reengagement Talks: This simulation focused on reengagement talks between the U.S. Government, the Afghan Government, international actors, and the Taliban.  The simulation was held at the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia and was co-hosted by the Minerva Institute, Middle East Studies at Marine Corps University, and PILPG.  (Lessons Learned Report: “Negotiating Reconciliation in Afghanistan”).

Burma Ceasefire Negotiations: This simulation centered on ceasefire negotiations between Burmese ethnic groups and the military government.  The simulation was conducted for representatives of several Burmese ethnic groups at the law offices of DLA Piper in Washington, D.C.

Indus River Basin Negotiations: This simulation developed potential solutions to points of impasse likely to arise during negotiations between India and Pakistan on the Indus River Basin.  The simulation was held at the law offices of Baker & McKenzie in Washington, D.C.

Iraq Constitution Negotiations: This simulation highlighted important issues from the constitutional process in Iraq including the formation of government, creation of legislative authority, distribution of resources, protection of human, minority, and women’s rights, and transitional justice.  (Lessons Learned Report: “Iraq: Negotiation a New Constitution, 2004”).

Iraq Federalism Talks: This simulation detailed federalism issues including procedures to form federal regions, the status of Kirkuk, the division of oil, water, and other resources, and the nature of public commissions.  (Lessons Learned Report: “Iraq: Federalism and the Formation of Regions, March 2006”).

Iraq Oil Distribution: This simulation featured the development of the Iraqi oil industry and discussed possible solutions for the ownership of and right to extract Iraq’s oil resources and the formula for revenue allocation collected from the sale of oil.

Jordan River Basin Negotiations: This simulation identified general principles for an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians for the use and management of the Mountain Aquifer in the West Bank.  The simulation was held at the law offices of Baker & McKenzie in Washington, D.C.

Kashmir Final Status Talks: This simulation stressed the creation of a lasting solution between the Indian and Pakistani Governments to the crisis in Kashmir and included key considerations for the final status of Kashmir, demilitarization, and humanitarian issues.

Kosovo Final Status Talks: This simulation emphasized discussions on the final status of Kosovo.  The simulation was held multiple times in Pristina, Kosovo and Washington, D.C.  (Lessons Learned Reports: “Kosovo: Negotiating Final Status, March 2002” and “Kosovo: Negotiating Final Status, December 2003”).

Libya Ceasefire Negotiations: This simulation underscored ceasefire negotiations between the National Transitional Council (NTC), the Qaddafi regime, and NATO.  The simulation was held in Washington, D.C. at the law offices of Orrick and Harrington with representatives of the NTC.  (Lessons Learned Report: “Libya: Negotiating a Ceasefire”).

Nepal Political Consensus Negotiation: This simulation delineated the political stalemate over issues including the restoration of government, reintegration of forces, and the peace process between the monarchy, opposition political parties, and the Maoists.  The simulation was held in Kathmandu, Nepal, Columbo, Sri Lanka, and at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Washington, D.C.  (Lessons Learned Report: “Nepal: Restoring Political Stability”).

Sri Lanka Peace Agreement Talks: This simulation described final peace agreement talks on issues including the adoption of an interim arrangement of autonomy in the North and East provinces and clarifications of the ceasefire agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).  The simulation was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka and at the law offices of Baker & McKenzie in Washington, D.C.  (Lessons Learned Report: “Sri Lanka: Negotiating a Lasting Peace”).

Sudan Transition Talks: This simulation focused on future transitional arrangements and political reform in Sudan, anticipating a time when the current administration is no longer in power.  The exercise sought to simulate political negotiations among opposition political parties and movements in Sudan on transitional justice, security, distribution of power, and constitutional issues.  This simulation was held at the law offices of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Washington D.C.

Sudan Peace Agreement Negotiations: This simulation raised important questions for the Inter-Government Authority for Development (IGAD) to tackle in order to take progressive steps towards a peace agreement.  The simulation was held in Juba, South Sudan and Washington, D.C.

South Sudan Peace Negotiations – The simulation was conducted in response to the December 15, 2013 outbreak of violence in Juba and the ensuing conflict throughout South Sudan.  Participants addressed three issues likely to be raised in the context of ongoing peace negotiations in Ethiopia between the Government of South Sudan and the SPLM in Opposition.  It also explored the potential role of, and challenges facing, the IGAD mediation team as talks continue.

Syria Geneva II Negotiations: This simulation explored the potential dynamics between the international community and the parties to the Syrian conflict in the context of a Geneva II Peace Conference.  The exercise tested approaches to governing arrangements, security arrangements, and accountability.  This simulation was held at Baker & McKenzie in Washington, D.C.

Syria Interim Period Negotiations: This simulation developed potential approaches to negotiations on an interim period in Syria.  Participants negotiated the establishment of an interim government, the status of opposition forces, and ceasefire arrangements.  The simulation was held at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in Washington, D.C.

Syria Local Ceasefire Negotiations:  This simulation developed approaches to provincial and city-level sectarian conflict in Syria.  The simulation was conducted for Syrian opposition leaders in Gaziantep, Turkey and for regional experts and government officials in Washington, DC.

Syria Peace Negotiations: This simulation depicted bilateral talks in preparation for a peace conference and on post-conflict transitional justice issues including prosecutions, truth-seeking, and institutional reform between the Syrian Opposition and the Government of Syria.

Tigris-Euphrates River Basin Negotiations: This simulation aimed to enhance the understanding of water use and management issues in the Euphrates Basin on neighboring states and on U.S. interests in the region.   This simulation was held at the law offices of Baker & McKenzie in Washington, D.C.

West Africa Peace Negotiations: This simulation pinpointed peace negotiations issues between the government of a West African state and a non-state actor group including DDR, decentralization, and land mine removal.  The simulation was held in West Africa.

Yemen Federalism Negotiations: This simulation enabled strategic planning on the key questions involved in transitioning from a unitary to a federal state structure.  The simulation was conducted for the Ministry of Local Administration in Sana’a, Yemen.

Yemen Security Sector Reform Negotiations: This simulation drew out key issues and potential solutions to points of impasse regarding negotiations on the implementation of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Agreement in Yemen.  The simulation was held in Washington, D.C. and was co-hosted by USAID and DLA Piper.