UN Issues Formal Guidance on Effective Mediation

On September 27, 2012, the UN formally launched new guidance to assist mediators as they help settle disputes and conflicts, a foundational document for UN mediation efforts. The Guidance had been initially released in August 2012 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as an annex of a broader report on trends and capacities in conflict mediation issued at the request of the General Assembly. The launch was organized in cooperation with the Group of Friends of Mediation – a grouping of UN Member States co-chaired by Finland and Turkey which have taken an active and supportive interest in developing the UN’s conflict mediation capacities.

It outlines eight key “mediation fundamentals” that require the mediator’s consideration for an effective process: preparedness, consent, impartiality, inclusivity, national ownership, international law and normative frameworks, coherence, coordination and complementarity among mediation efforts, and the development of quality peace agreements. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said that “This Guidance is a relevant reference document not just for mediators but for all actors involved in mediation…[including] the conflict parties themselves, as it is important to generate a common understanding of the parameters of mediation and what is potentially involved.”

For more information see: http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/undpa/main/issues/peacemaking/mediation_guidance

This follows Resolution 65/283 of the UN General Assembly in July 2011 on Strengthening the Role of Mediation in the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, Conflict Prevention and Resolution and an all day session on May 23, 2012 at which the UN Secretary General and the President of the UN General Assembly strongly encouraged the development of mediation.

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