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The UN Guidance for Effective Mediation draws extensively from the Organization’s own experience, as well as the insights of Member States and others, and is considered a foundational document for UN mediation efforts and for all interested in the peaceful resolution of disputes.
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.
“This Guidance is a relevant reference document not just for mediators but for all actors involved in mediation,” Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said at the high-level launch held in New York City on the sidelines of the General Debate of the 67th session of the General Assembly.
“This includes the conflict parties themselves, as it is important to generate a common understanding of the parameters of mediation and what is potentially involved,” he added.
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 who have taken an active and supportive interest in developing the UN’s conflict mediation capacities.
“The launch of the UN Guidance for Effective Mediation could not come at a more opportune moment,” Vuk Jeremic, President of the General Assembly, said at the launch.
Given the current global realities, the danger of new conflicts erupting, the challenge of preventing those which are gathering, and the difficulties of resolving existing ones, are “pervasive,” he noted.
“I believe this Guidance can be put in the service of efforts to strengthen international peace and security, as mediation offers a legitimate, democratic and consensual instrument for conflict prevention and resolution,” said Mr. Jeremic.
The Guidance was 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.
Jeff Thompson is a certified international mediator. He is also a law enforcement detective in New York. His law enforcement role include a being a communication and conflict specialist, interfaith dialogue, developing and implementing community engagement programs, and designing training workshops.
Jeff is currently a PhD candidate researching nonverbal communication and mediation at Griffith University Law School. He also received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Creighton University School of Law. Jeff has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally and has been published and featured with numerous international media organizations. He currently writes also at PsychologyToday.com.
(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions as a mediator and not that of any organization.)
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