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Peace mediation and mediation support

Support for mediation processes is becoming an increasingly important element of precautionary foreign policy. The Federal Government is actively helping at various levels to open channels of dialogue, promote peace negotiations and implement peace agreements. Mediation is an effective instrument for re‑establishing and consolidating peace, which makes it an integral part of conflict prevention and stabilisation in the Federal Foreign Office.

Peace mediation is “a [voluntary] process whereby a third party assists two or more parties, with their consent, to prevent, manage or resolve a conflict by helping them to develop mutually acceptable agreements” (UN Guidance for Effective Mediation, 2012). The term Mediation Support refers to professional – e.g. methodical and operational – support for teams of mediators and for conflict parties engaged in mediation processes. Source: Center for International Peace Operations]

Germany’s commitment to peace mediation

For the Federal Government, peace mediation is an instrument for resolving conflicts in a sustainable way. Mediation and dialogue processes can generate solutions accepted by all sides. The consensus principle opens the way for long‑term peace arrangements. Political decision‑makers and the local community are involved in these dialogues as well. This helps to consolidate approaches for inclucive resolutions of conflicts, and promotes democratisation.

To bolster peace processes all over the world, the Federal Government takes care to include civil society actors. The Federal Foreign Office expressly supports not only projects of state institutions (known as Track I Mediation), but also those of civil society (Track II Mediation).

The Federal Foreign Office closely coordinates its efforts in this sphere with a number of German organisations that have extensive experience with mediation and have joined forces to form an informal mediation support initiative (Initiative Mediation Support in Deutschland, IMSD). Amongst other things in this cooperation a document was developed outlining the basic concepts of peace mediation: Basic principles of mediation - concepts and definitions (PDF, 183 KB, in German).

Mediation in an international context

In the mediation sphere, Germany is cooperating with international organisations (UN, EU, OSCE) and benefits from the broad experience of other partners such as Switzerland, Norway and Finland. Furthermore, Germany works to strengthen national structures for conflict resolution in fragile states, so that local resources for addressing conflicts can be reinforced.

Peace mediation during Germany’s OSCE Chairmanship 2016

The conference “The OSCE as Mediator” was held in Berlin in July 2016. Some results were also displayed in graphics.

The conference “The OSCE as Mediator” was held in Berlin in July 2016. Some results were also displayed in graphics.
© ZIF/Jens Winter

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The conference “The OSCE as Mediator” was held in Berlin in July 2016. Some results were also displayed in graphics.

The conference “The OSCE as Mediator” was held in Berlin in July 2016. Some results were also displayed in graphics.

The conference “The OSCE as Mediator” was held in Berlin in July 2016. Some results were also displayed in graphics.

During the German OSCE Chairmanship in 2016, mediation is playing an important role. Diplomacy and dialogue form one of the pillars that Germany would like to strengthen. The intention is to further develop the role that Germany has assumed as a mediator, for instance, in Ukraine.

On 6 July, the Federal Foreign Office together with the Initiative Mediation Support Deutschland (IMSD) hosted the conference “The OSCE as Mediator” in Berlin. The conference looked at various OSCE mediation activities and the instruments and approaches used with a view to anchoring the topic more firmly in the OSCE. Using practical examples from the various regional conflicts within the OSCE area, the different instruments and forms of mediation were analysed.

The involvement of women in peace processes

To achieve sustainable peace, women must be actively involved in peace processes. It is not just a question of women participating but also what influence they have on peace negotiations. The Federal Government supports the aims of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1889 and 2122 through various projects that seek to strengthen women’s participation in peace processes.

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Last updated 27.12.2016

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