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.
Germany’s commitment to peace mediation
Germany’s position and responsibility within the international community, along with its desire to be an active agent for peace, set the parameters for its strong commitment to peace mediation. In accordance with the guidelines, Preventing Crises, Resolving Conflicts, Building Peace (2017), Germany prefers civil conflict resolution measures whenever possible. The procedures and methods of peace mediation, along with the access generated by the process, can re-establish contact and trust between conflict parties and keep channels of communication open.
The mediation process is based on principles such as self-determination, respect, transparency and openness towards the outcome of the process. In addition, our approach to peace mediation follows the UN Guidance for Effective Mediation drawn up in 2012. As a third-party mediator, Germany is closely committed to these principles, while at the same time taking into account its own policy interests. Germany regards peace mediation as a preferred foreign policy instrument for advancing the peaceful resolution of conflicts in regions of political importance to it.
Whether by supporting third parties (project funding via our Directorate-General for Crisis Prevention, Stabilisation, Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Assistance) or engaging directly: processes, such as mediation and dialogue, are essential components of coherent crisis management. Simultaneously, mediation processes can serve as a starting point for additional stabilisation and support efforts, for example, in cases of pending comprehensive transformation processes, such as demilitarisation, promoting the rule of law, and security-sector or constitutional reform.
To bolster peace processes all over the world, the Federal Government takes care to include civil society actors. The Federal Foreign Office therefore expressly supports civil society approaches (Track II and III 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 series was developed outlining the basic concepts, backgrounds, approaches and tools of peace mediation:
Mediation in an international context
In the mediation sphere, Germany is cooperating with international organisations (UN, EU, OSCE) and 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.
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.