Written by international practitioners and scholars, this pioneering work offers important insights into peace mediation practice today and the role of third parties in the resolution of armed conflicts.
The authors reveal how peace mediation has developed into a complex arena and how multifaceted assistance has become an indispensable part of it. Offering unique reflections on the new frameworks set out by the UN, they look at the challenges and opportunities of third-party involvement.
With its policy focus and real-world examples from across the globe, this is essential reading for researchers of peace and conflict studies, and a go-to reference point for advisors involved in peace processes.
This volume comes at a time when the United Nations, regional organizations and their Member States are actively seeking new ways of better using mediation to sustain peace. It is also a moment where multilateralism and the principles of the rules-based international order for conflict resolution are under strain. Operational and practical challenges for mediators have multiplied in a world where the global–local nexus has become tighter and is overshadowed by growing transnational threats such as terrorism, cybercrime and climate change. Conflicts have fundamentally changed since the end of the 20th century, moving away from interstate conflicts, or conflicts between states and secessionist movements that can easily be characterized as conflicts about sovereignty, to conflicts that engage whole societies and involve multiple conflict actors with multiple competing priorities (Griffiths and Whitfield, 2010).
In this context there is renewed international attention being paid to mediation as a form of conflict resolution. The term ‘peace mediation’ is increasingly used as a catchall term to include a wide range of activities ranging from high-level diplomacy to grass roots peacebuilding, reflecting a much greater interest in the idea of multi-track diplomacy and the contribution that mediation can make at all levels of a conflicted society. In 2016 the UN General Assembly (UNGA) acknowledged that ‘effective mediation and mediation support require systematic efforts at all levels’.1 In a landmark resolution adopted by consensus of all Member States, UNGA underlined that ‘timely conflict analysis, development of case- specific strategic road maps for mediation drawing on best practices and lessons learned, and identification of appropriate expertise’ are vital.2