UN Member Countries Promote Use of Mediation to Peacefully Resolve Conflict

Ghana held a press conference on October 24, its annual UN Day, to announce its support of peaceful resolution through mediation.   Coming off the heels of the recent UN resolution to make the most of mediation to peacefully resolve disputes, Ghana also called on other member countries to make the most out of this opportunity and “to reflect and deliberate on issues affecting humanity.”

Noting the “untapped potential” of mediation, the UN resolution, drafted as a joint effort by groups in Finland and Turkey, encourages countries to optimize their use of mediation and other tools outlined in Chapter VI of the UN Charter for the peaceful settlement of disputes as well as conflict prevention and resolution.  The text, adopted unanimously without a vote, is the first resolution on the use of mediation ever passed by the United Nations.

The General Assembly resolution marks mediation’s rise to prominence on the international stage and lays a foundation for its expanded use in peacefully resolving conflict.

In addition to calling generally for the use of mediation in resolving conflict, the General Assembly text specifically encouraged member states to “promote women’s equal, full and effective participation” as lead mediators and to “develop national mediation capacities in order to ensure coherence and responsiveness.”  This emphasis on geographic diversity as well as the role of women is seen as crucial to the success of mediation as a universal tool for peace.

The ultimate test of the General Assembly’s resolution will be the real-world impact of the principles laid out in the text. The international ADR community can do its part by engaging in projects that help foster the use of mediation to resolve conflict. By showing leadership and lending our skills, we can turn the spirit of this important UN resolution into action

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