Statement by the Group of Friends of Mediation at UN Security Council Open debate on Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Mediation and Peaceful Resolution of Conflicts

Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu 29.08.2018
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of Friends of Mediation and its two co-chairs.
I would like to thank the United Kingdom for organizing this open debate and putting forward several important questions to guide the discussion. We also welcome the Secretary-General’s participation in the meeting.
The Group of Friends of Mediation very much welcomes this timely debate and underlines the importance of the Security Council remaining actively engaged in conflict prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts, including through mediation, as foreseen in the Charter. This role can most effectively be used when united.
Today, the Group of Friends of Mediation consists of 48 Member States, the United Nations and 7 regional organizations and other international organizations. The Group promotes and advances the use of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution, and generates support for the development of mediation.
The Group of Friends has significantly contributed to increasing awareness of mediation. The Group has initiated four UNGA Resolutions to strengthen the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution. One of them encourages the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations to continue to develop their mediation capacities.

Mr. President,
The world has changed since the last open debate on maintenance on mediation and the peaceful resolution of conflicts in 2009. Also the United Nations has changed. We welcome the Secretary-General’s strong commitment on emphasizing the importance of conflict prevention and resolution, including mediation. In this regard, we welcome the establishment of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation that brings together an unparalleled range of experience, skills, knowledge and contacts. In his report on United Nations Activities in Support of Mediation 2017 the Secretary-General points out the multiple activities the UN already is involved in. The list is impressive but more can be done.
We need to maintain this momentum and give a further boost to the mediation agenda at the UN. In this respect, we would like to seize this opportunity to encourage the Security Council as well as the UN Member States to explore further ways to reinforce the promotion of mediation as an important means for the pacific settlement of disputes.
The conflicts are more and more complex. So is the prevention and resolution of conflicts. In order to gain lasting peace we need a comprehensive, inclusive and coordinated approach where different actors of the international community complement each other. This includes not only the United Nations, the Security Council and the member states but also regional, sub-regional and local organizations as well as civil society. As conflicts have grown more complex and multi-layered, they need to be approached at many levels, through cooperation of mediation support actors.
Inclusivity has proven to be one significant mean to achieve sustainability of peace. All members of society should play a meaningful role in peace processes. Women and youth have an exceptionally important role in this regard – both have a lot to offer in building peace and resilience in their societies. It is up to all of us here that the commitments of the relevant resolutions on “Women, peace and security” and “Youth, peace and security” are being implemented effectively.
The UN Guidance on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Strategies was issued to provide practical guidance to mediators and conflict parties on increasing the meaningful participation of women and gender experts for applying gender sensitive approaches to mediation during all the phases of the peace process.
In addition, the Co-Chairs of the Group of Friends of Mediation decided to dedicate this years' annual Ministerial Meeting of the Group to the theme of inclusion of youth in mediation efforts. It will be organised as a high-level event open to all Member States on Thursday 27th September.
Building and strengthening mediation and mediation support capacity of mediators, Member States and societies is one of the key factors for peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution, and peacebuilding. It is also important that the Security Council as well as the entire organization strengthen their capacity to undertake prevention and recalibrate their approach from responding to conflict towards sustaining peace. Mediation should not be a closed and competitive field reserved for a few. More emphasis should be given to mentoring the next generation and exchanging experiences with national and as local mediators.

Mr. President,
The Group of Friends of Mediation is ready to support all work and efforts in advancing diplomacy for peace and the role of mediation in this endeavor.