KATHMANDU, June 30: The fourth edition of the Istanbul Conference on Mediation is taking place on Friday with the theme of “Surge in Diplomacy, Action in Mediation.”
Experts, diplomats, practitioners and scholars from around the world will explore ways and means to promote mediation as a prominent conflict prevention and resolution method, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in a statement issued Thursday.
The profile of mediation has been rising globally since Turkey and Finland led the way at the United Nations through the “Mediation for Peace” initiative, he said. “The initiative culminated in the establishment of the Group of Friends of Mediation. The Group now has 53 members, including 48 states and 5 international organizations.”
He stated that there has also been substantial improvement in international capacity for 'preventive diplomacy and mediation' within the UN, regional and sub-regional organizations and civil society. “The Group has become the leading platform at the UN to promote mediation. It has initiated the adoption of four UN General Assembly Resolutions, which lay the ground for the development of the normative and conceptual framework of mediation.”
He said that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed his willingness to further develop UN's mediation support capacity.
“Turkey is situated next to a vast region where acute active and frozen conflicts persist. Prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts is a central feature of Turkey's enterprising and humanitarian foreign policy,” said the Turkish foreign minister.
Turkey has been hosting the Istanbul Conferences on Mediation since 2012. The conferences are designed to bring together numerous practitioners and scholars in the field of conflict prevention and mediation activities, read the statement.
“This year the Conference will explore how mediation methodology and practice can take better account of the needs of the day. In this regard, two questions in particular would be scrutinized,” he said. “One is the potential of mediation in all stages of a conflict continuum, namely from prevention to resolution and all the way to peace agreement implementation. The second key question would be the models for greater employment of mediation as a preventive tool in contexts where political, ethnic, religious biases create an environment of hostility.”