In Pursuit of Sustainable Peace | The Seven Deadly Sins of Mediation

Published by CIC and co-written by Lakhdar Brahimi and Salman Ahmed, the paper outlines the seven deadly sins of mediation to be avoided at all costs.

"Each conflict is unique but at the same time, based on bitter personal experience in the management of several political processes and close observation of the work of others, there do appear to be certain recurrent traps that materialize in many different situations, across the spectrum of crisis response, and regardless if the mediator is operating with a small team or heading an operation comprised of thousands of personnel," Brahimi and Amhed write.

"Seven of the traps can be fatal to the ability of an SRSG [Special Representative of the Secretary General] or other international mediators … to conduct the political role effectively."

The seven sins they list are:

1. Ignorance

2. Arrogance

3. Partiality

4. Impotence

5. Haste

6. Inflexibility

7. False Promises

"The inherent caution underlying the foregoing analysis of the ‘seven deadly sins’ is neither new nor revolutionary. It bears repeating nonetheless because the sins keep getting committed," they write.

Read the full Policy Paper In Pursuit of Sustainable Peace | The Seven Deadly Sins of Mediation

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May 01, 2008
Center on International Cooperation
Peace and Security