Adapting UN Mediation for Emerging Challenges and Security Threats

Publication: Policy Brief

Mediation is a crucial element of the United Nations (UN) toolbox in dealing with conflicts. It is anchored in the Charter’s provision for peaceful settlements of disputes and has proven to be an adaptable and flexible tool for conflict settlement. In general, mediation remains uncontroversial as a tool. However, conflict parties are seeking less and less of the norm for political settlement of disputes through mediation since the Cold War era as these actors pursue more military solutions to resolve conflicts.

This paper acknowledges that UN mediation operates within an international mediation architecture and that the role of other mediation actors is equally critical. But UN mediation also needs to be adapted to better meet the demands under the current reality of enhanced geostrategic competition. The Pact for the Future allows member states to reflect on the limitations, key challenges and opportunities for adaptation of UN mediation. Through the Pact, member states should reaffirm shared values for mediation, preventative diplomacy, and peaceful resolution through dialogue.

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