What is peace mediation and mediation support?

Peace mediation is “a voluntary process whereby a third party assists two or more parties, with their consent, to prevent, manage or resolve a conflict by helping them to develop mutually acceptable agreements.“ (UN Guidance for Effective Mediation, 2012) The term mediation support refers to the professional (e.g. methodological, operative) support of mediators or teams of mediators and parties to a conflict in mediative conciliation processes.

What role can Germany play in this area?

This was precisely the question that the conference explored. The goal of the conference was to highlight and continue to raise Germany’s foreign policy profile as conflict mediator. By looking at specific case studies in peace mediation and mediation support with German participation, the conference examined the experience and resources that Germany is already contributing and show how these German contributions can be expanded in a substantive way. Conference participants worked together to identify where cooperation at national level can take place and how actors can learn from each other to more effectively utilize and continue to expand existing potentials in the area of peace mediation.

The conference provided a platform for the intensive exchange of knowledge and experience between political decision-makers, relevant ministry staff as well as Members of Parliament. In this way, the conference helped to build the foundation for upcoming political, technical and strategic decisions on mediation and mediation support in Germany. Proposals developed by experts at the conference served as the basis for jointly formulating the next steps, which aim to optimize existing practices in the context of an integrated, multi-track mediation approach.

International experts have emphasized that Germany can make a valuable contribution to civilian crisis prevention and conflict management in the field of peace mediation and mediation support. Germany’s potential as a peace mediator and mediation support actor is based on the following three main factors:

  1. Germany’s own experience and credibility, based on its post-war history and efforts to come to terms with two authoritarian regimes.
  2. Germany's existing expertise and willingness to deploy resources in the fields of peace mediation and mediation support, and its longstanding presence in development cooperation.
  3. Germany's role as a key political and economic actor in Europe.