Mediation Guidance

This section contains UN guidance material for setting up and managing mediation initiatives. The material provides practitioners with practical advice and options in addressing some of the key challenges in mediation to maximize the chances for success.

United Nations Guidance for Effective Mediation

 

United Nations Guidance for Effective Mediation

July, 2012
By: United Nations
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Also available* in Finnish, PortugueseSlovene, SwedishTurkish.
 
The Secretary General developed the United Nations Guidance for Effective Mediation in response to a request from the General Assembly (A/RES/65/283). The Guidance identifies a number of key fundamentals that should be considered in mediation processes: preparedness; consent; impartiality; inclusivity; national ownership; international law and normative frameworks; coherence; coordination and complementarity of the mediation effort; and quality peace agreements. The Guidance explains each fundamental, outlines some potential challenges and dilemmas facing mediators and offers some guidance.
 
*The Department of Political Affairs is disseminating the document widely and welcomes, among other steps, its translation into languages other than the six official languages of the United Nations. Some Member States have already taken the initiative of translating the Guidance in Finnish, Slovene and in Turkish
 
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Other UN Guidance 

 

Natural Resources and Conflict: A Guide for Mediation Practitioners

February, 2015
By: United Nations Department of Political Affairs and United Nations Environment Programme
Download: English 

The guide aims to inform mediators and stakeholders addressing conflicts over natural resources - whether those disagreements are violent, have the potential to turn violent, or are part of a larger political struggle, including within a peace process. It draws on the field experiences of mediators and mediation experts. 

 

Guidance for Mediators: Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ceasefire and Peace Agreements

January, 2012
By: United Nations (Department of Political Affairs)
Download: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish

The United Nations requires its mediators to address conflict-related sexual violence. This guidance offers mediators and their teams principles and strategies for including this critical peacebuilding and security concern in ceasefire and peace agreements. 

 
 

Mediation Start-up Guidelines

September, 2011
By: United Nations (Department of Political Affairs)
Download: English
 
The DPA Mediation Start-up Guidelines seek to provide guidance to managers, desk officers and field staff of the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA) on the start-up and establishment of mediation initiatives led, co-led or supported by the United Nations. Their purpose is to consolidate DPA’s institutional knowledge on strategy development, planning, support and coordination aspects of mediation initiatives. 
 
 

Special Political Missions (SPMs) Start-up Guide

June, 2012
By: United Nations (Department of Political Affairs)
Download: English
 
The Special political missions (SPMs) Start-up Guide provides essential information and guidance on the substantive and administrative tasks that need to be carried out to establish a field-based SPM, such as mission planning, communication, budget processes, human resources, logistics, security and legal issues. It is an essential document for all DPA staff, and for DPA desk officers and senior managers tasked to support the establishment of an SPM in particular. 
 
 

A Manual for UN Mediators: Advice from UN Representatives

June, 2010
By: United Nations (UN Institute for Training and Research, Department of Political Affairs)
Download: English
 
The main purpose of this manual is to familiarize new UN mediators with the range of skills used by their predecessors to carry out third-party mediation. The manual describes the current context in which UN mediation and “good offices” is carried out, offers advice and lessons from previous representatives and envoys, and suggests how the UN’s Mediation Support Unit can help to support the work of UN mediators. The manual is based on the UNITAR Programme for Briefing and Debriefing Special and Personal Representatives of the Secretary-General, which involved extensive interviews with UN representatives and envoys to determine lessons learned and best practices from their work.
 

Tailored Guidance

 
Tailored guidance is also frequently developed by the Mediation Support Unit (MSU) in the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) in response to a specific request from the field, often involving comparative case analysis. Such material is not generally made available beyond the requesting entity.
 
 
 

Documents

Natural Resources Cover
Natural Resources and Conflict: A Guide for Mediation Practitioners
February, 2015, Author: United Nations Department of Political Affairs and United Nations Environment Programme
Download Document:
United Nations Guidance for Effective Mediation
July, 2012, Author: United Nations
Special Political Missions (SPMs) Start-up Guide
June, 2012, Author: United Nations (Department of Political Affairs)
Download Document:
Guidance for Mediators: Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ceasefire and Peace Agreements
January, 2012, Author: United Nations (Department of Political Affairs)
Mediation Start-up Guidelines
September, 2011, Author: United Nations (Department of Political Affairs)
Download Document:
A Manual for UN Mediators: Advice from UN Representatives
June, 2010, Author: United Nations (UN Institute for Training and Research, Department of Political Affairs)
Download Document: