About the UN Guidance for Effective Mediation


The United Nations has drawn on its extensive experience as well as the expertise of partners to develop practical guidance material to support mediation actors. Most recently, 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 is designed as a reference document, drawing on the experiences of Member States, the United Nations system, regional, sub-regional and other international organizations, non-governmental organizations, women’s groups, religious leaders, the academic community, as well as mediators and mediation specialist.


United Nations Guidance for Effective Mediation

July, 2012
United Nations
Also available* in FinnishPortugueseSlovene, SwedishTurkish.


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 Guidance acknowledges that all conflicts are unique and require specific approaches, but highlights good practices that should inform the approaches of all mediators in order to increase the prospects of success, minimize the potential for mediator error and help generate an environment more conducive to mediation.


*Dissemination of the Guidance in other languages: In resolution 66/291 of 15 October 2012, the General Assembly encourages “initiatives by Member States as well as regional and subregional organizations to further and strengthen mediation in their region" and "the use, as appropriate, of the Guidance for Effective Mediation [...] by all relevant actors.” 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. 



Related Reports: 


The United Nations Guidance for Effective Mediation led to the publications of three reports:



Get the 'Mediation Guidance' web-app on your mobile device:


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Get the Web App:
1. Open this link on mobile device:
2. Click on the options/share button
3. Select Save/Bookmark to Home Screen