Mediation Support Activities & Services

As part of DPA's overall peacemaking and preventive diplomacy efforts, MSU engages in a wide range of activities including operational support to mediation, facilitation and dialogue processes, strengthening the mediation capacity of partners and developing mediation guidance and best practices.


Click region to see activities
For more information on MSU activities, see our Quarterly Updates/Annual Reports. The sensitivity of some engagements means that not all MSU activities can be reported in the public domain. The reports focus on MSU as a service provider and do not reflect the full spectrum of DPA's work in leading and supporting mediation efforts.


Snapshot of current activities


Burkina Faso


A Standby Team expert was deployed in June 2016 to assist the UNDP team in Burkina Faso conceptualize its support to the country’s reconciliation process. The technical joint UNDP-DPA mission was deployed with a view to assessing the needs of the High Council for National Reconciliation and Unity, and drafting a project proposal addressing key gaps.




MSU has supported the work of the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Conflict Prevention, Jamal Benomar, and his team. In addition, MSU provided technical support during the early phases of the Mediation on Burundi led by the East African Community. 




MSU provided support to the Resident Coordinator in Chad and the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) in the run up to the April 2016 presidential election. MSU deployed experts in process and dialogue facilitation to assist the UN Country Team with the preparations and assessment prior to the election. Additionally, support was also provided in the planning around the reform of the Cadre national de dialogue politique (CNDP) in order to make it more effective in forging consensus on questions of national interest.




In the framework of the partnership on mediation between ECOWAS and the UN’s Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), a two-day seminar was organized in Abuja in March 2016 to inform the development of a mediation knowledge management system for the ECOWAS Mediation Facilitation Directorate. This initiative aims to support efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organizations' mediation efforts in West Africa. The seminar was also supported by DPA’s Guidance and Learning Unit.


As a follow up to the the seminar, an ECOWAS delegation comprised of representatives from the ECOWAS Commission, the newly established Mediation and Facilitation Directorate, and the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security visited DPA headquarters in July 2016. In addition to allowing targeted discussions on a number of specific country situations, the visit sought to (a) strengthen collaboration and partnership, as well as strategize on modalities to enhance coordination of joint mediation initiatives between the United Nations and the ECOWAS Commission; and (b) exchange notes and learn from the DPA/MSU experiences in back-stopping mediation efforts and other mediation interventions. 




In 2016, MSU has continued its long-standing engagement in support of United Nations good offices efforts in Libya and the implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement. Staff and Standby Team advisers have provided both in-person and remote support to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya. This support has been primarily in the areas of cease-fires and security arrangements,  power-sharing, gender mainstreaming, and constitution-making process.  




A Standby Team expert was deployed in June 2016 to support reconciliation initiatives led by MINUSMA. This was aimed at assisting the Political Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the MINUSMA Mediation Unit in developing a strategy for stakeholder engagement, and communication of the main items in the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali. A MINUSMA outreach and communication leaflet was prepared and an explanatory workshop for journalists on the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali designed.




MSU supported the constitutional review process that gained momentum in the latter half of 2015.  Working closely with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and UNDP, Standby Team experts provided constitutional advice to the Federal Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Parliament, the Parliament Oversight Committee, the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission, and the Federal Ministry of Constitutional Affairs. The experts attended workshops in Mogadishu that brought together all key actors and institutions as well as several Members of the Parliament and civil society organizations, providing options and examples from other similar contexts to assist the review process.






Asia and the Pacific

Asia & the Pacific


Snapshot of current activities



Central Asia


MSU has been supporting the capacity-building of religious leaders, civil society and local officials on mediation and conflict prevention in Central Asia, including in the context of natural resource conflicts and counter-terrorism.






Asia & the Pacific
Middle East and West Asia

Middle East & West Asia


Snapshot of current activities




MSU has been providing strong technical support to UNAMA in two ways: (i) assisting the mission to develop its contribution to Mediation Support in provincial areas of Afghanistan and help advance local peace initiatives; and (ii) developing options to engage Afghan stakeholders in a dialogue about the future of the country.


Central Asia

MSU deployed an expert to Almaty,Kazakhstan  and Ashgabat, Turkmenistan to assist the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) in engaging in stakeholder consultations on international water and energy cooperation in Central Asia.



MSU continues to provide support to the Office of Special Envoy for Syria in its efforts to sustain the political process. This includes technical advice on mediation strategy and core issues through the deployment of a member of a Standby Team of Mediation Experts. 



Since May 2011, MSU has been providing assistance to the good offices of the Secretary-General in Yemen. More recently, MSU deployed a staff member and two Standby Team advisers in support of the Yemen peace talks held Kuwait under the auspices of the UN. Technical support on process design, ceasefires, and power-sharing issues was provided to the Office of the Special Envoy for Yemen. 


Middle East & West Asia
The Americas

The Americas and the Caribbean


Snapshot of current activities


MSU provides, on an ongoing basis, ad hoc advice and bespoke analytical products to headquarters offices focused on the Americas and the Caribbean, and to field presences and offices of Resident Coordinators in the region. Notably, MSU is supporting the Americas Division of DPA and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Colombia in the context of the Colombian peace process, and the Secretary-General’s good offices process in relation to the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy.




The Americas



Snapshot of Current Activities




In April, a Standby Expert was deployed to Kiev to providing training to OSCE senior officials and staff on negotiating ceasefire agreements. MSU continues to work with the DPA Europe Division to explore other ways of supporting the implementation of the Minsk Peace Agreement.



Map Disclaimer

The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.


Sudan-South Sudan. Final boundary between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan has not yet been determined.


Jammu and Kashmir. Dotted line represents approximately the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by India and Pakistan. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir has not yet been agreed upon by the parties.


Chagos Archipelago/Diego Garcia. Appears without prejudice to the question of sovereignty.


Falkland Islands (Malvinas). A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).