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Mediation Support Activities & Services

As part of DPPA'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.

Snapshot of Current Activities

Click region to see operational 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.

Mediation Support Service

Established in 2006, MSU is a central hub for mediation support within the UN system. The Unit was set-up to provide professional, cross-cutting support to 'good offices' activities, including preventive diplomacy and the mediation of disputes. MSU is a service provider to a wide range of actors, including the UN system, regional organizations, Member States and relevant peacemaking entities.



 
Download our Factsheets:

Our mediation support services focus on three main areas

  1. Technical and operational support for peace processes:

    MSU provides support throughout the planning, implementation and evaluation phases of a mediation process. This includes strategy development and process design as well as advice on thematic issues from a mediation perspective.

  2. Strengthening of mediation capacity of the United Nations, its partners, and parties to a conflict:

    MSU manages a series of flagship trainings including the High Level Mediation Course and the Ceasefire Mediation Course.  MSU provides support to the annual DPA High-Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Strategies. The Unit also provides tailored-made one-on-one coaching for mediators and training for mediation teams on mediation and negotiation techniques and skills, strategy development, process design and thematic issues. Such training initiatives may also be offered to parties to a conflict at the request of the mediator. MSU capacity-building support is also available to regional organizations and Member States seeking to strengthen their mediation capacity.

  3. Development and dissemination of mediation guidance, lessons learned and best practices:

    MSU is the institutional repository for mediation knowledge, lessons learned and best practices, including the UN Guidance for Effective Mediation which identifies a number of key fundamentals that should be considered in a mediation effort, outlines some potential challenges and dilemmas faced by mediators and offers some guidance.

    MSU has also developed other guidance material for mediators and their teams including: the Special Envoy Briefing Package — a compilation of key UN policies and approaches to mediation; the UN Manual for Mediators — a distillation of core mediation techniques and experiences drawn from the specific experiences of UN envoys; and the Mediation Start-up Guidelines — a toolkit for the establishment of a mediation effort, with a particular focus on the administration and management dimensions.

    Tailored guidance is also frequently developed by MSU 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.

MSU capacities to provide mediation support are based on:

  • MSU staff providing first-line analytical and operational support to peace processes.

  • The Standby Team of Senior Mediation Advisers who can be deployed within 72 hours.

  • The Mediation Experts Roster, which is a database of senior mediators, operational - level mediators and technical-level experts, managed by MSU on behalf of DPA, and includes personnel available for longer deployments.

     

     

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).

Region activities

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Mediation Support Activities & Services (hardcoded)

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.

Snapshot of Current Activities

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.

Mediation Support Service

Established in 2006, MSU is a central hub for mediation support within the UN system. The Unit is set-up to provide professional, cross-cutting support to 'good offices' activities, including preventive diplomacy and the mediation of disputes. MSU is a service provider to a wide range of actors, including the UN system, regional organizations, Member States and relevant peacemaking entities.



Download our Factsheets:

Our mediation support services focus on three main areas

  1. Technical and operational support for peace processes:

    MSU provides support throughout the planning, implementation and evaluation phases of a mediation process. This includes strategy development and process design as well as advice on thematic issues from a mediation perspective.

  2. Strengthening of mediation capacity of the United Nations, its partners, and parties to a conflict:

    MSU provides tailored-made one-on-one coaching for mediators and training for mediation teams on mediation and negotiation techniques and skills, strategy development, process design and thematic issues. Such training initiatives may also be offered to parties to a conflict at the request of the mediator. MSU capacity-building support is also available to regional organizations and Member States seeking to strengthen their mediation capacity.

  3. Development and dissemination of mediation guidance, lessons learned and best practices:

    MSU is the institutional repository for mediation knowledge, lessons learned and best practices, including the UN Guidance for Effective Mediation which identifies a number of key fundamentals that should be considered in a mediation effort, outlines some potential challenges and dilemmas faced by mediators and offers some guidance.

    MSU has also developed other guidance material for mediators and their teams including: the Special Envoy Briefing Package — a compilation of key UN policies and approaches to mediation; the UN Manual for Mediators — a distillation of core mediation techniques and experiences drawn from the specific experiences of UN envoys; and the Mediation Start-up Guidelines — a toolkit for the establishment of a mediation effort, with a particular focus on the administration and management dimensions.

    Tailored guidance is also frequently developed by MSU 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.

MSU capacities to provide mediation support are based on:

  • MSU staff providing first-line analytical and operational support to peace processes.

  • The Standby Team of Mediation Experts who can be deployed within 72 hours.

  • The Mediation Experts Roster, which is a database of senior mediators, operational - level mediators and technical-level experts, managed by MSU on behalf of DPA, and includes personnel available for longer deployments.

  • Africa

    Africa

     

    Burkina Faso

    As part of ongoing support to the development of a national infrastructure for peace in Burkina Faso, in January MSU deployed a process design expert to facilitate a study tour to Ghana for the Burkina Faso social cohesion working group. The aim was to gather experiences and understand how the Ghana’s National Peace Council functions The Burkinabé delegation of 18, including civil society organisations, women and youth, was led by the country’s Minister for Social Cohesion. The expert had deployed in July 2019 to support the creation of the social cohesion working group, as a multi-stakeholder platform to facilitate dialogue and engagement between various actors involved in advancing social cohesion in Burkina Faso.

     

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    In the DRC, the Government and the Force de résistance patriotique de l’Ituri (FRPI) in the Ituri Province signed a peace agreement on 28 February 2020. The implementation of this agreement, however, has experienced delays following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the request of the UN Stabilisation Mission in the DRC, MSU had deployed a process design expert on several occasions in 2019 to support the design and implementation of the peace talks. 

     

    Libya

    In February, MSU provided support to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya in the preparation and convening of two rounds of talks of the 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission in Geneva.  In addition, the MSU focal point on ceasefires and security arrangements continued to provide strategic guidance and technical advice to the Mission and regional desk, as required.

     

    South Sudan

    In January, MSU deployed a process design expert to support the United Nations Mission in South Sudan  (UNMISS) facilitated sessions of a Political Parties’ Forum held in Juba. The event was the third edition of this forum that gathers representatives from almost all political parties in the country and offers them a venue for frank exchange, experience-sharing and co-learning.

     

    Sudan

    Following the resumption of peace talks in Juba in January 2020, MSU deployed security arrangements and governance experts to support the South Sudanese Secretariat and the United Nations – African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur. The security experts advised the parties on options for transitional security arrangements and potential implementation modalities following an agreement. The power-sharing expert provided governance expertise, focusing on the Transitional Constitutional Charter, including constitutional questions related to the sub-regions, as well as aspects related to their reconstruction, distribution of power and wealth, and the administrative status of provinces. 

    Africa
  • Asia and the Pacific

    Asia & the Pacific

     

    Papua New Guinea/Bougainville

    An expert on constitutions and process design was deployed several times throughout 2019 to help facilitate the work of the ministerial-level Post-Referendum Planning Taskforce. This support has continued after the conduct of a non-binding referendum on the status of Bougainville, held in November of 2019. In January 2020, the expert provided technical advice and support to relevant stakeholders in the governments of PNG and Bougainville in preparing draft proposals, which guided the development of a framework for the consultation process on next steps between the two governments. 

     

    Asia & the Pacific
  • Middle East and West Asia

    Middle East & West Asia

     

    Afghanistan

    MSU support in the context of expected future Intra-Afghan negotiations has included support on how to promote an inclusive peace process, particularly with respect to women, and how to handle the legacy of decades of conflict. In this respect, MSU deployed process design and human-rights experts in October and December 2019 to contribute to Afghan Women High-Level Negotiations Workshops. In January 2020, the expert deployed to assist the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission develop strategies on the treatment of human rights within Intra-Afghan negotiations while at the same time maintaining its statutory independence. MSU further undertook comparative research on the various ways in which international actors can promote implementation of peace agreements and create incentives for parties to follow through on their commitments.

     

    Syria

    MSU continues to support various tracks of the Syria political process. In December 2019 and February 2020, a security arrangements expert supported the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Syria (OSE-Syria) in discussions on the issue of detainees and abductees within the framework of the Astana process. In October and November 2019, a process design expert supported OSE-Syria in the first two sittings of the Syria Constitutional Committee. Also in October 2019, a power-sharing expert assisted the Women’s Advisory Board in preparing for the first sitting of the Constitutional Committee, inter alia by considering issues related to decentralization. Most recently, a process design expert provided remote and in-person support to OSE-Syria internal meetings on the development of potential mediation strategies for 2020.

     

    Yemen

    MSU is supporting efforts by the Office of the Special Envoy for Yemen (OSESG-Y) to facilitate intra-Yemeni discussions. Advice is being provided on options to broaden inclusivity, including research on comparative examples and through the use of digital technology. MSU is also supporting OSESG-Y to organise a high-level strategy session on inclusion in the mediation process as called for by the Secretary-General’s 2019 Report on Women, Peace and Security. MSU has additionally provided support on constitutional and power-sharing issues, including through a series of Track II consultations organized by International Idea. 

     

    Middle East & West Asia
  • The Americas

    The Americas and the Caribbean

     

    Costa Rica

    At the request of the Resident Coordinator in Costa Rica, in January, MSU deployed a process design expert to facilitate a three-day workshop on mediation, dialogue support and conflict analysis for selected partner institutions. This workshop aimed at identifying key institutions and areas in which the UN system could play a conflict prevention role, and at enhancing mediation and dialogue support capacities within the UN system and state institutions. 

     

    Ecuador

    MSU deployed a process design expert in November 2019 to support the Resident Coordinator in Ecuador in navigating the political aftermath of the 2019 October protests. The expert also advised the Resident Coordinator on potential areas to further strengthen the UN Country Team’s conflict prevention strategy and in-house capacities. 

     

    Guatemala

    At the request of the Resident Coordinator in Guatemala, in February, MSU deployed a process design expert to support the UN Country Team in assessing potential flashpoints and future risks of conflict. Based on a series of consultations, the expert developed recommendations for UN support for potential dialogue and preventive diplomacy initiatives as well as the further strengthening of conflict-sensitive programming and continuous context analysis of conflict. 

     

     

     

    The Americas
  • Europe

    Europe

     

    Georgia

    As part of DPPA’s ongoing support to the efforts of the UN Representative to the Geneva International Discussions (GID), in December 2019, MSU deployed a security arrangements expert to hold an information session on the concept of non-use of force and international security arrangements for the GID participants. The session aimed to bring focus and enhance participants’ knowledge of the relevant examples, lessons learned and global good practices related to non-use of force and international security arrangements in different regions. This session was a continuation of the one conducted by the expert in April 2019, ahead of the 47th round of the GID.

     

    Europe