Istanbul Mediation Conference to be held with participation of UN secretary-general

Istanbul Mediation Conference to be held with participation of UN secretary-general

Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
Istanbul Mediation Conference to be held with participation of UN secretary-general

The sixth edition of the Istanbul Mediation Conference will be held Oct. 31 with the participation of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

This year’s conference, organized under the theme of “International Peace Mediation: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead,” aims to make meditation a priority issue on the agenda of the international community and contribute to capacity building efforts in this field, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official told Hürriyet Daily News.

The conference aims to discuss issues such as synergy among policymakers, diplomats, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), businesses, women, youth and mediators, avoiding fragmentation and duplication of efforts and increasing complementary, coordination and inclusion as well as the role of technology.

Elaborating on the objectives of the conference, the first of which was held in 2012, the official said that they aim to improve the capacity of norms in international organizations on mediation.

Turkey is already in various aspects of classical mediation. Besides, we are doing something that not many countries do. We are also trying to develop mediation as capacity, as a norm in international organizations. For example, what is mediation in the U.N., how to do good mediation, how to train mediators, and how an international organization supports mediation processes, the grounds of these rules are based on four U.N. General Assembly resolutions,” said the official.

These norms are based on the Mediation for Peace initiative that was launched in 2010 by Turkey and Finland with the U.N. in New York. Within this framework, the Group of Friends is established to contribute mediation efforts, preparing U.N. guidelines and enabling the approval of decisions in the General Assembly.

“The Istanbul Mediation Conference was started as a platform where different parties would come together, discuss and produce ideas on this issue,” said the official.

The platform in Istanbul will also host a session of the members of the secretary general’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, which is comprised of three former presidents, nine former foreign ministers, senior officials, and experts.

Meanwhile, the 3rd Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member States Conference on Mediation will be held on Nov. 1 with the theme “Exploring Approaches to Effective Mediation: The Role of Culturally Sensitive Mediation.”