Plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly: Strengthening the Role of Mediation in Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, Conflict Prevention and Resolution: Introduction by Ambassador Jarmo Viinanen, Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, New York, 22 June 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honour to present the draft resolution on Strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution (A/65/L.79) on behalf of the group of Friends of mediation convened by Finland and Turkey.
The resolution stems from a conviction that mediation has enormous untapped potential. As the President of the General Assembly just reminded us, the Charter recognizes mediation as major tool in maintenance of international peace and security. The resolution builds on the ideas presented in the World Summit Outcome 2005 and path breaking report by the Secretary General on Enhancing Mediation and its Support Activities in 2009.
Mediation is a cost effective and efficient means to promote peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution. Prevention of conflicts through mediation and early action is instrumental in reducing human suffering, creating conditions conducive to lasting peace and paving way for sustainable development.
However, mediation has not gained the political attention or the resources it deserves. We are proud to present the first General Assembly resolution on this important issue. The aim is to consolidate the normative basis, reinforce support to mediation activities and enhance Member States engagement in mediation efforts.
Strengthening the role mediation is a concern of all UN Member States. We are very delighted to bring this consensual draft resolution before the General Assembly. Action today demonstrates that the General Assembly can make a significant contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security.
The draft resolution seeks to strengthen Secretary General’s good offices and UN’s mediation support capabilities. Mediation Support Unit of the Department of Political Affairs plays a crucial role as the UN focal point. We are grateful for their very useful insight in the negotiations.
Regional and sub-regional organisations play a major role in modern day mediation. Co-operation between actors and coherence of purpose are essential for successful mediation. Success requires team work. We welcome the contribution of many regional organisations, inter alia African Union, OIC and European Union, to the work of the group of friends.
Many regional and sub-regional organisations are gearing up their mediation capabilities. Their efforts to further develop mediation skills and build up mediation support structures deserve our full support. Finland, for example, is happy to partner with the African Union by supporting the African Union Mediation Capacity.
This draft resolution seeks also to address the particular challenge of increasing women’s involvement in all stages and levels of peace-processes in line with Security Council Resolution 1325.
We thank all Member States for active participation and flexibility in the negotiations leading to this landmark resolution.