The ministerial level Friends of Mediation meeting, which was jointly hosted by Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu of Turkey, gathered in New York on Tuesday, 20 September to discuss the prerequisites for more effective mediation.
The Friends of Mediation group was established in September 2010 to enhance the cooperation of countries active in mediation with international organisations. The topic attracts widespread international attention because Qatar, the chair of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly, raised mediation as the main theme of the Opening Week and as one of the priorities of the entire General Assembly session.
At the initiative of Finland and Turkey, the UN General Assembly unanimously approved a Resolution on mediation in June 2011, the first of its kind in UN history. Mediation is one of the most important priorities of Finland’s UN policy. The aim is to increase support for mediation and strengthen cooperation and coordination between different mediators.
“Future efforts should focus especially on better utilisation of the know-how and experiences of civil society and regional organisations and on increasing the role of women mediators and women’s participation in peace processes.”
At Finland’s initiative, Vasu Gounden, Executive Director of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) of South Africa, attended the meeting. President Martti Ahtisaari also attended the meeting.