Turkey aims to enhance international cooperation on mediation
ANKARAOct 25, 2019 - 7:18 pm GMT+3
Oct 25, 2019 7:18 pm
As a key actor in creating awareness and capacity to bring peaceful resolutions to global conflicts, Turkey is getting ready to organize the 6th Istanbul Mediation Conference on Oct. 31 with the participation of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu as well as other leading international figures. The conference titled “International Peace Mediation: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead” will be followed by the third Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member States Conference on Mediation on Nov. 1, envisaging to review the current state of mediation capacity and build upon efforts for culturally sensitive mediation. The Istanbul mediation conference aims to discuss the cooperation of international organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), policymakers and how these can be enhanced, as well as to discuss the growing role of technology.
In the context of Turkey’s multifaceted foreign policy, mediation has an important place in resolving conflicts. While the nature of conflicts changes with time, Turkey sees it highly necessary to create an innovative platform where new ideas are discussed and put forth. Turkey’s mediation policies not only take place between two parties, but with multilateral actors and with different approaches other than direct mediation. In 2010, Turkey launched the Mediation for Peace initiative together with Finland during the 65th U.N. General Assembly and created within this framework the Group of Friends. This group contributes hugely to mediation, enabling the approval of decisions in the General Assembly and preparing U.N. guidelines. The main highlight of the conference will be a facilitated discussion with the members of the High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, which is comprised of 18 current and former global leaders, senior officials and renowned experts, three of which are former presidents. This year, the board will come together in Istanbul and conduct a session on conflict prevention during the conference.
Instead of entering the crowded field of mediation where countries, NGOs, local, regional and international organizations are found, creating a platform that would contribute to conflict prevention and resolution by creating norms and ideas is seen as having a more fruitful effect on the actual problem. The conference, which will be inaugurated by Guterres and Çavuşoğlu, brings together the Secretary-General of the Turkic Council Baghdad Amreyev, representatives of the OIC, the African Union (AU), the U.N. Standby Team of Mediation Experts and several other academics and politicians.