The rising attacks on Muslims in Europe have revealed the need for more focus on mediation, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Friday at a U.N.-backed conference in Istanbul.
"Prevention is the key," Çavuşoğlu said at the fourth Istanbul Mediation Conference.
Speaking via video conference, he emphasized the importance of mediation in resolving conflicts, adding Turkey plays its part. He pointed to the need to train more mediators, including women and young people. "Building capacity must be a priority," he said.
More than a hundred experts, diplomats and scholars from around the world took part in the conference, which was also addressed by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"We must find more effective ways to prevent conflicts. Mediation is a vital and cost-effective part of our efforts," Guterres said.
He also said there were plans to increase the U.N.'s capacity for mediation, including expanding its pool of mediators to include more women.
Meanwhile, on the occasion of the conference, Çavuşoğlu wrote a column for Daily Sabah on Friday.
"The readiness and willingness of the international community to build capacity in peaceful resolution of conflict, including mediation, must be a priority," Çavuşoğlu wrote. "[Guterres's] efforts are most commendable. We call on all U.N. member states to support Guterres's broad vision and efforts to prevent and solve today's conflicts.
"Turkey has been doing its part."
In 2010, Turkey and Finland founded the U.N. Group of Friends of Mediation which seeks to "promote and advance the use of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes."
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