Statement by State Minister Lindner presented at the virtual Ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends of Mediation, 2 February 2022
Over the last years, Germany has invested a lot in developing own expertise and infrastructure for mediation. Our philosophy is reflected in our first ever Mediation Concept, published in 2019.
In 2020 and 2021, we set up our own mediation support structure. This puts us in a good position as an international peacemaker.
We are conscious of the specific role that a country like Germany can play in mediation. We see our efforts very much as complementary to what traditional mediation actors are doing – and we are coordinating closely with them.
We advocate for a continuous professionalization of international mediation practice. To this purpose, we have convened an Arria formula meeting of the UN Security Council on “Mandating Peace”, with a view to kicking off the debate on the quality of Security Council mediation mandates.
As the accompanying study shows, there is room for improvement, think of cases such as Syria or Yemen. One of the key problems is the overly prescriptive nature of the resolutions, which effectively limits or even eliminates the deal space for the Special Envoy.
We believe that it is necessary to invest in building up substantive expertise in peacemaking. We still have only a rudimentary understanding of issues such as the financing of peace agreements, or power sharing, as the key ingredient of a peace agreement.
Mediation is all about inclusion – success requires a seat at the table for all conflict parties. At the same time, inclusion is one of the biggest challenges for mediation, in particular for women, youth and marginalized groups. We are actively supporting efforts to remedy this, for example by contributing almost 2 Mio. Euros to the Rapid Response Window of the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund and the UN Department for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) Multi-Year Appeal. In June 2021, we hosted a high-level panel discussion on power dynamics in peace processes and women’s meaningful participation.
We are also delighted about the official start of the “Climate, Peace and Security Consortium” at the beginning of this year. In this effort, which is part of our Weathering Risk initiative, we have assembled both expert and mediation organizations, in order to pilot new approaches to pacify climate-amplified conflicts. Learning from experiences on the ground and generating evidence is key to developing effective strategies for sustaining peace in climate-induced conflicts.
The same is true for mediation in the digital space, i.e. in cyber conflicts. We commend the work that DPPA is doing in this regard, especially the Mediation Support Unit and the Innovation Cell.