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Statement by Ambassador Jürgen Schulz in the Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Mediation and the Peaceful Resolution of Conflicts” - August 29, 2018

29.08.2018 - Press release

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Mr. President, Excellencies, I would like to thank the Chair for initiating today’s debate. I thank the briefers for their informative statements.

We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the European Union and the Group of Friends of Mediation.

Germany very much welcomes the President’s emphasis on the importance of mediation.

Germany believes mediation is a key instrument during all phases of conflict from conflict prevention to stabilization and peacebuilding. It is an integral part of the SG’s reform agenda which focuses on prevention and sustaining peace and enjoys our full support.

As pressure on our global order intensifies, the need to resolve conflicts peacefully becomes more urgent. We need more dialogue instead of more confrontation, and more prevention instead of more intervention. Mediation is important to these ends, and the Security Council has a decisive role to play. Article 33 of the UN Charter states that the Security Council shall, when it deems necessary, call upon conflict parties to settle their dispute, including through “mediation.”

Germany therefore fully subscribes to the Security Council’s presidential statement issued in January, and we encourage the Secretary-General to continue these efforts in this regard.

When the Council decides to entrust the SG or another actor with mediating a dispute, it is important that it provides political support while giving the parties adequate space to pursue conflict resolution.

An adherence to certain standards and principles is critical when designing and conducting mediation processes. The UN Secretariat, the Mediation Support Unit and the Group of Friends have contributed greatly to the promotion of such standards and professional approaches in the field of mediation, an effort which we fully support.

For Germany, mediation also plays a key role in our national efforts to support peaceful crisis resolution. This is why we have expanded our engagement in mediation, for instance by establishing a mediation unit in the Federal Foreign Office and increasing our mediation support significantly.

We are keen to work with other member states and regional organizations to promote mediation as a tool for the peaceful settlement of disputes – a task at the core of the United Nations’ mission.

Today, in Yemen, we are facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and the situation on the ground is deteriorating rapidly. What is needed most is a political solution. We therefore support the UN’s efforts towards a political process which involves all Yemeni groups. Germany continues to finance and facilitate Track II dialogues, local mediation and reconciliation, and, whenever possible, small-scale stabilization measures.

In Darfur and Sudan, we are also supporting the ongoing mediation efforts of the Joint Special Representative and Head of UNAMID to reach a lasting political agreement between the Sudanese government and armed rebel groups, as laid out in the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.

In our mediation efforts in Yemen, Darfur and elsewhere, we focus on strengthening civil society, fostering inclusiveness by working on various tracks and ensuring that all views are heard. Experience has shown that the most successful peace processes are supported by the population and benefit from the buy-in of all concerned groups.

Crucially, this includes women as ‘agents of change’ within mediation and reconciliation processes. Crisis prevention and stabilization can succeed only if women have an active role in peace processes and their views are respected. What makes a difference is not only increasing the number of women in mediation processes, but ensuring their influence on the structure and outcome. Germany is an active supporter of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and will continue to be as a non-permanent member on the SC.

I thank you, Mr. President.


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