(check against delivery)
Warm welcome to everyone and thank you for joining us today at this discussion on the professionalization of peace mediation. Very happy to host this event together with our British friends. I would also like to thank our partners from Durham University and the Europa- Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt, for initiating and organizing the academic exchange forum which was held over the last 1.5 days.
Welcome to the panelists. We appreciate you coming here to share your expertise, your experience and engage in a discussion where we aim to bring practitioners and academia closer together.
Very happy to co-sponsor this event and thereby contribute to a vivid discussion. For us, peace mediation is a critical instrument to our conflict prevention and conflict resolution policy and an essential part of our stabilization engagement. We remain committed to expanding our support and activities in this area. Naturally within the UN, but also by helping other mediation processes along. An example of the latter is our support to the Berghof Foundation in Yemen, which facilitates dialogue and negotiation among key Yemeni actors since 2012.
Also support the professionalization of the field through research, education and partnerships. Examples:
- Support a Masters’ program together with the Swiss EDA and the ETH Zurich
- Cooperation with the Viadrina-University on methodological questions
- Support critical reflections about recent developments in the field – such as this event.
In the light of our membership in the Security Council 2019/2020, we commend the Secretary-General’s efforts to enhance the UN’s mediation capacities both at Headquarters and in the field. Germany will actively promote peaceful mediation as a key tool in the UN conflict resolution and prevention strategy.
Advocate the work of the UN Mediation Support Unit and specifically the efforts of the Standby Team of Senior Mediation advisors. As future member of the SC we are looking forward to a close cooperation with both.
The same applies to our work in and with the Group of Friends of mediation. In our view, successful mediation should include various actors on different levels, from the grassroots to the UNSC, and the Group of Friends constitutes an excellent interregional platform for this cooperation.
Speaking of inclusion, Germany is very committed to further strengthen women’s participation in peace processes. The Women Peace and Security agenda will be one of our focuses areas during our SC membership.
To conclude, critical reflection of the approaches we use when undertaking or supporting mediation and dialogue processes is crucial, in our view, in order to be able to learn and improve, re-calibrate where necessary. We are therefore glad to support the project ‘re-thinking peace mediation’ and to host this event. We are thankful for all the contributions which we will take in and consider in our own engagement.
Wishing all of us a good and fruitful discussion!