Peace Mediation | Mediation Support

Peace mediation “is a process whereby a third party assists two or more parties, with their consent, to prevent, manage or resolve a conflict by helping them to develop mutually acceptable agreements” (UN Guidance for Effective Mediation, 2012).


The term mediation support describes the professional support (i.e. methodical, operative) of mediators or mediation teams as well as conflict parties during the mediation process.

ZIF-Expert Roster and Secondment to Multilateral organizations 

As a contribution to the strengthening of the work of international organizations in the field of peace mediation and mediation support, ZIF seconds German civilian experts to the respective departments in international organizations, like the OSCE. Additionally, ZIF has access to mediation experts in the ZIF-Expert Roster, who can be deployed at short notice.


Experts, who are seconded to peace operations, need to be able to handle conflicts in a constructive way and know how to support the process of resolving them. Most missions actively support peace processes and take part – directly or indirectly – in the strengthening of peace negotiations. ZIF provides various trainings to build the skills of experts in peace mediation and negotiation. Currently a course that focusses on different mediation styles, preparations and potential challenges of mediation within international peace processes, is conducted annually in cooperation with the Berghof Foundation.


Additionally, ZIF provides trainings within the National Platform of Training Institutions for senior staff in peace missions to sharpen their competences in resolving conflicts in their respective professional environment. Also in the Core Course Peace Operations, which provides a general preparation for the deployment in peace operations and for the admittance to the ZIF-Expert Roster, the issue of peace mediation is discussed.


Additionally, ZIF supports mediation trainings from partner organizations, like the course on “Religion and Mediation” from the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich, and provides in-mission modules on mediation directly in the mission context.

Peace Mediation in German Foreign Policy

ZIF is part of the Initiative Mediation Support Deutschland (IMSD), which supports and advises the German Foreign Office in the field of peace mediation and mediation support since 2013.


IMSD maintains regular contact and exchange with representatives of the German Federal Foreign Office on the anchoring of mediation in the German foreign policy. Furthermore, it carries out joint activities with the German Federal Foreign Office to strengthen the public visibility of and to intensify the German dialogue with international experts on mediation. In this regard, IMSD organized a conference entitled “Germany as a mediator – peace in mediation in German foreign policy” in 2014 and a Mediation Expert Meeting on “Identifying Mediation Entry Points” in 2015 in Berlin.


ZIF is also engaged in the development of comprehensive expertise on mediation within the German Federal Foreign Office, as well as international Foreign Offices by designing tailor-made training measures on peace mediation for national and international diplomats.


Additional members of IMSD are the Berghof Foundation, the Center for Peace Mediation at European University Viadrina, the CSSP – Berlin Center for Integrative Mediation and inmedio Berlin. Further information regarding IMSD and its work with the Federal Foreign Office can be found under: