Peace Mediation | Mediation Support

ZIF contributes to the areas of peace mediation and mediation support in different ways. Basis for our engagement is our understanding that (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.


Our recent contributions on peace mediation include...


...a policy briefing From Behind the Scenes to Center Stage: Enhancing Germany's Role in International Peace Mediation by Sebastian Dworack and Alischa Kugel (June 2018). interview in the PeaceByPeace-Podcast on the future of peace mediation by Almut Wieland-Karimi and Sebastian Dworack (German only, June 2018).


...a blogpost by Almut Wieland-Karimi on peace mediation (German only, May 2018).


Peace mediation is at the core of ZIF's activities, such as...

ZIF Expert Roster and secondment to multilateral organizations

In order to help strengthen the work of multilateral organizations in the field of peace mediation and mediation support, ZIF seconds or helps identify suitable German civilian experts to the respective mediation support departments in the headquarters of international organizations, such as the OSCE, the EU or the UN, as well as to peace operations in the field. As part of its expert roster, ZIF also has access to mediation experts, who can be deployed to support mediation processes at short notice.


Civilian experts deployed to peace operations are expected to constructively support efforts that contribute to the resolution of conflicts. Many peace operations accompany ongoing peace processes and provide either direct or indirect support to peace talks or the implementation of peace agreements. In order to build the capacity of civilian experts to support peace processes, ZIF provides various trainings in peace mediation and negotiation aimed at strengthening the conceptual foundations of mediation as well as mediation skills and negotiation techniques. For example, in cooperation with the Berghof Foundation, ZIF currently offers the yearly course "Supporting Peace Negotiation and Mediation on Track 1" that focusses on different mediation styles, preparations and potential challenges of mediation within international peace processes.


Peace Mediation in German Foreign Policy

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


IMSD maintains regular contact with representatives of the German Federal Foreign Office on anchoring mediation as a German foreign policy tool. Furthermore, it carries out joint activities with the German Federal Foreign Office to strengthen the public visibility of and intensify the German dialogue with international experts on mediation. To this end, since 2014, the German Federal Foreign Office and the IMSD have cooperated on organizing a series of international expert conferences series on mediation as a German foreign policy tool and mediation efforts within the OSCE.


ZIF is also engaged in the development of comprehensive expertise on mediation within the German Federal Foreign Office, as well as other countries’ Foreign Offices by designing tailor-made trainings on peace mediation for national and international diplomats. A mediation training module is part of the preparatory course for the foreign service of the German Federal Foreign Office. Since 2016, ZIF is also organizing a series of peer coachings on mediation and diplomacy for senior staff of the German Federal Foreign Office as well as prominent German foreign policy figures. In conducting the peer coachings, ZIF works in close cooperation with the Mediation Support Unit (MSU) of the UN Department of Political Affairs as well as renown international mediation experts.