On June 22, 2011, the UN News Centre reported that the United Nations General Assembly issued a resolution directing its members to utilize mediation. While the United Nations Charter already advocates for the use of mediation and peaceful settlements of disputes, this resolution emphasized the UN’s commitment to the process. The resolution also declared the need to ensure gender neutrality in mediation programs, especially in decision-making roles. In addition, the UN recommended that it continue to develop its own mediation capabilities. The UN already has a Mediation Support Unit of the UN Department of Political Affairs. The Secretary-General is to consult with Member States to develop guidelines to strengthen mediation programs.
This resolution should come as no surprise as one of the UN’s primary goals is to achieve world peace, and mediation is a proven method to promptly resolve disputes. What is more, mediation serves to build relationships and is successful most of the time.
If mediation has been determined to be the best method to resolve disputes for the UN and its 192 Member States, then it is certainly something individuals and businesses should also consider to end their disputes. Mediation helps parties reach agreements to end conflicts – big and small.
In mediation, all participants have a chance to be heard and to listen to others’ points of view. The mediator ensures neutrality and fairness in the process and helps the parties brainstorm solutions and negotiate. The mediator also helps parties find common ground and reach a full and binding agreement. Whether you represent a country facing war, or you are an individual facing divorce, calling a mediator should be your first course of action.
Alona M. Gottfried is a mediator and attorney in Arizona. If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice. See a legal professional before making legal decisions.
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