Today more than ever before, armed conflicts are likely to end in mediated settlements. As mediation activity has surged since the end of the Cold War, its dynamics have undergone significant change as well.

New conflict drivers, such as climate change and organized crime, demand broader substantive agendas and the coordinated engagement of a wider range of mediators with specialized skills. To be successful, mediation processes need to be informed by an understanding of the broader regional context, given the frequent use of proxy forces in contemporary conflict. And to prevent a relapse into violence, mediation processes have to extend well beyond the cessation of open hostilities.

At present, the mandates and resources for multilateral mediation and related political analysis are often inadequate to meet these challenges. Recognizing that every mediation process has its own peculiarities and avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach, improvements can be made at the United Nations and beyond to strengthen the toolbox at the disposal of international mediators.

As such, this Blue Paper lays out recommendations on the need to:

1) strengthen the UN’s peacemaking partnerships;
2) coordinate the multiple players involved in mediation;
3) enhance multilateral peacemaking capacity and training;
4) pursue a more energetic regional approach; and
5) seek early entry points for preventive diplomacy.