A Mediation Strategy to Guide IGAD Mediation Efforts
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning kick started a three day consultative meeting on the Formulation of an IGAD Mediation Strategy in Nairobi during an opening ceremony presided over by IGAD Focal Point at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Mr. Berhane Fisseha, and the IGAD Special Envoy to Somalia, His Excellency Ambassador Mohamed Affey.
This consultative meeting is gathering high level IGAD mediators with extensive experience in peace processes mediations and IGAD focal points from Member States Ministries of Foreign Affairs.
This meeting is to introduce a new mediation strategy informed by lessons learnt from previous mediations in order to enhance IGAD’s capacity for preventive diplomacy and mediation, and move away from ad-hoc mobilization of mediators in times of crisis. The over goal is to formulate a Mediation Strategy to guide future mediation processes.
The strategy is aiming at guiding efforts in order to deal with peace and security challenges both at intra-state and inter-state conflicts but also at local national and regional levels. This will focus on building preventive and responsive capability of IGAD and Member States for conflict resolution and peace building at all levels including local, national and region structures.
In his opening remarks, Mister Fissha said that there is need to “develop such a mediation strategy (…) especially after witnessing the conflict in South Sudan”. He also called on the utility of the IGAD Mediation Support Unit that is organizing the meeting, and reminded of the establishment of the IGAD Roster of Mediators in August 2014.
Ambassador Affey lauded the reservoir of mediators that the participants of the consultative meeting do constitute for peace processes in the IGAD region.
IGAD is continuously making efforts to consolidate achievements of the regional peace processes and institutionalize mediation through creating and operationalizing the necessary structures. These include rosters of future mediators and technical experts, enhancing professional skills in mediation, and adopting regional protocols.