In December 2012, the IGAD’s Mediation Support Unit (MSU) was tasked with building normative capacities for the IGAD region, following the advice from its Committee of Ambassadors (COA). The MSU therefore embarked on the development of those normative capacities, which included the development of a blue print for the conduct of mediation, namely, the draft Strategic Guidelines on Mediation. The document serves to inform mediators on steps to be followed in order to achieve professional, impartial and efficient intervention in conflict prevention or mediation processes. The draft Strategic Guidelines on Mediation which was initially developed in September 2016 was subjected to validation at the workshop that was held in Kampala, Uganda from 14-15 June 2017, co-organized by IGAD and ACCORD.
In its endeavor to support and enhance the development of mediation capacities on the continent, ACCORD facilitated the workshop which brought together the COA and members of the Roster of Mediators representing the IGAD region. The interactive working session enabled participants to analyse and comment on the contents of the draft Strategic Guidelines on Mediation. Participants provided feedback on how the document can be further improved. Amongst others, the issues discussed included: inclusivity, particularly on youth and women; management and interaction of the media; as well as IGAD’s ownership of the mediation process.
In addition to the validation of the draft Strategic Guidelines on Mediation, the workshop also served as an opportunity for interaction between the COA and members of the IGAD Roster of Mediators. They identified and discussed mediation challenges faced so far in the region. Further, they were briefed on the development of MSU and the IGAD normative capacity on Mediation in line with the COA Resolution of September 2012.
ACCORD was instrumental in providing technical and substantive support to the workshop as well in capturing the proceedings during the validation process. The summary of proceedings documented by ACCORD will be used in further strengthening and finalizing the development of IGAD’s Strategic Guidelines on Mediation.