UNSC meeting talks enhancement of mediation sensitivity, effectiveness hinh anh 1Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of Vietnam’s permanent mission to the UN (Photo: VNA)

New York (VNA) – Vietnam, in coordination with Germany, Belgium and Switzerland, held on October 9 an UN Security Council (UNSC) Arria-formula meeting on the enhancement of mediation sensitivity and effectiveness in preventing and resolving conflicts to help maintain international peace and security.

At this event, which attracted representatives of nearly 40 UN and UNSC member states, Vietnam appealed to the UNSC to show its solidarity and unity,  help mediators fulfill their duties assigned under UNSC resolutions, promote consensus among parties involved in disputes, and support mediation and preventive diplomatic activities carried out by the UN.

Nicholas Hayson, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Somalia, said mediation not only helps put an end to conflicts but also brings about sustainable solutions acceptable to all sides.

As a mediator, he held that the UNSC can help bring relevant parties to negotiations, create a favourable environment for intermediary activities, form consensus among parties and attract the participation of regional organisations. On the other hand, a lack of unity in the UNSC may impede mediation efforts.

Natalia Gherman, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central Asia and head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, noted the most important factors of mediation are building trust among related parties, creating flexible conditions for activities of mediators, and the UNSC’s political support.

She also stressed that the mediation process and outcomes must have the participation of all people.

Echoing the view, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, noted that building trust among parties involved in conflicts and with mediators are the most crucial factor in the mediation process.

At the meeting, Prof. Laurence Nathan, Senior Mediation Advisor to the UN, reported on his research outcomes that the UNSC hasn’t been provided with sufficient information and studies on mediation principles and activities.

He affirmed that the UNSC plays an important role in mediation through issuing resolutions that assign tasks to mediators, encourage parties to negotiate, and ensure their compliance with law and international norms.

He recommended the UNSC set up a working group on mediation, organise annual discussions on mediation, and increase studying and sharing good mediation practices.

For his part, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of Vietnam’s permanent mission to the UN, said countries have the obligation to peacefully resolve disputes and conflicts in line with Article 33 of the UN Charter, with mediation frequently used and proving useful.

Mediators have encountered numerous challenges while performing their duties, he said, calling on the UNSC to help promote mediation measures as a tool to maintain international peace and security.

Quy underlined that regional organisations can hold the leadership role in mediating disputes and conflicts in their regions, asking the UNSC to bolster coordination and assist regional organisations to build mediation capacity.

The ambassador also reiterated Vietnam’s commitment to contributing to conflict prevention and settlement efforts via peaceful means, including mediation measures.

Vietnam successfully hosted the summit between the US and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in February 2019 and has supported the UN’s intermediary activities by making financial donations to the budget for mediation and preventive diplomacy, according to him.

He added that ASEAN is an example of building dialogue, mutual understanding and trust and managing crises in a region.

An Arria-formula meeting is an informal UNSC meeting with the participation of UNSC and UN member states and international organisations to discuss important and emerging issues./.