UN Photo / Eskinder Debebe

UN Sanctions and Mediation Project


Mediation and UN sanctions are two essential policy instruments used by the United Nations in its efforts to prevent and resolve conflict. Even though these two tools are almost always deployed in conjunction, the degree of their overlap in time and the sequencing of their application vary. Relatively little is known about when and whether these tools work well together or work poorly. Preliminary evidence suggests that in some recent cases their dual application improved, and in others, diminished the peace and security environment.

Within the UN system, there is no internal guidance on the integrated application of these tools. The gap in knowledge is further exacerbated by the fact that the two expert communities concerned – mediation and sanctions experts – generally operate independently of one another and are driven by different logics and sometimes by different mandates. As a result, there are sensitivities regarding the joint application of sanctions and mediation. However, given the inter-linkages between mediation and sanctions in practice, and particularly in contexts where the UN Security Council is the common mandating authority, it is imperative that these two communities have a forum in which they can explore when and how these tools work best together in order to accomplish larger peace and security goals.

PROJECT OUTLINE

 


Against this background, this project, conducted by the United Nations University, the Graduate Institute and swisspeace, and funded by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, pursues two main objectives. First, it will create a better understanding of the inter-linkages between sanctions and mediation. Second, this project will bring the two expert communities together to interrogate jointly when and how these tools should be deployed and how coordination can be improved in order to create space for joint engagement on this pressing policy challenge.

The core research consists of 6 country context case studies. The countries include: Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen, and Libya.

PROJECT LEADS

 


Mediation Focal Point
swisspeace

PROJECT TIMELINE


Phase 1
Project launch and stakeholder consultations: June – August 2017

Phase 2
Case study research and analysis: September 2017 – May 2018

Phase 3
Synthesis and dissemination of research findings: June – November 2018

ADVISORY BOARD

 


The project is supported by an advisory panel of senior policymakers and academics in the mediation and sanctions fields. Their role is to provide guidance and feedback throughout the course of the project. The panel members are:

Ms. Roxaneh Bazergan, Team Leader, Mediation Support Unit, Policy and Mediation Division, Department of Political Affairs, United Nations, New York

Ms. Kimberly Elliot, Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development, Washington D.C, USA

Mr. Nicholas Haysom, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan, Ethiopia

Dr. Laurence Nathan, Director of the Centre for Mediation in Africa, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Mr. Kelvin Ong, Chief of United Nations Security Council Subsidiary Organs Branch, Security Council Affairs Division, Department of Political Affairs, United Nations, New York

Dr. Katia Papagianni, Director, Policy and Mediation Support, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Switzerland

Dr. Peter Wallensteen, Senior Professor of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, Sweden

PROJECT OUTPUTS


UN Sanctions: Liability or Asset in Mediation Processes? Background paper prepared for Oslo Forum, 25 July 2018.

Core outputs to be released in January 2019.

REFERENCE MATERIALS


Background Materials on Sanctions

Compendium High Level Review of United Nations Sanctions (1.8MB PDF)
Inter-Agency Working Group on Sanctions Inputs to High Level Review (2.3MB PDF)

 

Background Materials on International Mediation

United Nations Guidance for Effective Mediation (516KB PDF)

 

NEWS UPDATES


Enhancing the Effectiveness of UN Sanctions, Security Council 8018th Meeting, 3 August 2017

RELATED ARTICLES

 


PROJECT CONTACTS


Rebecca Brubaker
UN Sanctions and Mediation Project Manager
United Nations University Centre for Policy Research
Email: brubaker@unu.edu

Thomas Biersteker
UN Sanctions and Mediation Project Sanctions Focal Point
The Graduate Institute, Geneva
Email: thomas.biersteker@graduateinstitute.ch

David Lanz
UN Sanctions and Mediation Project Mediation Focal Point
swisspeace
Email: David.Lanz@swisspeace.ch

Alexandra Ivanovic
UN Sanctions and Mediation Project Administrator
United Nations University Centre for Policy Research
Email: ivanovic@unu.edu