The German Federal Foreign Office and the Initiative Mediation Support Deutschland, the Berghof Foundation is part of, organized the conference “The OSCE as Mediator” in Berlin on 6 July 2016. About 200 participants, including mediation experts from international organizations and from the civil society, academics as well as high-ranking representatives of the OSCE and its member states, engaged in lively debates on the role and the potentials of the OSCE in the area of mediation and crisis management. Based on different conflicts within the OSCE area, various mediation tools and approaches were discussed, as well as possibilities on how to strengthen the OSCE’s capacities within the entire conflict cycle.
Norbert Ropers (Senior Advisor to the Berghof Foundation) and Almuth Wieland-Karimi (Center for International Peace Operations – ZIF) moderated the different plenary panels. The Berghof Foundation especially contributed to the panels on “Insider Mediators as Part of Peace Infrastructures” and on “Status-neutral Mediation Approaches”.
Luxshi Vimalarajah, Programme Director of the Dialogue, Mediation and Peace Support Structures Programme presented the preliminary findings of the study on Insider Mediators in the OSCE area to the first panel, which was also organized by the Berghof Foundation. The study is currently being conducted by the Berghof Foundation and has been commissioned by the OSCE and is financed by the Task Force OSCE 2016 of the German Federal Foreign Office.
In the panel on “Status-neutral Mediation Approaches” Oliver Wolleh, Programme Director of the Caucasus Programme, highlighted - based on the examples of Cyprus and Georgia – the consequences the status question of territories has for all political and social actors. He stressed that creating by-pass structures that allow for status-neutral interaction could be beneficial in those situations.