Istanbul conference looks to promote mediation


Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu told a UN-backed conference on Friday that rising attacks on Muslims in Europe revealed the need for more focus on mediation.

"Prevention is key," Çavuşoğlu told the fourth Istanbul Mediation Conference on Friday.

Çavuşoğlu, speaking by video link, underlined the importance of mediation to resolving conflicts, adding Turkey was playing its part.

The minister pointed to the need to train more mediators, including women and young people. "Building capacity must be a priority," he told the conference.

More than a hundred experts, diplomats and scholars from around the world were taking part in the conference which was also addressed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Guterres said: "We must find more effective ways to prevent conflicts. Mediation is a vital and cost-effective part of our efforts."

He also said there were plans to increase the UN's capacity for mediation, including expanding its pool of mediators to include more women.

On the occasion of the conference, Çavuşoğlu wrote an article for Turkish English-language Daily Sabah on Friday.

"The readiness and willingness of the international community to build capacity in peaceful resolution of conflict, including mediation, must be a priority," Çavuşoğlu wrote.

"[Guterres's] efforts are most commendable. We call on all UN member states to support Guterres's broad vision and efforts to prevent and solve today's conflicts."

"Turkey has been doing its part," Çavuşoğlu added.

In 2010, Turkey and Finland founded the UN Group of Friends of Mediation which seeks to "promote and advance the use of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes".

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