Press release 6/2013
15 January 2013
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will organise a meeting of the Group of Friends of Mediation in Helsinki on 17 to 18 January. The meeting will be attended by representatives from approximately 30 countries, four regional organisations and the UN. The Group of Friends operates primarily in New York.
The Group of Friends of Mediation, consisting of state members and inter-governmental organisations, was established in connection with the UN General Assembly in 2010 at the initiative of Finland and Turkey. The group focuses on strengthening the role of mediation and enhancing mediation-related cooperation. At the moment, the Group of Friends members include 34 states, the UN, and the regional organisations the Arab League, AU, ASEAN, the EU, the OAS, the OIC and the OSCE. The group has increased its membership significantly over the past year.
The meeting now held in Helsinki is part of the Group of Friends’ regular activity. As co-chairs of the Group of Friends, Finland and Turkey actively develop mediation-related work within the UN. The first UN Resolution on Mediation, drawn up with the support of the Group of Friends of Mediation, launched a process as a result of which the UN Secretary-General’s Guidance for Effective Mediation was released in autumn 2012. Finland places special emphasis on strengthening the role of women in peace processes for achievement of stable and lasting peace.
“The role of regional organisations in mediation is extremely important, since they operate near the conflict area and are very familiar with the reasons of the conflict and the parties involved," says Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja. According to Foreign Minister Tuomioja, cooperation between regional organisations and the UN has turned out to be very fruitful.
The meeting will be attended by representatives of the OAS, the OIC, ASEAN, the OSCE and the EU. Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja will open the meeting on 17 January.
Additional information: Katri Viinikka, Head of Unit for UN and General Global Affairs, tel. +358 40 753 3270