Press release 206/2013
26 September 2013
The Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of Mediation took place in New York on 26 September, hosted by Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu of Turkey. The meeting was attended, among others, by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson of the United Nations, Secretary General Lamberto Zannier of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and a number of Foreign Ministers from different continents.
Foreign Minister Tuomioja stressed that mediation is a cost-effective crisis management tool. Funding for mediation should be increased in the UN. The Ministerial Meeting decided that the topic of the next Resolution on mediation is the role of regional organisations in mediation. Minister Tuomioja emphasised the need to gather together countries interested in mediation within all regional organisations. Finland, for its part, has actively contributed to strengthening mediation in both the EU and the OSCE.
Foreign Minister Tuomioja drew attention to the role of women in mediation. Women should be included both as mediators and as heads of negotiation delegations. Women’s participation can intensify mediation and strengthen the sustainability of peace agreements.
The Group of Friends of Mediation, established in September 2010, at present has 45 members: the United Nations, its Member States and regional organisations. The latest States to join of the Group of Friends are Kenya, Montenegro and the United States. The United States was represented at the meeting held today by UN Ambassador Samantha Power. According to Ambassador Power, the Group of Friends of Mediation forms the core for efforts so that the international community would be prepared to prevent the next crisis similar to the one in Syria.
Additional information: Chief of Cabinet Tarja Kangaskorte, mobile tel. +358 40 1819 257, and Head of Unit Katri Viinikka, mobile tel. +358 40 753 2730