NEW YORK, USA -- The assistant secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, says the power of dialogue should not be underestimated in the handling of global, regional or domestic disputes.
Speaking at a Ministerial Breakfast of the Group of Friends of Mediation, during the UN General Assembly in New York this week, Ramdin said, “Far too often, we are inclined to take immediate and confrontational actions, in response to a perceived threat or conflict. Yet recent cases around the world and right here in the Americas, have demonstrated the power of dialogue to mitigate tensions.”
Chaired by the ministers of foreign affairs of Finland and Turkey, the Group of Friends of Mediation Ministerial Breakfast was convened to launch the most recent report by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon titled, “Strengthening The Role Of Mediation In The Peaceful Settlement Of Disputes, Conflict Prevention And Resolution.”
Addressing the meeting, Ramdin also emphasized the urgent need to develop more inclusive approaches to resolving differences.
“We must ensure that all stakeholders affected by conflict are included in our mediation efforts, if we are to build a strong culture of peace and dialogue in our societies,” he said, adding “capacity for conflict management and dispute resolution also needs to be built within countries and international organizations so they can respond when the need arises.”
The assistant secretary general also pointed to the need to improve cooperation mechanisms among international organizations and called on all representatives present at the meeting to remain committed to an inclusive approach, ensuring continued consultation with all sectors of society, including vulnerable groups, youth, women, the private sector and civil society.
The aim of the Group of Friends of Mediation meeting at the UN is to raise awareness within the international community about the importance of mediation as a means of conflict prevention and resolution.
This week, foreign ministers and heads of regional organizations from around the world gathered to discuss ways to increase cooperation among regional organizations and civil society in the field of peace mediation. Present at the Ministerial Breakfast were high-level representatives from 33 countries and five regional organizations.