Archive for the ‘United Nations’ Category

UN To Create Security Council Ombudsman & New Mediation Division Launched

December 28, 2009

UN To Create Ombudsman For Security Council & New Mediation Division

Recently the United Nation’s Security Council announced it will created an Ombudsman Office. This position is being created specifically in response to concerns over its own No Fly List.

According to the CBC, “The Security Council’s unanimous decision to appoint an ombudsman is aimed at ensuring that UN sanctions target the right people, companies and organizations for links to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.”

Creation of the Ombudsman Office was passed unanimously by the Council and the position will initially be created for 18 months to assist the sanctions committee to review the procedures regarding delisting individuals on the list.

Further information from the article explains how the Ombuds will be chosen, “The ombudsman will be appointed by the UN Secretary General, and will be someone who should be “an eminent individual of high moral character, impartiality and integrity with high qualifications and experience in relevant fields, such as legal, human rights, counter-terrorism and sanctions”, a UN release stated.”

The United Nations currently has an Ombudsman Office which serves the employees of the UN. You can read more about that office, and John Barkat, the current ombudsman, [here].

Note, their site is newly re-designed and you will notice the UN has created a new Mediation Division with the Ombudsman Office. The office was created in August 2009 as per the passing of General Assembly resolution A/RES/62/228. You can read more about the new Mediation Division and its services [here].

Read the full CBC article [here].

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News

June 13, 2009

More on the DRC-NY Listserv
For those of you wondering what’s the latest with the current situation regarding the DRC-NY Listserv, this Monday I will be posting my proposal on how to possible find the ‘win-win’ situation as well as on Tuesday will be another recap of the situation. You can read the original post [here].

New Era For Mediation
THE chairman of Sale Sharks[professional UK Rugby team] has been recruited to a high-profile national panel of senior lawyers and accountants to provide a new level of corporate mediation.Quentin Smith, who has been an independent mediator since leaving law firm Addleshaw Goddard two years ago, is the only northern representative on the panel, which is headed by Lord Woolf and Cherie Booth QC.
The new body is a collaboration between the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the mediators’ professional body the Alternative Dispute Resolution Group (ADR). It will focus on issues such as contracts, intellectual property rights and lending agreements.
Full article [here]

Role For An Ombudsman?
This is not an article but rather a reflection by me. Given the recent more-than-usual craziness in the New York State Senate, would it have help, or even currently help, if there was an Ombudsman for the Senate? Could he/she been able to release a report on findings regarding the situation? Even if one was released weeks from now, would it be beneficial? The Ombuds could also serve as a confidential mediator in this situation as well. Thoughts?

Have Mediation Skills, Will Travel
10 June 2009 – The United Nations special on-call mediation team has helped respond to sticky problems all over the globe in their first year – and should do more, according to a top official at the world body.
Full article [here]

‘Special Master’ Feinberg to Take on Bankers
June 11 (Bloomberg) — Kenneth R. Feinberg, who mediated disputes over compensation for damages from the Sept. 11 attacks and Agent Orange, must now separate bankers from their paychecks.
Feinberg, named yesterday as the Obama administration’s “special master” on executive pay, will have authority to regulate compensation for 175 executives at seven companies that received “exceptional” government help.

“I’m not a czar who is going to impose my will,” Feinberg, an opera fan, said while listening to Verdi’s “Nabucco” in his law office. “My mandate is to help determine compensation levels for the 175 people. I will consult with them and work with them.”
Read more [here]

Freedom of Information Office Appoints First Ombudsman
WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Archives appointed a veteran open government advocate Wednesday to be the first Freedom of Information Act ombudsman, empowered to mediate disputes between people who request data and the agencies that have it.
Miriam Nisbet, who now heads the information society division of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris, was chosen to direct the Archives’ new Office of Government Information Services, acting Archivist Adrienne Thomas announced.

More [here]


Irish Minister To Launch Elder Mediation Program
A NEW mediation service dealing with problems of families and carers with family members suffering from dementia and similar diseases will be launched this week by Áine Brady, Minister of State for Older People.
The service is a pilot project involving collaboration between the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and Northside Community Law Foundation. Its launch coincides with an international symposium on elderly mediation which starts today in the Stillorgan Park Hotel, Dublin.

Full article [here]

Mediation Helps, Even in Jail!
Sally Garnett is hardly a cheerleader for the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. After all, prosecutors threw the book at her recently for “lifting” her housemate’s jewelry, she says, landing her in jail for three months.
…After prepaying $63.60 for phone service from inside the jail, Garnett says the company she contracted with didn’t deliver a single call. Prepaying relieves family and friends of the cost of a collect call from jail — the only kind inmates are allowed to make.
Instead of busting her, this time the district attorney’s office was ready to lend her a hand with its busy but little-known Consumer Protection Unit. Its members not only fight big fraud cases in court, but also attempt to resolve consumer disputes — like Garnett’s — through free mediation.
No case is too small for the six volunteers and three paid mediators…

Full article [here]

ADR News

May 20, 2009

Nukes & Mediation- A Role For Japan?
…It is appropriate that Japan, a non-nuclear nation and a major peaceful user of nuclear power, is serving as a mediator to eliminate distrust between nuclear-capable nations and non-nuclear states and restore trust in the NPT system.What do you think? Read the full article [here]

$68.2 Million Claim Heads to Mediation
The hope is that mediation will help build consensus and avoid further litigation that could be costly and take up more time, said Rachel C. Strickland, a New York attorney representing LandAmerica.
“I think this case is just screaming out for this kind of mediation,” Huennekens said.
In mediation, a bankruptcy judge of Huennekens’ choosing will first take on a claim that the Henrico-based LandAmerica filed against the exchange company.
The parent company gave a total of $65 million in loans to help the exchange company cover operating costs when investments in auction-rate securities became illiquid.

Full article [here]

Mediator Enters College & Union Talks
Contract negotiations between College of the Canyons and the union representing 450 part-time faculty members resume today, this time with the help of a mediator to work through issues involving pay and seniority rights.”Hopefully the mediation works out where the district sees the fairness of both issues,” said Beverly Cope, president of Part-Time Faculty United.
Full article [here]

Tamil Tigers Call For Mediation
Somewhat breaking news, the Tamil Tigers have recently admitted defeat to the Sri Lanka government and I came across this article (posted in complete due to the shortness of it):
OSLO: Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels are willing to surrender their arms to a third party, after having conceded defeat in a 25-year civil war, former peace mediator Norway said on Sunday. “I have been in touch with the Tamil Tigers many times today,” Norway’s Development Aid Minister Erik Solheim said. “They have made it clear to us that they are ready to give up arms to the international community,” he said. reuters
From [here]

The Use of Mediation in Construction Disputes
Geoff Sharp over at Mediator Blah Blah found this 40 page, 2009 report on the above title, have a look [here]

Chad Opts For UN Mediation With Sudan
Chadian President Idriss Deby has opted for the mediation of the UN, instead of the African Union (AU), to resolve the crisis between the country and Sudan.The President announced the decision while addressing thousands of his compatriots, who were protesting last week’s rebel attack against Chad. Chad believes the rebels were sponsored by Sudan Both countries have traded accusations over alleged support for their insurgents.
Full story [here]

Mediation & ADR News

April 28, 2009

Fiji Under Pressure to Allow International Mediators
“What we are hoping is that the UN will continue to engage in the dialogue and mediation process to do with Fiji in partnership with the Commonwealth and obviously working through the Pacific Forum.”
Read more [here]

Police Tell Warring Residents to Seek Mediation
POLICE have urged warring Coomera Waters residents to seek mediation after the ongoing dispute about who should have access to a footpath took another dramatic turn…
Police Acting Inspector Andrew Dupere said rather than fight, residents should consider mediation.
Insp Dupere said police would not become involved but if called would help keep the peace.
“It’s a civil matter. We’re there to keep the peace and make sure no violence happens between the different parties or it doesn’t escalate into violence,” he said.

Read more [here]

Victims Prefer Mediation Over Legal Action
The latest research conducted in KwaZulu- Natal, the province with the highest incidence of domestic violence, shows that most victims prefer mediation to taking their abusers to court.
The victims participated in victim-centred restorative justice mediation voluntarily.

Full article [here]

Flexibility, partnerships, knowledge key to mediating conflicts – UN official
To boost its ability to prevent and limit bloodshed, the United Nations must have flexible funding, regional partnerships and accessible information for mediation, the Organization’s political chief said today.
“Mediation is a Charter activity of the United Nations and must be carried out with the highest degree of professionalism, transparency and preparation to promote peace and security,” …

Full article [here]

America, Land of the International Mediator?

April 13, 2009

UN’s mediation capacity must be bolstered: Ban Ki-moon
United Nations (PTI): Describing United Nations’ role in peaceful settlement of disputes as its primary mission, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the world body’s mediation capacity must be bolstered.
“Too often in the past, mediators have been dispatched without the full benefit of specialised training and background information, giving United Nations efforts an ad hoc quality too dependent on trial and error,” Ban wrote in a report to the Security Council made public on Thursday.

Full (short) article [here]

America, Land of the International Mediators?
The following article refers to President Obama and his administrations shift in foreign policy compared to his predecessor.
“…This is not a major new policy – but it does seem like another small shift toward repositioning the U.S. as a credible mediator seeking to work simultaneously for the rights and best interests of both Israelis and Palestinians. Rarely has a U.S. president spoken so clearly about both Israelis and Palestinians needing to change their ways to achieve peace.”
Full article [here]

Australian Family Mediation Saves Government $
Forcing feuding parents to undergo mediation before entering the court system has saved the federal government millions of dollars, a new report reveals.Under changes to the Family Law Act introduced from mid-2007, mothers and fathers who want a parenting order from the court must first attend family dispute resolution meetings.
Full article [here]

Blair: Skepticism about peace after Netanyahu win
JERUSALEM (AP) — International mediator Tony Blair says there’s skepticism about the prospects for peace because of Israel’s new government.
Blair spoke Monday after meeting with Israel’s new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Blair said he believes Netanyahu understands that the only formula for peace is a Palestinian state next to Israel.
Netanyahu has pointedly not endorsed creation of a Palestinian state. Blair thought Netanyahu would come around “if the right context can be created for peace.”
Blair noted skepticism over Netanyahu’s election and said there must be time for the new governments in Israel and the U.S. to “settle down.”
Blair said “the only solution that will ever work” is two states living side by side in peace.


UN To Review Mediation Role in Fiji
Update: 3:08PM THE United Nations will review its decision to mediate the proposed President’s Political Dialogue Forum which was to chart a way forward for a return to parliamentary democracy.
Full brief article [here]

Parishes ask Vatican for mediation over closings
BOSTON (AP) — Worshippers in eight dioceses around the country have banded together in a last-ditch effort to ask the Vatican to instruct bishops to negotiate with them over the closures of their parishes and to stop them from “wrecking the Catholic Church in America.”
Full article [here]

Positive Results From Conflict

April 8, 2009

As a follow up to the Circle of Conflict post [here], I thought I would talk a bit more about conflict and how it seems to many people, when they hear the word ‘conflict’ they automatically think of it being defined as something negative.

Of course we know conflict can be good or bad. Factors in deciding which path it goes down are the choices we make in response or reaction to the conflict at hand.

There are numerous positive things that can result from a conflict. From the United Nations training manual: Skills Development For Conflict Transformation (page 6):
􀁹 Conflict helps establish our identity and independence. Conflicts, especially at earlier stages of your life, help you assert your personal identity as separate from the aspirations, beliefs and behaviours of those around you.

􀁹 Intensity of conflict demonstrates the closeness and importance of relationships. Intimate relationships require us to express opposing feelings such as love and anger. The coexistence of these emotions in a relationship create a sharpness when conflicts arise. While the intensity of emotions can threaten the relationship, if they are dealt with constructively, they also help us measure the depth and importance of the relationship.

􀁹 Conflict can build new relationships. At times, conflict brings together people who did not have a previous relationship. During the process of conflict and its resolution, these parties may find out that they have common interests and then work to maintain an ongoing relationship.

􀁹 Conflict can create coalitions. Similar to building relationships, sometimes adversaries come together to build coalitions to achieve common goals or fend off a common threat. During the conflict, previous antagonism is suppressed to work towards these greater goals.

􀁹 Conflict serves as a safety-valve mechanism which helps to sustain relationships. Relationships which repress disagreement or conflict grow rigid over time, making them brittle. Exchanges of conflict, at times through the assistance of a third-party, allows people to vent pent-up hostility and reduce tension in a relationship.

􀁹 Conflict helps parties assess each other’s power and can work to redistribute power in a system of conflict. Because there are few ways to truly measure the power of the other party, conflicts sometimes arise to allow parties to assess one another’s strength. In cases where there is an imbalance of power, a party may seek ways to increase its internal power. This process can often change the nature of power within the conflict system.

􀁹 Conflict establishes and maintains group identities. Groups in conflict tend to create clearer boundaries which help members determine who is part of the “in-group” and who is part of the “out-group”. In this way, conflict can help individuals understand how they are part of a certain group and mobilise them to take action to defend the group’s interests.

􀁹 Conflicts enhance group cohesion through issue and belief clarification. When a group is threatened, its members pull together in solidarity. As they clarify issues and beliefs, renegades and dissenters are weeded out of the group, creating a more sharply defined ideology on which all members agree.

􀁹 Conflict creates or modifies rules, norms, laws and institutions. It is through the raising of issues that rules, norms, laws and institutions are changed or created. Problems or frustrations left unexpressed result in the maintaining of the status quo.

Conflict Resolution & The UN Charter

February 2, 2009

UN Charter Changes To Include Improved Conflict Resolution?
The Lagos State Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has called for a review of the United Nations Charter in order to seek for more humane ways to resolve conflicts around the world.

Fashola made the call on Thursday in his office while receiving the Consular-General of the French Embassy in Lagos, Mr. Jean-Luc Bodin.

The governor said, ”The United Nations could consider the review of the Charter to see whether new methods can be developed for conflict resolution. Some of these conflicts can be resolved in more civilized ways,” adding that the issue of conflict resolution had become more expedient since the world was now a global village.

Fashola further said, “These are issues that should engage the United Nations as our two worlds become even closer today more than it was probably 60 years ago. We should begin to develop new methods of resolving conflicts. Why should people kill each other.”

Full story [here]

No Worries Mon, It’s Conflict Resolution Bahamas Style!
In the aftermath of a stabbing incident at Jack Hay-ward High School on Monday, administrative officials at that institution have mounted an aggressive campaign to combat school violence through proper conflict resolution.

Principal Dr. Paula Mortimer sat down with The Freeport News yesterday and explained there was an altercation on Monday involving a large number of students, three of whom were injured as a result, and now the school is taking a proactive approach to tackling violent outbreaks.

“We are inviting our guidance counsellors to go into the classrooms and talk about conflict resolution with our students, particularly among those classes who have the tendency to have disagreements a lot…”
Full Story [here]

Is Scotland Synonymous With International Arbitration?
New measures designed to make it easier to resolve disputes could make Scotland a world-leader in business arbitration, the Scottish Government has said.

…Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing said: “This government wants to develop Scotland as a dispute resolution centre, which attracts international arbitration cases as well as domestic ones.

“Given the importance of world trade, there will be increasing demand for high quality arbitration services as the way to resolve cross-border commercial disputes.

Full story [here]

Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre grants Linda Wilcox the right to use her own name
On December 1, 2008, the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC) ordered that the ownership of two domain names www.wilcoxsafety.com and www.adeptsafetyonline.com be transferred to Linda Wilcox of Wilcox Safety & Signs Pty Ltd…

‘To begin with, I didn’t know who Snapsite was,” Linda said. ‘It was oh, that’s really weird.’ Snapsite was contacted regarding the domains, but provided no response to inquiries. It was later also discovered that Snapsite was a website development company used by a competitor with whom Linda had been in dispute…

On December 1, 2008, the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre rendered a decision regarding this dispute based on three elements:

1. Domain Names Identical / Confusingly Similar to existing Service Marks
2. Rights and Legitimate Interests in the Domain Names
3. Registration of Domain Name(s) in Bad Faith

Linda then submitted a domain name dispute claim to the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC www.adndrc.org), one of only four (4) providers in the world of dispute resolution services in regards to generic top level domain names (gTLD’s) (eg. .com, .net, .org, etc.).
Full story [here]

Interested in learning more about domain name disputes, the organizations that cover it, and the procedures? I am sure you do, for more info, click this [link].

UN Peacemakers site

January 15, 2009

Did you know about the United Nations Peacemakers site?

The site is set up to be an online support tool for international peacemaking professionals. You have to register to access the site but don’t worry- it’s free.

One of the many documents they have for free download is Operational Guidance on Pre-Negotiation.

The summary reads as follows:
This note provides operational guidance to peacemakers on the proceedural issues that need to be given consideration prior to the conduct of substantive negotiations. Achieving agreement on issues such as venue, format of negotiations, agenda, time line, confidence building measures, and the relationship with the media can facilitate subsequent substantive negotiation

Visit the site at www.peacemaker.unlb.org