opportunities for free-ranging small group discussions
and recommendations on ways of reaching consensus.
8. Allow mediators and facilitators to redesign meetings if
they aren’t working, discuss what isn’t working openly,
invite suggestions and propose ways of fixing them.
9. Routinely debrief joint sessions and ask participants to
recommend ways of improving future sessions.
10. Periodically conduct process checks to make sure
everything is on track and make improvements as
1. Create rich, comprehensive algorithms, international
conflict resolution protocols, model mediation
language, and annexes to all existing agreements
that encourage a broad range of collaborative,
interest-based dispute resolution processes
including mediation, negotiation, dialogue and
similar methods, especially where violations of
human rights are concerned.
2. Consult widely with diverse public and private
sector mediation organizations and private
mediators who have experience designing dispute
resolution systems, and invite them to teach and
propose ways of improving conflict resolution
3. Send experienced negotiators, facilitators and
mediators to meet with parties in advance of
international meetings, conferences and negotiating
sessions to help set targets and timetables, and
suggest protocols that could lead to better and
4. Simplify and reduce the rigidity and formality of
U.N. protocols, rules and processes, especially
regarding mediation, problem solving, negotiation
and agreement drafting processes.
5. Shorten large meetings and break participants up
into small, diverse, informal teams to brainstorm
alternatives, agree on protocols, common
goals or shared values, and reach consensus
recommendations on problems, led by U.N.
mediators and facilitators.
6. Appoint facilitators and mediators to propose
ground rules and protocols in advance of every
international conference or meeting.
7. Focus not only on reaching large, comprehensive,
global agreements, but smaller, specialized, limited,
tentative, provisional and local agreements, then
work to introduce them to a larger constituency.
8. Draft international treaty language mandating
mediation for all nations, even in intra-state and
human rights disputes.
9. Establish a World Arbitration Service and protocols
10. Agree on minimal standards for mediation and
arbitration of international territorial, commercial
and human rights disputes.
1. Build a culture that seeks to solve problems at
the lowest level through dialogue, collaborative
negotiation and problem solving, and empowers
people to select from a range of options for resolving
2. Prioritize conflict prevention over conflict
management and interest-based solutions over
power- and rights-based ones.
3. Promote a respectful, inclusive, “elicitive” approach to
cultural differences regarding conflict that encourages
learning and diverse approaches to conflict.
4. Significantly expand lists of global mediators,
facilitators and conflict resolution trainers, and the
MSU library of conflict resolution books and training
manuals, and translate them into local languages.
5. Offer an expanded array of free trainings for individual
delegations and political leaders in human rights, as
well as in communication, problem solving, dialogue,
collaborative negotiation and conflict resolution skills.
6. Create an on-line conflict resolution forum and “TED
Talk” series with talks by peacemakers around the
7. Videotape mediation practices around the world and
offer an expanded array of on-line distance learning in
8. Facilitate “virtual dialogues” on “dangerous” topics,
especially those connected with human rights.
9. Offer a diverse range of incentives, skills and resources
to motivate parties to use these processes.
10. Use “action research” and integrated fact-finding
teams to research and resolve factual disputes,
conduct post-conflict interviews and recommend
Out of this list of possible changes, I believe the highest priorities are (i) to exponentially expand the use of mediation, dialogue
and collaborative negotiation techniques, (ii) increase funding and