Alvaro de Soto is a senior fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center, an associate fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and a member of the Global Leadership Foundation in London. An ambassador in the Peruvian diplomatic service, he has held senior positions under three secretaries-general at the United Nations headquarters in New York and in the field.
A mediation initiative cannot be launched at just any time if it is to succeed. The conflict must be ripe for the initiation of negotiation. Parties resolve their conflict only when forced to do so-when each party’s efforts to achieve a unilaterally satisfactory result are blocked and the parties feel trapped in an uncomfortable and costly predicament.
This toolkit lays out five steps mediators can take to
* assess whether a stalemate exists;
* interpret the parties’ perception of where they stand in the conflict; and
* encourage a ripe moment for mediation.
This volume is the fifth in the Peacemaker’s Toolkit series. Each handbook addresses a particular facet of the work of mediating violent conflicts, including such topics as negotiations with terrorists, constitution making, assessing and enhancing ripeness, and track-II peacemaking.