Special Representative on Mediation Urpilainen: Development of EU peace mediation is topical

Special Representative on Mediation Urpilainen: Development of EU peace mediation is topical

The Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on Mediation Jutta Urpilainen, Member of Parliament, says that development of EU peace mediation and conflict prevention work is topical now, ten years after the adoption of the concept on strengthening EU mediation and dialogue capacities. Urpilainen and Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini took part in an unofficial ministerial mediation breakfast in Brussels.

“It was good that our discussion focused on the role of young people in mediation and conflict prevention in Africa. As a concrete idea on how to proceed I believe that in some fragile states the Representations to the European Union could hear young people as part of the peace and dialogue processes,” Urpilainen said.

She also hopes that EU Member States would follow Finland in considering of drafting a national action plan and sharing best practices in order to promote the participation of young people.

The development of the EU mediation support was also on the agenda. “The concept on strengthening the EU mediation and dialogue capacities adopted ten years ago is still valid, but it would be worthwhile to consider complementing and updating it. It is important that the structures and resources of the mediation support endorse the EU’s role as a viable operator in peace processes. The preparations could be promoted by arranging a retreat on the theme during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union and by discussing the topic at the EU Group of Friends of Mediation,” Urpilainen suggested.

She also reflected on the possibility of discussing mediation topics on a more regular basis at the Council working group level and of including them in the debates at the Foreign Affairs Council. She said that it would be up to the External Action Service to decide the suitable time for that.

Inquiries: Kirsi Airio, Assistant to Jutta Urpilainen, tel. +358 50 574 1729, [email protected]