ACCORD provided substantive support at IGAD’s Pre-Consultative Meeting Towards the Development of a Mediation Protocol.
Since its establishment within IGAD, and by the order of the Committee of Ambassadors (COA) in December 2012, the Mediation Support Unit (MSU) has subsequently engaged in building normative capacities for the IGAD region. This has included the development of Strategic Guidelines on Mediation, which provides guidelines to mediators on mediation processes. However, IGAD’s role in leading the region in mediation processes has since demanded a clear outline or framework for engaging in mediation for the mediators and their mediation teams. In response the MSU has identified the need to establish a Protocol on mediation that will support other normative frameworks. The practice currently in the region is that IGAD is guided by the choices of the Member State who is currently Charing it at any given time on how it intervenes in a specific conflict, which often creates confusion between national and regional interests, and poses potential risks to the integrity of IGAD processes. Therefore the development of a mediation Protocol aims to institutionalise mediation processes in the region.
In addition to having a Protocol on mediation, which would strengthen the way mediation is structured and undertaken, the meeting also focused on the role of IGAD’s Secretariat during a mediation, particularly their assistance in terms of strategic planning.
A key output of the meeting was an outcome statement with a summary of the discussions and recommendations, while the participants further recommended that a Draft Protocol be prepared for consideration by Member States.
In 2015 ACCORD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IGAD that provided a general overview of cooperation relating to preventing and resolving conflict in the region, through preventive diplomacy, mediation, dialogue and peacebuilding. Hence ACCORD remains committed to supporting IGAD in working towards enhancing mediation capacities in the region.