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The 12th Ministerial Meeting of the UN Group of Friends of Mediation took place today (21 September) on the margins of the 77th UN General Assembly Session in New York. The meeting was jointly hosted by the Foreign Ministers of Türkiye and Finland, as the Co-chairs of the UN Group of Friends of Mediation. Ms. Rosemary Anne DiCarlo, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, also participated. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari represented Pakistan at the meeting.

Given the profound transformation of the conflict landscape and an ever-increasing need for effective mediation, the meeting called for more effective use of the procedures for the pacific settlement of disputes provided by the UN Charter. The meeting also called for new and innovative approaches in diplomacy and adaptation of mediation practices to new realities and circumstances. Such approaches could have a transformative effect on the ground. In this context, several speakers commended the UN Secretary General and President Erdogan of Turkiye for successfully mediating the landmark Black Sea Grain Initiative.

In his remarks, the Foreign Minister underlined that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter remained valid and immutable even if the nature of conflicts have become more complex today. He stressed the need to reaffirm the commitment and confidence of Member States in these principles and to promote solutions to disputes and conflicts, between large and small States, on the basis of these principles.

The Foreign Minister noted that while the United Nations has had several successes in mediating political settlements to disputes and conflicts, it could and should have done more in the context of long and festering disputes, such as Jammu and Kashmir. He urged the Secretary-General to avail the full panoply of mediatory measures available to him under Article 99 of the UN Charter to persuade India to reverse its unilateral measures and agree to promote a just solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with Security Council resolutions and the UN Charter. He called upon the Security Council to give full support to the Secretary-General in using his good offices to this end.

Since 2011, the UN Group of Friends of Mediation has worked to promote the use of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution, and generate support for the future development of mediation. Co-chaired by Türkiye and Finland, its membership comprises 53 States and 8 international organizations including the UN. Pakistan is a founding member of the group.

21 September 2022

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