The Department of Mediation and Peace Support (MPS) focuses on supporting mediation processes and other peace efforts around the world, in an effort to help states, international organisations, conflict parties, or other relevant stakeholders to find peaceful alternatives to conflict.
In some cases MPS complements or directly assists existing processes, while in others it creates new tracks and, with the tools of private diplomacy:
- assesses the feasibility and most suitable/impactful niche for GCSP involvement,
- builds relevant networks,
- shapes dialogue processes between conflict parties (or those who can influence them),
- facilitates discreet talks,
- helps guide the parties toward non-violent solutions, and
- shuttles between key actors in relevant capitals in order to convey smart policy options.
Through dialogue, MPS harnesses its diplomatic and mediation experience and thematic expertise to build trust and confidence, find areas of convergence on sensitive issues, and generate creative ideas, with a view to managing diplomatic tensions, preventing and resolving conflict, or mitigating its worst consequences.
The following dialogues illustrate a part of the expanding portfolio of our dialogue activities. Other tracks are not mentioned in this section, including a range of assessments (on potential new openings) that are underway.
The High North Talks
The recent sharpening of geopolitical tensions, coupled with the lack of an adequate official forum for addressing the urgent issues facing the Arctic, inspired the GCSP to launch a discreet dialogue process that aims to help prevent the Arctic from becoming the next theatre of geopolitical conflict.
In the current geopolitical climate, the High North Talks is one of the few remaining venues where representatives from the countries most invested in the Arctic can meet in a discreet environment to constructively discuss the future of this region. With a focus on the most urgent problems (including accelerating militarisation and climate change), the aim is to find workable solutions and unearth mechanisms to prevent confrontation and maintain stability.
The Bridge States
The Bridge States dialogue aims to explore how states that are neither in NATO/the EU nor fully aligned with other big powers can position themselves geopolitically in ways that maximise their security and economic prospects. The dialogue provides a discreet space for these “bridge states” to develop policy options that will help them to successfully navigate today’s fluid geopolitical environment.
This Track 1.5 dialogue enables representatives from these states to learn from one another’s experiences, insights, mistakes and good practices, and to unearth lessons that might contribute to a more stable and sustainable security order in Europe.
Zermatt Process on North-East Asian Security
In partnership with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the GCSP convenes a Track 1.5 process that enables open and informal exchanges among the countries of North-East Asia, with a view to facilitating contacts among actors with few or no communication channels, improving understanding, identifying ways to reconcile diverging interests, and thereby helping to enhance peace and stability.
Eastern Mediterranean Initiative
The Eastern Mediterranean Initiative (EMI) is an inclusive dialogue platform for collective reflection and action that brings together experts – academic and former officials alike – from littoral countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region, along with third country observers. Initiated by the GCSP as a track II dialogue in 2020, it intends to contribute to fostering a conducive environment for the resolution of conflicts and the advancement of a sense of common regional interests and purpose. Members of the EMI agreed on a Framework Document that outlines the vision and goal of the initiative. The GCSP provides substantive and logistical support to the EMI and acts as its secretariat.