Think you have a tough job? Try Lakhdar Brahimi who is the UN’s new guy for Syria. His predecessor was Kofi Annan, as in former Sec Gen, who quit after failing to see progress from the Syrian government in keeping promises.
Brahimi wrote a paper that Colum Lynch reports on in FP.com, giving a few tips for would-be mediators. We hope they work:
“Each conflict is unique but at the same time, based on bitter personal experience in the management of several political processes and close observation of the work of others, there do appear to be certain recurrent traps that materialize in many different situations, across the spectrum of crisis response, and regardless if the mediator is operating with a small team or heading an operation comprised of thousands of personnel,” Brahimi and Amhed write. “Seven of the traps can be fatal to the ability of an SRSG [Special Representative of the Secretary General] or other international mediators … to conduct the political role effectively.”