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New United Nations mediation team to advise peace envoys


Peace envoys managing complex negotiations around the world can now call on the advice of a new international mediation team.

Queen’s professor John McGarry, regarded as one of the leading international experts on power-sharing and different forms of autonomy, has been selected as part of the team.

“It is quite an honour to be given this opportunity, and it would seem to fit nicely with Queen’s mission to engage the world,” says McGarry.

With a particular interest in ethnic conflict McGarry has appeared as an expert witness in the United States Congress and also mediated in state-minority negotiations. His work is also recognized as having been influential in the 1998 Belfast Agreement in Northern Ireland, particularly in the area of policing reform.

The UN Mediation Team can be deployed separately or as a group to current UN envoys, political and peacekeeping missions in the field and to regional organizations working closely with the UN in conflict resolution. It’s members have agree to serve for one year.

“What we are trying to do in this process is to make sure that not only do we carry out the Secretary-General’s efforts to be there fast in mediation and to be there very quickly on the ground when we’re asked by Member States or regional organizations, but also to make sure that we’ll be there with the very best expertise that’s available anywhere in the world,” says the UN’s top political official, Lynn Pascoe, Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs when announcing the new team at a Headquarters news conference.

The new five member team was selected from over 400 candidates, including 42 nominated by different UN member states. It was organized in response to the UN General Assembly’s call for a stronger UN role in using diplomacy to prevent conflicts from escalating into larger and more costly tragedies.

The team is made up of specialists in different areas of conflict prevention, with McGarry serving as ‘Senior Expert on Power-Sharing’. The other members of the team are: Joyce Neu ( United States), Team Leader; Jeffrey Mapendere ( Zimbabwe), Security Arrangements; Patrick Gavigan (United States/Ireland), Transitional Justice and Human Rights; and Andrew Ladley ( New Zealand), Constitution-making.

For more information please contact Communications Assistants Alissa Clark, 613 533-6000, ext. 77513 or Molly Kehoe,, 613 533-2877, Queen’s News and Media Services.


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