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The emergence of ‘meditration’ in international peacemaking

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This article examines the concept of 'meditration' as a hybrid form of peacemaking that combines elements of mediation and arbitration. Traditionally, mediation by third parties has been based on impartial, non-coercive facilitation. This has often resulted in prolonged processes. In the past decade, however, the United Nations has launched two initiatives—in Cyprus and Kosovo—in which a more robust approach was adopted. Either overtly or tacitly, time frames were put in place with the assumption that if the two sides were unable to reach an agreement, the UN would present the sides with a finalized plan. Thus, a process that started out as mediation would be completed by arbitration. However, in both cases this approach failed to produce an agreement acceptable to all parties, in part because it lacks legitimacy and partly as a result of the way in which it infringes state sovereignty.

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