Militarized conflict is one of the most devastating of all human activities. The international community’s response to conflict occurrence can significantly affect the number of casualties, the extent of resulting devastation and even the outcome of the conflict. State responses range from conflict management, whereby third parties actively engage in resolving the conflict; joining, whereby states become an additional disputant; or remaining uninvolved. One of the most common active third-party responses is to act as a mediator, a role using consensual, nonbinding and nonviolent means of conflict management and resolution. This paper explores the policy of state-led mediation, its strengths and weaknesses, and where and how it can be encouraged as a tool for peaceful conflict resolution.



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