Research Handbook on Mediating International Crises
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Research Handbook on Mediating International Crises

Edited by Jonathan Wilkenfeld, Kyle Beardsley and David Quinn

Current conceptions of mediation can often fail to capture the complexity and intricacy of modern conflicts. This Research Handbook addresses this problem by presenting the leading expert opinions on international mediation, examining how international mediation practices, mechanisms and institutions should adapt to the changing characteristics of contemporary international crises.
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Chapter 24: Mediation without measures: conflict resolution in climate diplomacy

Luke Kemp


The climate negotiations have struggled to resolve conflicts for two decades while ignoring undeveloped mediation tools in its constitution. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) outlined both arbitration procedures and ‘conciliation commissions’ to oversee mediation. Both measures were to be adopted through annexes to the 1992 UNFCCC treaty. Both were never developed. Instead the negotiations are in a state of ‘procedural purgatory’ and have relied on a patchwork of informal practices, particularly smaller, exclusive meetings. The negotiations towards the Paris Agreement saw an increasing use of confined, closed-door sessions, and a mounting reliance on the power and often manipulative tactics of the Chair (facilitators) of negotiations. Such an approach is risky and prone to backfiring, such as in Copenhagen. Countries should turn towards adopting the annexes for arbitration and conciliation commissions to enable transparent and effective mediation in the post-Paris era.

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