The Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation was established by the Secretary-General on 13 September 2017, as part of his vision for a surge in diplomacy for peace. The Board is composed of current and former global leaders, senior officials and renowned experts who bring together an unparalleled range of experience, skills, knowledge and contacts.

Radhika Coomaraswamy

Radhika Coomaraswamy
Sri Lanka

Leymah Gbowee

Leymah Gbowee
Liberia

Jean-Marie Guéhenno

Jean-Marie Guéhenno
France

Tarja Halonen

Tarja Halonen
Finland

The Board engages on matters related to mediation and conflict prevention and supports the Secretary-General’s efforts and international cooperation in the maintenance of international peace and security. The Board members support the promotion of the role of women in conflict prevention and mediation, including by drawing attention to the gender dimensions of conflicts, as well as United Nations’ work with regional and subregional organizations, non-governmental groups, religious and community leaders and others involved in conflict prevention and mediation around the world. Board members may provide additional support to the work of SRSGs and United Nations envoys, for example if avenues for United Nations activities are currently blocked, or there is a need for an additional/separate channel of communication with particular actors.  

The Mediation Support Unit of the Policy and Mediation Division in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs is the Secretariat of the Board. 

Overview of activities

Since its establishment, the Board has supported several UN and regional partners’ processes; provided advice and guidance to the Secretary-General on matters related to mediation, conflict prevention and multilateralism; engaged with regional and sub-regional organizations; supported both the UN and its partners in ensuring women’s full and meaningful participation in peace processes; and participated in panel discussions, workshops and trust-building seminars.  

At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Board helped to amplify and reinforce the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire. The Board members have further collaborated with the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs on various topics, for example to inform the review of the peacebuilding architecture, encourage collaboration with religious and community leaders in various conflict contexts, and develop better understanding of the role of digital technologies in conflicts and mediation processes. The latter partnership has led to the development of a Toolkit on Digital Technologies and Mediation in Armed Conflict and a Course on Digital Process Design and Facilitation. 

The Board and the Secretary-General have met in New York, Helsinki, where the Board was hosted by the Governments of Finland and Indonesia, and in Istanbul, hosted by the Government of Turkey. During the Covid-19 pandemic the Board met also virtually.