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Department of Political Affairs

2013 Standby Team of Mediation Experts commences work

The 2013 Standby Team of Mediation Experts, whose work is overseen by the Department of Political Affairs, has taken up its work on 1 March. 

Since 2008, a team of leading experts has been selected for full time one-year assignments with the United Nations to act as advisers to envoys, field-based political and peacekeeping missions, Resident Coordinators, and UN partners.
They have the flexibility to deploy on 72 hours notice to assist UN or non-UN mediators globally, or to provide remote advice.  Last year, the Team, managed by DPA’s Mediation Support Unit, was deployed on more than 70 occasions to over 30 countries.
The team is funded in large part by donor contributions.  In addition, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has allocated half of the funds from his Seoul Peace Prize for mediation support, thus enabling DPA to increase the size of the team to meet the growing demands in the field.

The new 2013 team includes the following experts:

Gender and Social Inclusion: Rina Amiri (Afghanistan) was one of the founding members of the “Women Waging Peace Network”, a coalition of women peacebuilders, and has provided high-level expert advice on political processes and gender inclusion. 
Natural Resources: Michael Brown (Canada) is an expert on mediation, conflict and peacebuilding and has worked extensively on ways to resolve disputes over land and property rights.
Constitutions: Hassen Ebrahim (South Africa) advised the Transitional Executive Council prior to the 1994 elections in South Africa, and then directed the Constitutional Assembly to manage the negotiations. He has worked in constitution-making in several countries, and has expertise in popular consultation processes, power-sharing, and religion and peacemaking. 
Process Design: Antje Herrberg (Germany) is co-founder and CEO of “mediatEUr”, a European mediation organization, and previously worked with the Crisis Management Initiative. She brings expertise in mediation, process-design, gender, civil society, coaching, and capacity building.

Process Design: Sven Koopmans (The Netherlands) is an expert in peace negotiations and process design, and international law. He specializes in matters of autonomy and self-determination, border disputes, constitutions, popular consultations and power-sharing. He is fluent in English, French, German and Dutch.
Security Arrangements: Jeffrey Mapendere (Zimbabwe) has worked extensively for the UN and the Carter Center in multiple complex mediation processes. He has advised on a range of security issues -including negotiating ceasefires, security arrangements, and engaging armed groups- as well as on process design and on gender issues. 
Process Design: John Packer (Canada) is a Professor of International Law and Human Rights. He has worked extensively for the UN in constitutions, national dialogue processes, international law and human rights. 
Power-sharing: Marie-Joëlle Zahar (Lebanon) is a Professor of Political Science and focuses on the dynamics of power-sharing. She has experience in multiple conflict and post-conflict settings. She speaks English, French and Arabic.