10 June 2012 – ADR Group in cooperation with ADRg Ambassadors and the UK National Conciliation and Arbitration Board (NCAB) of the Ismaili Community led an advanced mediation workshop for members of the United Nations Friends of Mediation in New York last month.
Sir Stewart Eldon KCMG OBE (who has served as UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, UK Ambassador to Ireland and UK Permanent Representative to NATO) introduced the event and provided personal reflections on mediation and peacemaking. Mr. Nazmin Kassam, Chairman of NCAB UK, presented his insights on the unique international model of alternative dispute resolution used by the Ismaili community in dealing with commercial and family disputes. Mr. Rahim Shamji, Director of Education and Training at ADR Group, moderated the interactive training workshop, drawing on his experience in cross-cultural community based mediation training.
Formed in 2010 the United Nations Friends of Mediation is co-chaired by Finland and Turkey and has 25 Member States and seven International Organization members. They play a significant role in increasing the visibility of mediation within the United Nations and other International Organizations, and promoting cooperation between different actors.
Members place importance on building and improving mediation capacity within their Ministries and Organizations and have looked to ADR Group to impart fresh insights on international and community based mediation.
The event which had the theme Cross-Cultural Issues in Mediation was designed to increase cultural awareness in a conflict prevention context. Senior diplomats from 19 Member States and Mediation Experts from four International Organizations attended.
This was the first time members of the group had participated in a mediation workshop together and feedback was extremely positive.
ADR Group has significant international experience especially in developing countries where they have contributed to the increasingly widespread use of mediation through training and capacity building, and through the establishment of sustainable community and court based Alternative Dispute Resolution infrastructures.
In cooperation with ADRg Ambassadors, ADR Group has trained senior staff in International Organizations and Foreign Ministries, as well as through education institutions. The unique approach to mediation training draws on real-life examples to combine the psychology and technique of professional mediation with operational diplomatic skills in resolving disputes.