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Advice on Applying Mediation Fundamentals in UN Constitutional Assistance

Constitution making is often a central element of conflict transformation and democratization processes. The United Nations (UN) emphasizes the importance of national ownership of constitution making. At the same time, the United Nations is frequently called upon to provide related assistance to national stakeholders, including advice on the process by which a constitution is drafted and on the design of constitutional text.

This paper takes the Secretary-General’s Guidance Note on UN Constitutional Assistance as a point of departure. The Guidance Note covers all kinds of contexts and all forms of support at the strategic level, encompassing a wide variety of situations. This paper complements that approach by focusing on technical constitutional assistance in mediation settings. Such assistance may involve the provision of expertise on the process of constitution making, on the design of constitutional text or in the mediation of elements of peace agreements that touch on constitutional issues.

Author: Sumit Bisarya

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United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA)