Mediation is a negotiation assisted by independent facilitators. It is a form of dispute resolution in which the parties discuss the issues they are facing and try to find acceptable solutions. The mediators — officers from the Complaints Mechanism and/or external facilitators — remain impartial and do not impose solutions. They help the parties find common ground and understand each other’s perspectives, positions and interests.
Typically, representatives of the complainants and the project promoter participate in mediation. These parties and the mediators may agree to other participants being present, such as representatives of non-governmental organisations, local authorities, experts and interpreters.
The mediation process is flexible and adjusted to each specific dispute. It generally includes the following steps:
- signing a mediation agreement, including ground rules (such as confidentiality);
- setting the agenda for mediation meetings by listing issues and topics;
- discussing and evaluating the parties’ interests and needs;
- identifying suitable solutions including specific actions;
- drafting and signing a final agreement;
- implementing the agreed actions
The parties actively participate in finding workable solutions and remain in control over the outcome of their dispute. The mediation process is voluntary and does not evaluate past conduct or assess compliance.
The parties are expected to participate in the mediation process in a fair manner and to cooperate in good faith in working towards mutually acceptable solutions. The parties cannot exert any pressure on other participants to prevent them from expressing their views or to accept any solution. The parties need to adhere to the ground rules established at the beginning of the process.
If the parties agree on solutions and actions, they sign a final agreement. The mediators can help the parties draft this agreement.
The mediators from the Complaints Mechanism prepare a report describing the mediation process and its results. They provide the parties with copies of the report. With the agreement of the parties, the Complaints Mechanism usually monitors and reports on progress in the implementation of the agreed actions until completion.
If no agreement or only a partial agreement is reached, the Complaints Mechanism may recommend a compliance review. If the complainants agree to this compliance review, it will be performed by different members of the Complaints Mechanism team. Confidential information provided during mediation will remain confidential.
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