Conciliation as a Dispute Resolution Machanism
The conflict between Israel and Palestine is one of the world’s longest disputes. Despite peace efforts being initiated by the international communities and their close allies, issues of contention like border disagreements, security, and rights to control Jerusalem and Palestinian demands of returning their refugees are among issues bedeviling the whole peace process.
Conciliation is the best dispute resolution mechanism that can be used in to end the war. According to Merrils, concilitiation is guided by non-binding principles that allow an impartial third party to assist the warring factions in arriving at a mutually agreed compromised ground that is crucial in bringing the dispute to an end (15).
The conciliator must be a party without any political authority or affiliations with the ability to win the trust of the parties. The major role of the conciliator is to carry out an analysis of the issues of contention and propose a solution that does not bind the two factions.
For the process of resolving the dispute to be effective, the body spearheading conciliation must strive to win the confidence and trust of the two parties or else the whole process will be futile. In addition, it is important to note that the primary responsibility of the conciliator is to critically analyze the cause of disagreement by identifying all the facts in the case. In addition, the conciliation body must take into account all the possible legal and non-legal dimensions of the dispute. Due to the sensitivity of the matter and the pursuit to alleviate human suffering, the proposals may be based on the whole or a section of the law. However, Moser notes that legal approaches to the matter may play second fiddle or even absent wholesomely (172). Moreover, since the parties are not bounded to adopt the solution, it is imperative to respect the freedom and sovereignty of the states, which empowers them to freely reject the proposal in case they feel aggrieved.
Mediation on the other hand is the assistance offered by the state or an international organization through exercising its political mandate as a third party to the dispute in helping to propose a solution. One of the warring groups or the mediator can initiate the mediation process. Unlike in conciliation, the mediator’s authority, value, tact, experience, personality as well as confidentiality inspire his/her ability to the mediation outcome (Moser 172).
The mediation process is always not bound by law as in does not seek to establish who is right or wrong. It is a free proceeding, which calls for the mediator to actively engage the two groups through separate and joint meeting to enhance the understanding of the underlying interests, and standpoints of the two sides to enable the mediator strike a deal.
On the other hand, conciliation and mediation are somewhat similar, as the two bodies do not have any political authority that can help in influencing the outcome. The two bodies are always impartial to win the trust of the two parties.
The major advantage of conciliation as a method of ending disputes according to Merrills is that it is devoid of any political influence, which is a salient recipe in bringing the two factions together (15). The impartial nature of the proceedings guarantees commitment by the two factions in ending the aggression, as the parties are always involved in developing a roadmap to peace, thus making them to own up the proposed recommendations.
The disadvantage of using conciliation is that it takes a lot of time to arrive at a compromised ground for the two sides in the event that one of the parties undermines the proposed solution to the problem, thus an extension of suffering to innocent people.
Merrills, J. G. International Dispute Settlement, 5th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.
Moser, Michael. Dispute resolution in China. Beijing: Juris publishing, 2012. Print.