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Secretary-General António Guterres (2nd left) and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (right) attend the Sixth Istanbul Mediation Conference, Turkey. (31 October 2019)
UN Photo/Emrah Gruel

Thursday’s Daily Brief: The power of mediation, Southern Africa food crisis, urban deaths, climate meeting update and Iraq protest latest

A recap of Thursday’s top stories: Guterres in Turkey underscores successes of mediation; 45 million lack food across Southern Africa; rights experts push to release Palestinian hunger striker; new UN health report targets causes of urban deaths; Climate change conference finds a new home; Iraq protests put country at ‘a crossroads’

UN News/Elizabeth Scaffidi

New UN Ombudsman has been listening to problems ‘all my life’

With eight days on the job, Shireen Dodson, the new UN Ombudsman, did not set out to become a career mediator, but began to master the basics as a young child, when she diplomatically negotiated between her divorced parents.

In an interview with UN News, she explained how she would delicately negotiate separate times to sit down at her mother’s, and — later in the day — her stepmother’s table, on the key US family holiday of Thanksgiving.


Mediation board focuses on 'hybrid peace-building' to prevent war

A new high-level board to advise the UN chief on mediation efforts around the world is aiming to turn the focus away from talk of “hybrid wars” to “hybrid peace-building.”

That’s according to the former President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, who is one of the 18 leading international members of the panel, which was set up by Secretary-General António Guterres in September.