Proceedings of The 4th International Academic Conference on Research in Social Sciences
Mediation in Syria – A comparative Analysis of the Astana and Geneva Processes
Dr. Zafer Kizilkaya
The mediation literature is replete with studies that summarize, analyze and assess different peacemaking efforts in Syria. The methodology has been either to provide an analysis of the initiatives, opportunities or challenges within a selected time period or to focus on the characteristics of a specific mediation framework. This paper adopts a comparative approach by examining and contrasting the UN-led Geneva process and the Astana framework. The main difference between the two platforms has been the precedence given by the Astana framework to conflict management whereas the UN prioritized conflict resolution. The Astana talks included militarily relevant actors that provided leverage to dictate the conditions on the battlefronts. Nevertheless, the top-down approach adopted by the sponsors of Astana led to a lack of commitment and constructive participation from the Syrians. Overall, the Astana process succeeded in creating a rather frozen conflict situation in Syria. It is high time for the UN to build on this and formulate creative but realistic solutions that can pave the way for lasting peace.
keywords: Astana; Conflict Resolution; Geneva; Mediation; Syria.