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Mediation by Regional Organizations: The Organization for African Unity (OAU) in Chad

Chapter

Abstract

Regional organizations are in a difficult position regarding the mediation of disputes among their members. To the extent that they are concerned with conflicts within their midst rather than with external defense, regional organizations are collective security institutions.1 But this characteristic creates an important ambiguity. Members of the organization have a primary interest in capturing the flag for their side of the dispute. Since such organizations are above all meeting places for sovereign states, and much less corporate entities in their own right, they are under pressure from their own members to endorse rather than to mediate. Even when they are able to avoid taking sides but to commit themselves to a positive active role, it is not an actor called the organization which has taken those two decisions but its sovereign member states. They may in turn instruct a representative of the organization, such as its secretary general, to conduct the mediation, but more frequently mediation is entrusted to a committee also composed of sovereign states. Thus, in most of its mediatory activity, the regional organization is a locus and a flag, not a corporate actor.

Keywords

Member State Security Council Regional Organization International Affair Conflict Management 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1992

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