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A Glance at Mediators Beyond Borders International

Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI) works to “build local skills for peace and promote [conflict] mediation worldwide” by leading and engaging opponents in alternate forms of resolution such as dialogue, negotiation, and asking each other questions [1]. The organization, which has offices in Arlington, VA and The Hague, Netherlands, prioritizes the people most affected by the conflict in all its efforts [2]. It has two main methods of doing so: (1) emphasizing “inclusivity, cultural competency, and sensitivity” to trauma and (2) taking a multi-disciplinary approach by addressing and analyzing the intersections between peace, the economy, the environment, health, and education [3]. Implementing this framework to prevent and resolve conflict, MBBI has achieved lots of success in the past. Not only that, but the NGO continues to mediate conflicts and empower marginalized groups around the world.

Since its inception in October 2006, MBBI has worked in four continents and fifteen countries, compiling an amazing and wide-ranging list of achievements [4]. In order to establish and maintain nonviolence, they established systems to integrate refugees and other displaced persons in Ghana, Liberia, and the United States [5]. They also resolved armed conflicts between several ethnic communities in Liberia and Kenya [6]. Furthermore, they improved relations between police forces and community members in Indonesia, Ghana, Kenya, and the USA by leading dialogues between the two groups [7].

In order to empower women and girls, MBBI created the International Training Institute for Women in Mediation, which aims to “increase the number of women mediators and peacebuilders engaging in peace processes” [8]. The Institute has global cohorts in the Middle East and North Africa, the Andean Region, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe and has approximately 100 women leading resolution, mediation, and peace projects in 33 countries [9, 10]. These women have helped over 10,000 people [11]. In addition, MBBI supported a leadership program for women and girls aspiring to be politicians in Sierra Leone [12].

The story of Lim Heang Heng, who benefitted from the International Training Institute in Cambodia in 2016. Link:

In order to further share and advance its mission, MBBI teamed up with the United Nations. The organization created a UN Working Group, which aims to enhance the capacity and effectiveness of the UN’s mediation efforts and to promote the use and value of mediation among UN member states and civil society [13]. MBBI also achieved special consultative status with the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); this status acknowledges that MBBI has competence in certain fields covered by ECOSOC and, thus, grants the NGO a platform to advise the Council on those matters [14].

Refusing to revel in their successes, the employees and volunteers at MBBI continue to advocate for peace and mediation. Through the Working Group and their status with ECOSOC, MBBI attends, writes statements for, and represents other organizations at several UN events including the Commission on the Status of Women in March and the High-Level Political Forum in July [15]. As part of the UN Global Compact Action Group, MBBI supports private companies in their efforts to uphold human rights, care for the environment, and implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) [16]. Through their Child & Youth Alternate Dispute Resolution Working Group, MBBI teaches youth that the most effective method of resolving disputes is mediation [17]. This Group works in schools and communities to raise a generation of negotiators rather than fighters. In addition, MBBI is part of the Climate Change Policy Project (CCP), which is a project of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) [18]. Through this project, MBBI aims to include mediation on the agendas of committees and negotiation groups following the Paris Climate Accord and to contribute knowledge on mediation, conflict management, and peacebuilding to the UNFCCC and its parties [19].

A picture of Prabha Sankaranarayan, current President and CEO of MBBI. Link:

Although MBBI achieved a lot in its 12 year history, there is still much more work to be done. For this reason, the NGO will continue to advise ECOSOC on certain matters including mediation, the SDGs, and climate change. The NGO also continues its International Training Institutes and its UN Working Group. If you would like to learn more about this incredible organization, please check out their website, Facebook, and Instagram. Finally, if you would like to support MBBI in their resolution and prevention of violent conflicts around the world, please click here.


[1] "Brochures." Mediators Beyond Borders International. Accessed August 07, 2018.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] "A Decade of Achievements." Mediators Beyond Borders International. Accessed August 07, 2018.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] "Women In Mediation." Mediators Beyond Borders International. Accessed August 07, 2018.

[9] Ibid.

[10] "A Decade of Achievements."

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] "Working Groups." Mediators Beyond Borders International. Accessed August 07, 2018.

[14] "A Decade of Achievements."

[15] "Working Groups."

[16] Ibid.

[17] "Children & Youth Alternative Dispute Resolution." Mediators Beyond Borders International. Accessed August 07, 2018.

[18] "Climate Change Policy." Mediators Beyond Borders International. Accessed August 07, 2018.

[19] Ibid.

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