The Interplay Between Humanitarian Negotiation & Political Mediation

5 December 2017
United Nations Office at Geneva
Geneva, Switzerland

About the event

Across the globe, the international community is relying heavily on political mediators to reach inclusive political solutions between parties to conflicts. Simultaneously, humanitarian actors are engaged in negotiations with an array of local and international actors to establish a presence in conflict environments, ensure access to vulnerable groups, and facilitate the delivery of assistance.

While these two processes – political mediation and humanitarian negotiation – are clearly distinct in nature, they can have far reaching implications for one another. Mutual understanding has never been more critical and the 2017 High-Level Segment aims to engender a deeper understanding of respective challenges and dilemmas.

The High-Level Segment of the Second Annual Meeting will focus on these distinct missions, interdependences and interactions between humanitarian negotiators and political mediators. The event is reserved for the participants of the 2017 Annual Meeting of Frontline Humanitarian Negotiators and is closed to the public.


Michael Møller

Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)

Keynote Speaker

Krystyna Marty Lang

Deputy State Secretary of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs


Teresa Whitfield

Director, Policy and Mediation Division, UNDPA

High-Level Panel

Peter Maurer

President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Liesbeth Aelbrecht

Director-General of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF-CH)

David Beasley

Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP)

Jan Egeland

Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)

Filippo Grandi

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Staffan de Mistura

UN Special Envoy for Syria

Dennis McNamara

Senior Humanitarian Advisor, HD

Mark Lowcock

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA

Thematic Discussion Circles

Middle East

Discussion Leaders

Pascal Daudin

Senior Policy Advisor, ICRC

Yosra Nagui

Program Officer, swisspeace

Robert Dann

OSE Syria Political Chief, UNOG

Ahmed Eleiba

Program Officer, swisspeace

Alex Tyler

Head of the Syria/Iraq Operations, UNHCR


Barbara Hintermann

Secretary General, CAUX Initiatives of Change Foundation

Lake Chad Basin

Discussion Leaders

Peter Lundberg

Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, OCHA

Mamadou Dian Balde

Deputy Director, UNHCR

Leonard Zulu

Legal Policy Unit, Africa Bureau, UNHCR

Ann Reiner

Deputy Country Director Humanitarian Programs, Action Against Hunger


Peter Scott-Bowden

Senior Advisor, CCHN/WFP


Discussion Leaders

Simon Russel

GPC Coordinator, UNHCR

Derek Mitchell

Senior Advisor, USIP

Sakhorn Boongullaya

Head of Office Myitkyina, WFP

Mark Cutts

Head of Office Yangon, OCHA

Owen Frazer

Senior Program Officer, CSS/ETH Zurich

Jenny McAvoy

Director of Protection, InterAction


Ross Mountain

Senior International Consultant

South Sudan

Discussion Leaders

Charles Mballa

Senior Protection Coordinator, UNHCR

Rehan Zahid

Advisor to the Executive Director, WFP

François Stamm

Head of Delegation Juba, ICRC


Laurent Goetschel

Director, swisspeace

The High-Level Segment is hosted by the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).

Cover Photo: Ambulances and buses evacuating people drive out of a rebel-held part of Aleppo, Syria December 16, 2016 (REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki)