The African Union (AU) mediation support mandate is currently under the auspices of the Mediation and Dialogue Division (MDD), located within the Conflict Management Directorate of (CMD) of the Political Affairs, Peace, and Security Department (PAPS). The Division is designed to strengthen and institutionalize the AU's preventive diplomacy and mediation efforts by establishing a systematic, professional, and comprehensive mechanism that offers the necessary technical, logistical, and operational support to the work of AU-designated mediators and AU-led/supported mediation processes.

MDD is anchored on two pillars viz: Mediation Support previously executed through Mediation Support Unit (MSU) and support to the former Panel of the Wise (PoW) Secretariat to Special Envoys, High Representatives, and FemWise Africa. The integration of the MSU and the PoW Secretariat forms part of the AUC’s efforts to enhance the effectiveness of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and the Africa Governance Architecture (AGA), among others.


The primary mandate of the MDD is to spearhead the design and implementation of preventive diplomacy, mediation and dialogue strategies and operational plans for the AU Commission. This is premised on the Communique of the 665th meeting of the PSC, which requires the Division to provide relevant technical support to African mediation efforts on different levels, including through the Panel of the Wise and its subsidiary mechanisms.


The core objectives of the MDD are to:

  • Provide enhanced technical and operational support to the AU’s mediation efforts and mediation support activities throughout the mediation process's planning, implementation, and evaluation phases. This includes enhancing the functional capacity and technical expertise of the MDD to support AU mediation processes and the ability of the AU mediators, mediation teams, and RECs/RMs to plan, deploy, manage, support, and monitor mediation interventions.
  • Develop AU’s mediation knowledge production, management, and communication processes; ensuring that Africa’s knowledge products (including policies, guidance documents, lessons learnt, and best practices) are documented, disseminated, utilized, and made available to other mediators and researchers.
  • Serve as the continental nerve center for networking with the mediation mechanisms of the RECs/RMs, the UN, and other mediation actors, focusing on enhancing coherence, coordination, and complementarity of mediation and mediation support approaches between AU RECs/RMs and the UN.
  • Coordinate and facilitate the effective implementation of the respective mandates of the Special Envoys, High Representatives, Panel of the Wise and its subsidiary mechanisms.

Profiles of AU Special Envoys, High Representatives, Special Representatives, and the Panel of the Wise 


AU Standard Operating Procedures for Mediation Support (2012)

AU Knowledge Management Framework for Mediation Processes (2012)

Handbook on Managing Peace Processes Volume 1:  Process Related Questions (2013)

Handbook on Managing Peace Processes Volume 2: Thematic Questions (2013)

Handbook on Managing Peace Processes Volume 3: Towards a More Inclusive Process (2013)

AU Mediation Support Handbook (2014)

AU PSC Communique at 360th Meeting held in March 2013

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