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Bojo feels the mediation Mojo?

I’m no great fan of our foreign secretary but occasionally even a stopped clock shows the right time and it would seem that in announcing funding to champion female education in an effort to promote global stability is to be central to UK foreign policy.

Recognising that females of all ages are disproportionately affected by conflict and that as a result they will be central to resolving conflicts the Boris announced a £1.6million fund to support the Network of Women Mediators.

The money will be used to train women from across the Commonwealth with the techniques and skills necessary to help resolve conflict

Boris said "Conflict affects whole communities, but the fact is women and girls often bear the brunt. Girls are twice as likely to be out of school as boys, and more likely to experience gender-based violence

“This year one of my main focuses will be to ensure that girls in the poorest countries in the world receive at least 12 years of quality education because this is the single most powerful spur to development and progress.

"To end wars, build sustainable and lasting peace and create stable societies, women around the world must be able to participate in peace processes. Today’s £1.6 million will empower women across the Commonwealth to rightfully take their seat at the negotiating table."

Those being trained will work inside and outside the Commonwealth to help women enter mediation and conflict resolution which will ensure the funding has as large an impact as possible.

Meanwhile one of the big names global negotiation and mediation and co-author of Getting to Yes co-founder of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation William Ury, is to be the keynote speaker at the 2018 International Academy of Mediators (IAM) Annual Conference.

The IAM is the foremost meeting of commercial mediators in the world dedicated to promoting mediation as a preferred means of resolving disputes.

At the conference being in Edinburgh this May Dr Ury will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the field of mediation.

He will also be speaking in the Scottish Parliament. The themse this year is “Looking Outward – a New Enlightenment?”, including a presentation by Professor Hal Abramson called “Nelson Mandela as Negotiator: What We can Learn from Him?”

Conference host and chair and a Distinguished Fellow of the IAM John Sturrock QC said of the visit that “I cannot over-emphasise what a privilege it is to have William Ury coming back to Scotland. His visit in 2009 was a highlight in my professional life. His work in places like the Middle East and Colombia is so significant. He is quite simply a world leader in our field.”

Jeff Jury, IAM President, added “The IAM is honoured to host our 2018 conference in Edinburgh and share expertise with some of the finest commercial mediators in the world.”

Dogs helping out in mediation last week and this week mediation helping those who help our pets.

A free mediation service for vets and clients has had what the attached article describes as “surprisingly successful” outcomes, but what I would suggest is anticipated by most mediators.

The Veterinary Client Mediation Service (VCMS) received over 1500 complaints from October 2016 to October 2017 most of these were within the VCMS’ purview and were referred to mediation.

There was limited refusal to take up the offer of mediation, 8%, and 97% of the complaints were resolved in mediation.

The mediation service is funded by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and operated by Nockolds Solicitors in Hertfordshire.

Partner at Nockolds and head of the VCMS Jennie Jones, said she was “really chuffed” at the engagement of all involved.

Until November last year the type of pet included was limited to horses, dogs, cats and small furry animals, but has since expanded to include reptiles, hedgehogs (as pets really?) and winged pets.

As often in any dispute a breakdown in communication between the parties was identified by Jennie as central to the issue : “A lot of what we do, in terms of outcomes and resolutions, is focused on getting that communication back on track. So, sometimes an independent voice, delivering the same explanation as the vet, can help the client come to terms with what has happened, and accept the explanation. It’s about getting two sides on the same track.”

Over in the Yukon you may recall that city workers and unions had gone into mediation with the City of Whitehorse over changes in pay and pension structure.

At the 11th hour (well under 3 hours) before the start of the strike management and the union reached agreement after two full days of mediation, ending a work to rule which started in mid-March.

The agreement will affect all transit unions and most city workers (apart from firefighters).

The Yukon Employees’ (YEU) president Steve Geick said that following progress made on Saturday and Sunday and a “last ditch push into the early hours of Monday morning,” the agreement was reached.

Geick said. “No one likes the idea of going on strike, but they were determined to hold their ground.

“This team enjoyed the support of the workforce, and that really helped them stay strong in the face of tough concession demands.

“Everyone is looking forward to getting back to work.”

The details of the agreement have not yet been released to be voted upon and spokesman for the City, Myles Dolphin, said there would be a memorandum of agreement signed followed by a vote by members.

I’ve previously discussed property disputes in mediation and there’s further evidence of mediation in such a dispute in the city of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The City Council agreed to mediate with the county (Pottawattamie) this week over the use of the law enforcement building.

City Attorney Dick Wade has been directed to write a letter to the county supervisors to invite mediation over the issue of the building’s ownership. The building currently houses the police department so a change of use is unlikely even after deciding who owns it until their new headquarters are completed.

Councilman Nate Watson said “The City Council unanimously agrees for the parties to sit down with the benefit of a mediator…To talk through the issue and come to a resolution that’s good for all the taxpayers concerned, city and county.”

For the county Tim Wichman and Justin Schultz said that “the county’s open to having discussions with the City Council….I’d rather just have a conversation with them and see if there are options beyond the law enforcement center.”

There is of course a monetary issue at stake, whether payment is due from one party to the other for declaring the building past it’s “useful life” and whether that triggers payments for continued occupation or a right for the city to choose which departments it places in the building.

Mediation is cheaper, quicker and less stressful than running any case to court, it can help with any dispute whether it's a property issue, an employment issue, a fight with a neighbour, family issues, commercial disputes or inheritance arguments contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

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