Multifaith & Multicultural Mediation Service

The International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy runs the only Mediation Service in the world specialising in dispute resolution in situations of inter-religious or inter-ethnic violence and conflict. The service is available to provide mediation in all situations of conflict in which there is either a specifically religious or cultural dimension to the dispute or in which both parties to the dispute prefer to refer the matter to the Service. The Service is available for consultation throughout Britain and globally. Many of the world’s current civil and international conflicts involve religious disagreements and ethnic prejudices, yet until MMMS was created in 1996, there has been no international agency offering specific guidance and expertise on inter-religious and inter-cultural mediation. In many countries throughout the world there are communities experiencing religious or ethnic conflict and violence. The Middle East remains a maelstrom of such conflicts as recent events have been showing. We provide a service which can make a genuine contribution to resolving these conflicts, in short term, local disputes, and long term international conflict situations.

We held our first training session for mediators in April 1996 at the Abbey, Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire. A current training programme is underway. Regular day training events for people interested in becoming volunteers with the Service are taking place in the UK and elsewhere by arrangement. A subsequent training took place in the USA in 1999. Anyone wishing to get involved as a volunteer mediation with the MMMS is welcome to visit the Castle in Scotland for training purposes. The MMMS Director visited Israel and Palestine in March 20111, having already visited in 2008, to continue with the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East which was founded as an offshoot of the work of the MMMS. The MMMS is premised on a transpersonal unity underlying all faiths and wisdom paths. The MMMS also runs up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland.

The International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy, which works in the academic field of peace studies and global philosophy, has arisen out of several years of exploratory work at the Institute of Education (University of London), and is now an autonomous Institute working in close association with academic institutions in the U.K. and abroad. The Institute is providing the academic and educational input to the Multifaith and Multicultural Mediation Service through its international network of mediation and conflict resolution practitioners and specialists.

The Institute organised an innovative series of seminars on conflict resolution and ethics and politics in different world regions in concert with Lord Ennals at the House of Lords from 1993-1995. We attended the United Nations World Social Summit in Copenhagen in 1995, the 1995 International Conference on Peacemaking at Ladnun, Rajasthan, India and the United Nations City Summit in Istanbul in 1996. IIPSGP has a long track record of involvement in many areas of peace studies and conflict resolution research. The Director of IIPSGP has taught and lectured and travelled in some 33 countries worldwide. The Institute also publishes a pioneering journal: “Love, Peace and Wisdom: An International Journal of Education Dedicated to the 9 Muses” and other publications concerning the quest for peace worldwide. The Institute serves as co-ordinator for an All Party Parliamentary Peace and Mediation Group in the UK Parliament from 1993 to now. The MMMS has also been involved recently in behind the scenes mediation efforts in the current Middle Eastern conflict, including in Egypt. More recently the Director has been awarded the 2011 Anuvrat Ahimsa Award for International Peace from Rajasthan, India.

Initial work is undertaken by telephone or email for exploratory discussions with both parties followed, by a formal mediation session in which the parties concerned are invited to travel to our Castle in Scotland, or another meeting place of their agreed choice.

The Service is independent of all government help. In this way we are free, as neutral, independent third parties, to speak with authentic moral authority on behalf of the victims of conflict and violence, and in a language which the disputants will themselves understand and respect. The service is a not for profit charity, but parties are asked to contribute the expenses of the mediation team on a percentage basis (proportionate to the respective incomes of both parties). In complicated cases involving a great deal of preliminary research, or extensive mediation meetings, there may be an additional fee for time spent, chargeable on a similar basis.

If you feel you have a case which could benefit from referral to our service, or if you have personal knowledge of some dispute or conflict underway which involves religious or racial elements, and would like to see a formal intervention and offer of assistance from the Multifaith and Multicultural Mediation Service, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Either write or email to us in Scotland, giving clear details (in so far as you know them) of the dispute underway. It is also possible to refer a dispute to the MMMS for resolution even if you are not directly party to the dispute, but merely suffering its consequences, in which case we will proactively attempt to offer mediation.

One of the unique features of the Multifaith and Multicultural Mediation Services is its access to a wide body of volunteer translators and interpreters, through collaboration with the Peace Translation Service. We are working to produce a unique International Dictionary of Peacemaking and Mediation. Further volunteers are always welcome who have linguistic or editing skills.

The Service is also available to undertake in-depth background research into specific cases involving religious or ethnic conflict on behalf of clients. Members of the Service are also available to act as Consultants to other organisations, governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental, who wish to avail themselves of our experience in this complex field. The guiding ethos underlying the Service is that conflict can be managed peacefully to the interest of both parties to a win/win outcome, no matter how deep or entrenched the conflict may appear at first reading. Together we can help create a peaceful world for our children to inherit, by drawing together the ancient teachings of the religious faiths with modern approaches to conflict resolution and mediation.

For further information, to refer cases of conflict for mediation, for training and consultancy requests, to provide language translation services, or to volunteer to assist the publicity and outreach of MMMS in any way whatever, please contact: Dr Thomas C Daffern, MMMS Coordinator, Castle of the Muses, Carrick Castle, Loch Goil, Argyll, Scotland, PA24 8AG, Tel. +44 (0)1730 703053 – email iipsgp@educationaid.net. Further information about the work of the MMMS is available on our website: www.educationaid.net.

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