So, depending on what you want to do you'll be needing very different skillsets and backgrounds involved.
Stepping back, he starts to look at data from different conflicts around the world (I notice that his data is taken from the Journal of Peace Research
, which is a publication maintained by PRIO
). But where PRIO usually starts from the figure that the number of battle-deaths are dropping (prompting a kind of optimism), he presents figures on the number of conflicts themselves, which has risen until the 90's and hovered in the low fifties/high forties since then. This does not look optimistic. Even less so: the number of conflicts solved by mediation hasn't super-increased along with their number.
Continuing to speak about things from a top-down level, he notes that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (USA, China, UK, Russia, France) are proportionally-speaking the most involved in active mediation (not mentioned here, but organizations like the African Union are also quite prominent). Article 33 of the UN Charter speaks about the need for peaceful settlement of disputes, and the UN generally advocates for political settlements that promote peaceful inclusive societies that advance human rights.
There's a special document they released called something like the UN Report of the Secretary General on the Future of UN Peace Operations and it discusses the need for integrated peace initiatives on all levels, not just political ones. While there's certainly a lot of criticism about how much of this policy remains on paper, it's written that "This is not a lofty ideal, it makes hard practical sense." The language the UN uses is rarely, rarely this direct. But take from that what you will.
This is often referring to whether or not civil society's taken into account – in theory everyone says that this is something necessary, but whether it happens is another story. When we talk about diplomacy or conflict mediation/resolution/transformation, we're often talking about three different levels.