DE METHODE VAN SANT'EGIDIO
Every conflict is different and requires its own approach. However, the story of the involvement in the Mozambican conflict indicates there are certain specific characteristics in the community’s handling of conflict and mediation that could be called a “Sant’Egidio method”. Developing personal relationships and understanding the culture of the belligerent parties are some of its most dominant features. The cautious, patient and personal approach Sant’Egidio adopts in peace mediation, contributes to the creation of an atmosphere in which close cooperation between the factions is possible. In addition to the parties involved in a conflict, many states and non-state actors become involved as well, adding to the momentum and helping parties to come closer to one another. In fact Sant’Egidio believes in the synergy between states’ and non-state’s actors and is against any competition during a mediation.
Peacemaking in all cases is constructed and shaped in specific conditions. “There is no standard formula for making peace,” as the Sant’Egidio mediators remark. However some conclusions can be drawn from Sant’Egidio’s experience. “In particular, the mediation in Mozambique teaches us that cultural understanding of the conflicting parties - which obviously differs from conflict to conflict - is crucial for success,” they say. Another characteristic of Sant’Egidio’s approach is to refrain from putting pressure on the parties or setting ultimatums. Therefore a “non threatening approach” is used.
Finally, in its work for peace, Sant’Egidio draws on its widespread network of contacts and inter-religious relationships acquired in more than twenty years work in dialogue between great world religions with at its centre the annual International inter-religious Meeting of prayer for peace, generally held every year in September which is attended by more than 400 religious leaders.