has been one of the most fundamental techniques of conflictresolution in varied levels whether national, international or evenindividual level. It refers to a confidential and informal techniquethrough which individuals resolve disputes with the assistance of aneutral mediator trained to assist the disputants in discussing theirdifferences and coming up with a solution that is acceptable to allof them. Of particular note is the fact that the mediator never makesdecisions pertaining to the individual who is right or wrong or evencome up with the decision himself, rather he assists the disputantsto work out the solutions to their problems. Needless to say, thereare numerous techniques for mediation, each of which comes withdifferent strengths and weaknesses (Walker & Garu, 2009). Thesemay be categorized into western mediation and Kastom .Western mediation primarily focuses on outcomes that enhance theinterests of individuals. It is different from kastom mediationespecially with regard to decision-making, choice of facilitators, aswell as the involvement of traditions and parties. Kastom mediationfocuses on the maintenance of relationships and the creation ofresolutions that are firmly founded on Kastom law. In this regard,the mediation technique focuses on coming up with a solution whileensuring that the solution does not compromise the relationship(Walker & Garu, 2009). Indeed, Kastom mediation is relationshipcentered and makes use of metaphors and storytelling and featuresmultiple parties that are representative of community relationshipsand extended kinships.
Thereare varied reasons why it is imperative that individuals engagerespectfully and authentically with the indigenous approaches tomediation. First, respectful and authentic engagement with indigenoustechniques of mediation enhances fairness in the process of mediation(Walker & Garu, 2009). Indeed, scholars have noted that theincorporation of such aspects is not something that allows anybody totread on other people rather it attempts to maintain a fair balanceof all things with regard to what may be happening at that time.Every aspect is considered at any given time thereby ensuring peaceand stability (Walker & Garu, 2009). Indeed, the Kastom mediationtechnique only chooses the path that ensures peace. As much as theremay be numerous solutions, the respectful path allows for theavoidance of disputes and conflicts especially considering thateverything that matters to the disputants would be considered.
Similarly,respectful and authentic engagement with the indigenous approaches tomediation comes as extremely effective in cases of cross-culturalmediation. This is especially considering that cultures and beliefswill always shape mediations irrespective of whether they arelesser-known spiritual beliefs pertaining to minorities or they arespiritual beliefs pertaining to secular style mediators. Suchauthenticity and respect would necessitate careful preparation andplanning so as to comprehend the history, as well as meaning for theindividuals who subscribe to the culture (Walker & Garu, 2009).This would further allow for the comprehension of the manner in whichthey dealt with issues pertaining to the past, as well as theappropriate processes for enhancing the safety of individuals indiscussions of matters such as spirituality and culture. Ofparticular note is the fact that such techniques would necessitatesymmetrical analysis of the worldviews to which all individuals inthe mediation subscribe including the mediators’ worldviews.Indeed, it is imperative that the mediators are aware of their ownprejudices and beliefs that are founded on their spiritualperspectives and beliefs especially beliefs that may be seen assecular or agnosticism.
Walker,P. O., & Garu, S (2009). “‘AFew More Arrows’: Strengthening Mediative Capacity in Vanuatu.”In D. Bagshaw and E. Porter (eds.), in the Asia-Pacific:Transforming Conflicts and Building Peace. New York: Routledge