"The African Union Panel of the Wise has, since its launch in December 2007, become a key component of the African Peace and Security Architecture. Indeed, it is remarkable that in a mere eight years, the Panel has matured into a key conflict prevention and resolution instrument, contributing, through the sheer will and determination of its members, to strengthening the Union’s ability to better address the scourge of violence wherever it occurs on our continent. This revised edition of the African Union (AU) Mediation Support Handbook serves as a general reference and field study guide for mediation teams and lead mediators deployed on AU mediation missions. It is a practical tool, based on the premise that mediation is a critical and complex skill that requires time, practice and continued education. The handbook was developed in collaboration with the AU Conflict Management Division and following review of existing AU mediation tools, instruments and practices. As a result, it reflects current practice and knowledge required for effective mediation on the African continent."