The process of international mediation functions in much the same way they do when concerning individuals, except the tensions are higher and the situations are more complex involving aspects of commerce, trade, military conflict and territorial boundaries.
In these instances, it can be difficult for involved parties to come together for negotiations especially if there are cultural or language barriers in place. Nationalistic pride can interfere with discussions, as can the relative wealth of each country as compared to the other.
The Struggle for Power
How these disputes are handled can have direct impacts (both positive and negative) upon the international relationships and political standing of a country. As such, these conflicts tend to take much longer before successfully coming to a close.
International disputes are the foundations of history and their origins are sometimes blurred across generations. A decision is not usually agreed upon easily and in cases where either party shows a readiness or even willingness to display acts of power, negotiations can only be lengthened.
What Can Be Done?
Sovereign nations or mitigating bodies such as the UN can aid countries in times of dispute. In either case, a strong interest in restoring stability is needed for a successful outcome to be reached and just as in individual mediation; the outcome does not constitute a legal contract and is not binding.
What mediation strives to do on these occasions is facilitate a quick reconciliation between parties and restore normality to the lives of people affected by the dispute.