Q: What's the connection between
drafting and mediation? What qualities made Bunche so successful
as a negotiator?
Bunche was easily the best diplomatic draftsman I have ever
seen. And the essence of drafting is to listen to the violently
opposed views, very often, of two parties who are in conflict
on a subject which they both feel very strongly about, to
take those views and gradually bring them together and by
writing out a proposal to get something that both sides can
agree on which they couldn't agree on in any other way.
It's a very very very taxing, tiring job. And Bunche was brilliant
at it because he understood very clearly the difficulties
that everybody had with making some progress. He not only
understood it but he was then capable of thinking up new ideas
which could in some way bring the opposing parties nearer
and nearer together. And he was extraordinarily good at it.
And I think it came actually not only from his very accurate,
analytical capacities and his long training in writing very
clear papers and speeches, but also an extraordinary capacity
to understand the problems of other people, and to put himself
in their shoes and understand them. And that's why he was