Mediation is seen as an increasingly successful means of resolving armed conflicts, and the growing number of actors involved testifies to its emergence as a distinct field of international diplomacy. However, success may be exaggerated and mediation remains unproven in the face of both intractable conflict and new wars. This paper explores some of the core questions to be posed and encourages practitioners not to shy away from the challenge of critically examining their practice and strategies in the face of an ever changing environment.