|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
7247th Meeting (AM)
Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2171 (2014), Pledges Better
Use of System-Wide Approach to Conflict Prevention
Speakers in All-Day Debate Cite Early Warning, Mediation,
Cooperation with Regional Organizations as Effective Tools
The Security Council this morning committed itself to better utilizing all tools of the United Nations system to ensure that warning signs of impending bloodshed translated into “concrete preventative action”, at the start of an all-day debate on prevention of armed conflict.
Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2171 (2014) in a meeting opened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, the 15-member body recognized, in particular, that some of the tools set out in Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter have not been fully utilized.
In that light, the Council stressed its determination to make greater and more effective use of “negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement and resort to regional and subregional organizations and arrangements, as well as the good offices of the Secretary-General”.
It also affirmed the preventive value of sanctions, special political missions, peacekeeping operations and human rights mechanisms, pointing out the preventive role of human rights accountability mechanisms, as well. It emphasized the important role that women and civil society organizations played in that regard.
It expressed its willingness to give prompt consideration to early warning cases brought to it, and to dispatch, in appropriate circumstances, preventive political missions. It encouraged the Secretary-General and others to continue to refer information and analysis on possible conflicts.
Noting that States have the primary responsibility to maintain peace and stability, the Council encouraged the peaceful settlement of local disputes through regional organizations and called for enhanced cooperation and capacity-building with such organizations in early warning and facilitation of preventive actions.
Prior to the adoption of that text, the Secretary-General opened the meeting, saying, “today’s debate takes place as the world is gripped by multiple violent conflicts. This highlights the enormity of the challenge of prevention, and the need to re-examine and refine our approach.”
Noting that the world Organization rose from the ashes of two World Wars with the mission of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war, he said that it was heartening, even at this bleak moment, that over the past quarter century, wars between States had become rare.
“Yet, we cannot speak of positive trends when we look at Syria, Iraq, Gaza, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Ukraine and elsewhere,” he said. Those situations and others demonstrated the changing nature and complexity of conflict, exacerbated by state fragility, extreme poverty, weak institutions, a lack of unifying leadership, porous borders, marginalized populations, terrorism and organized crime.
He said that quickly deployable expertise in mediation and conflict prevention was crucial, as was the building of coalitions and cooperation with regional organizations, such as that developed with organizations in the Sahel, the Great Lakes region, Central Africa and elsewhere. International solidarity in the face of conflict and learning from collective mistakes were imperative.
In her opening remarks, the High Commissioner cited the importance of addressing human rights violations that were a prelude to larger conflict. She said that the Council's interest in human rights had increased during her tenure, but firm and principled decisions by Members to end crises and save lives were often lacking, hampered by "short-term geopolitical considerations and national interest, narrowly defined".
States needed to define the national interest more broadly in line with the growth of serious challenges that faced humanity as a whole, she said, adding that "the collective interest — defined clearly in the United Nations Charter — is in the national interest of every State".
Following those statements, more than 55 Member States took the floor to express their views on how the international community and in particular the Council could strengthen their efforts to prevent armed conflict. Most supported the better use of the array of tools available to the Council as outlined in today’s resolution, particularly support to mediation.
Many countries, including China and Argentina, emphasized the primary responsibility of national Governments in maintaining the peace and urged support for them to do so, warning against unwise interventions and calling for due respect for national sovereignty. While also placing emphasis on national responsibility, the representative of the United Kingdom, among others, maintained that conflict prevention and sovereignty were not at odds, since conflicts could shatter States.
With many representatives also stressing the importance of cooperation with regional organizations, South Africa's representative warned against international interventions that conflicted with regional efforts. In any effort, international unity was crucial many speakers stressed; Turkey's representative and others emphasized the difficulties created by divisiveness, particularly in the Council, in any attempt to stem conflicts.
Also this morning, the Secretary-General brought to the Council’s attention that Ms. Pillay's presentation to the Council would be her last in her position as High Commissioner. He and many other speakers today paid tribute to her tenure.
The Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of Mexico also spoke today.
Speaking also were the representatives of Luxembourg, Chile, United States, Chad, Rwanda, Lithuania, Nigeria, Australia, Russian Federation, Jordan, France, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, India, Brazil, Israel, Egypt, Guatemala, Malaysia, Spain, Morocco, Syria, Kazakhstan, Iran (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Switzerland, Peru, Denmark (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Japan, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Slovakia, Armenia, Colombia, Canada, Thailand, Ireland, Botswana, Slovenia, Netherlands, Montenegro, Cuba, Viet Nam, Qatar, Zimbabwe (on behalf of the Southern African Development Community), New Zealand and Namibia.
A representative of the European Union Delegation also spoke.
The meeting began at 10:02 a.m. and ended at 3:40 p.m.
As the Security Council met today for an open debate on conflict prevention, under the agenda item "Maintenance of international peace and security”, it had before it a concept note (document S/2014/572) from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations, which holds the August presidency of the Council.
BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that “today’s debate takes place as the world is gripped by multiple violent conflicts. This highlights the enormity of the challenge of prevention, and the need to re-examine and refine our approach.”
Noting that the Organization rose from the ashes of two world wars with the mission of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war, he said that it was heartening, even at this bleak moment, that over the past quarter century, wars between States had become rare.
“Yet, we cannot speak of positive trends when we look at Syria, Iraq, Gaza, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Ukraine and elsewhere,” he said. Those situations and others demonstrated the changing nature and complexity of conflict, with repeated cycles of turmoil within countries and civil wars spilling over borders, exacerbated by State fragility, extreme poverty, weak institutions, a lack of unifying leadership, porous borders, marginalized populations, terrorism and organized crime.
Noting that the Council had a unique responsibility in the area of conflict prevention, he said that experience had shown what worked in that area, including early warning and quick and effective diplomatic action. When such action worked, however, it did not make headlines. He said that quickly deployable expertise in mediation and conflict prevention was crucial, as was the building of coalitions and cooperation with regional organizations, such as that developed with organizations in the Sahel, the Great Lakes region, Central Africa and elsewhere.
Learning from collective mistakes was imperative, he said, pointing to his “Rights up front” initiative as a means of placing human rights in the centre of United Nations efforts in the field to ensure avoiding systemic failures of the past and to recognize that human rights violations were early warning signals of mass atrocities.
Finally, he said United Nations actions must be leveraged by the close alignment of Member States. “When Member States join forces, we can achieve much,” he stressed, citing the example of the Council’s consensus on removing chemical weapons from Syria. “It is time for a new era of collaboration, cooperation and action from the Security Council.”
NAVI PILLAY, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, described the key elements of conflict prevention, pointing to the importance of democratic institutions in de-escalating disputes and outlining how international actors like the United Nations had helped broker and enforce peace in countries like South Africa, Nepal, Guinea and Colombia. Human rights were central to conflict prevention and patterns of violence helped to warn of future escalation. Her Office had developed many good practices over the years. She cited strengthening civil society actors, increasing participation of women in decision-making and dialogue, and addressing institutional and individual accountability for past violations as particularly important.
Despite that, conflicts around the world served to "hammer home the full cost of the international community's failure to prevent conflict", she said. It had seen the warnings and risks, but had not addressed them. Though the individual States had the responsibility to respond, so did the international community, and in particular, the Council. Although the Council's interest in human rights had increased during her tenure, there had not always been firm and principled decisions by Members to end crises, with "short-term geopolitical considerations and national interest, narrowly defined" taking precedence and preventing the Council from greater responsiveness and saving thousands of lives.
States needed to define the national interest more broadly in line with the growing number of serious challenges that faced humanity as a whole, she said, adding that "the collective interest — defined clearly in the United Nations Charter — is in the national interest of every State". States often invoked their sovereignty to deflect United Nations action against rights violations. "You made the law; now you must observe it," was her response to such claims, she said. The United Nations and its human rights framework were established by sovereign States precisely because human rights violations caused conflict and undermined sovereignty. Innovative approaches like the "Rights up front" initiative could promote earlier, more proactive responses, while the Council could also ask for more regular and comprehensive human rights reporting and make better use of Commissions of Inquiry to establish clarity. The Council could also adopt a standing consensus on a menu of possible new responses to such alerts, such as a rapid, flexible and resource-efficient human rights monitoring missions.
MARK LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom) recalling the horrors of the First World War, the start of which had just reached its centenary, wondered if — had the Council existed before that conflict — it could have prevented it. He concluded it might not have, if current trends were in play. The Council must stop acting only in crisis mode. Regular and timely briefings were needed, with better horizon scanning and use of all tools made available by the Charter. Member States needed to recognize that conflict prevention and sovereignty were not at odds, since conflicts shattered States. National action to resolve conflict was, therefore, key. Today's resolution recognized the cyclical nature of conflict, and therefore, the important part that peacebuilding played, as well as the sustained attention of a range of actors. Attention and accountability to human rights’ violations were crucial. The collective security system must adapt for those purposes, and the Council must switch from a mindset of reaction to prevention.
JACQUES FLIES (Luxembourg) pointing to a recent succession of armed conflicts that had caused great suffering among populations, said the essence of conflict prevention was to be able to discern the signs of emerging conflict and to then put in place the most effective actions to keep the situation from degenerating into open combat. Such an effort was complex and required a range of tools and multiple actors, as outlined in the Charter and noted in today's resolution. As deterioration in the human rights situation was often a prelude to conflict, human rights violations must be addressed as a priority, something that was underlined by the “Rights up front” initiative. The Secretary-General, along with his advisers, was particularly important in bringing such matters to the Council's attention, a prerogative granted him in the Charter. Peacebuilding was important to address the root causes of cyclical conflict. He concurred that action and not reaction should be the bywords of the Council.
LIU JIEYI ( China) stressed that the Charter was the cornerstone of conflict prevention, noting that it prioritized respect for sovereignty of States and support to them for maintaining their own national peace and stability. International support must be suited to each specific situation, with attention paid to culture, to prevent counterproductive intervention. Dialogue for national reconciliation was particularly important. Post-conflict peacebuilding mechanisms were also important, and all actors must coordinate actions with each other, as well as with Member States and regional organizations. Regional arrangements to ensure peaceful coexistence could make a substantial contribution to the maintenance of peace and security. He pledged his country's continued efforts to support international efforts to prevent conflict.
CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET ( Chile) said he regretted that the resolution did not include reference to the "right to truth", because it was vital to true reconciliation processes and to preventing a return to conflict. Peace and security were best preserved by a multidimensional approach and should include a gender perspective to guarantee greater societal peace and cohesion. Conflicts and disputes could only be solved in line with the Charter. He praised the work of the International Court of Justice in resolving international disputes, along with the work of special courts and the International Criminal Court. In order to promote stability, the rule of law needed strengthening. The Council’s contribution to upholding the rule of law at the international level had been acknowledged. Cooperation across the board was vital and needed strengthening.
CHRISTOPHER KLEIN ( United States) said the world was currently mired in crisis and conflict. Conflict had evolved, now involving many non-State actors, extremist ideologies, cross-border disputes and regional instability. The United Nations had not imagined such conflicts when first established, but it had become more "nimble" in its responses. The question now was how better to leverage the Organization’s tools to prevent future conflict. He praised the Department of Political Affairs for its work on early warning, including in Maldives, where an electoral dispute was contained, and for its response through special political missions, like in Guinea, where mediation efforts had also helped to defuse a potential electoral dispute. The demand for the Department of Political Affairs’ standby team of mediators had grown and they were playing a major role in the Great Lakes and in Mali. The common threads through successful missions were leadership, mandates and monitoring and reporting.
MAHAMAT ZENE CHERIF ( Chad) noted a lack of strictness in applying the principles of conflict prevention and an inability to react to precursors to conflict. The Council must take action before conflicts got under way. Early signs of the Arab Spring were present and efforts could have been made to respond earlier. The cycle of violence against vulnerable groups showed the international community had not learned from history, including the failure to prevent genocide in Rwanda. He cited several current conflicts where civilians faced dangers. The Organization must abandon its traditional role and use all the powers granted to it by the Charter to prevent conflict. Its approach must be inclusive, focused on human development and avoiding external interference. He criticized the use of the veto by permanent Council members and called for vision. The Council should serve as an early warning system to manage crises and avoid wars. He called for better evaluation tools to help improve the Council's work and better regional cooperation, welcoming existing cooperation with the African Union. The powers of the Secretary-General’s post should be expanded, allowing the incumbent to assume a greater role.
OLIVIER NDUHUNGIREHE ( Rwanda) concurred with the need for the Council to shift from reaction to prevention through attention to early warning, followed up by early action. Noting systemic advances, he said that the Council's record had improved following the genocide in his country, but devastating conflicts still broke out with regularity. The Council must be flexible in applying a range of measures to address conflicts along with their root causes. The Secretariat's capacity for conflict prevention must be improved. Protection of human rights was particularly important to prevent conflict; capabilities for the rule of law and accountability must be supported at the national level for that purpose. He appealed to the Council to address conflict prevention in country-specific debates, through better utilization of horizon-scanning meetings and other measures.
RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ ( Lithuania) said that the Council had too often acted only when conflict was in full swing and the loss of lives was too high to ignore, such as the case of the Rwanda genocide, in which 800,000 people had been murdered in 100 days. Such failures abounded. In Yemen, however, the persistent efforts of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, recently reinforced by a sanctions regime, had kept the situation in the country from degenerating into a civil war. Today, as the Council grappled with an unprecedented number of conflicts and four level 3 humanitarian emergencies in the face of an almost chronic shortage of funds for life-saving activities, “we need a qualitative leap in conflict prevention”. As pointed out in today’s resolution, conflict prevention was a complex undertaking consisting of various interdependent, complementary and non-sequential components, such as informed early warning, early mediation and accountability.
MARIO OYARZÁBAL ( Argentina), citing the multiplication of worldwide conflicts and their changing nature, agreed that the international community's capability to prevent conflicts must be strengthened. It was primary, however, for States to tackle the causes of conflicts between them and inside their borders. When necessary, the Council must assist them in conflict prevention with due regard for sovereignty. Development assistance was also critical for addressing root causes. He affirmed the importance of the tools cited by today's resolution, including the good offices role of the Secretary-General and the prevention of impunity. He added that control of the flow of weapons that fed conflicts was equally important. Political will to use the tools available to the Council, and to act within a multilateral framework, was needed.
USMAN SARKI ( Nigeria) said that current times were characterized by "foreboding and despair", due to the omnipresence of conflict, which not only caused much suffering, but also impeded sustainable development. He enumerated the many mechanisms that had been put in place to stem conflict, but stressed that more effective and timely action was needed. In particular, he called for greater control of the flow of illicit small arms and light weapons, calling on the Council to play a greater role in implementing the recently adopted Arms Trade Treaty. Coordination with local actors and regional organizations must be built before conflicts arise; in the same light, all preventive tools must be ready for utilization and coordinated with each before crises occurred, with adequate attention to the local level.
PHILLIPPA KING ( Australia) said that preventing conflict was always better than curing it. The cost of civil war was about 30 years of gross domestic product (GDP), and the cost of recovery averaged 14 years. The Council could do more in supporting the Secretary-General, his good offices, advocacy and mediation efforts, as well as those of his representatives. The 15-nation body needed to get behind the “Rights up front” initiative and do better to integrate sanctions into its responses. It must also better implement its commitment to accountability. It should endorse more preventive visits. Those needed not involve all 15 members. The five-member Council mission to Indonesia and Timor-Leste in 1999 had helped end the violence.
VITALY I. CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said international assistance needed the consent of the host country, especially as most crises were internal, and warned that the border between preventive diplomacy and external pressure was becoming blurred. Some proposals bordered on constitutional interference and undermined trust in the international community. The current situations in Iraq, Libya and Ukraine showed how the actions of certain States bred serious crises and were at odds with conflict prevention. In Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) road map had been disregarded despite its potential for resolving the dispute before armed conflict. The United Nations should not believe in a "standard prescription" for States in crises. Rather, what was required was a "patient search for tailor-made solutions" to each crisis. Proper evaluation was needed, not just the application of a set of indicators. The Council did not hold a monopoly on issues like mediation and disarmament; the General Assembly also held a responsibility.
DINA KAWAR ( Jordan) stressed the importance of recognizing missed opportunities to avoid conflicts that carried heavy human tolls. An answer was needed on what maximized shortcomings in preventing conflicts and it was important to bear in mind the changing global politics since the Charter had been signed. Despite the prevalence of intra-State conflicts, the Charter still was valid; it just required a more holistic perspective to inform its approach, one that respected sovereignty and territorial integrity. Conflict undermined sovereignty most and politicization of the Council should be avoided. Implementation of today’s Council resolution could help prevent the outbreak of conflict or its escalation and it offered a chance to return to the use of Chapter 6 solutions, which had been absent from the Council’s recent work. Such approaches were the cheapest means of tackling conflict. The Secretary-General and regional organizations could also be used in conflict prevention.
ALEXIS LAMEK ( France) said the Council’s standstill on early action in Syria had meant failure to prevent that conflict. Meanwhile, early warnings for conflict in South Sudan had been absent. For the Council to have the best information on hand for its decision-making, the tools available had to be used. The Secretary-General had the capability for warning the Council. Regular briefings by the High Commissioner for Human Rights also helped, as did the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, who warned the Council and helped to mobilize it. Regional organizations and civil society had to be involved in order to help address early warnings, while referral to the International Criminal Court and mediation efforts to defuse tensions were a direction in which the Council could turn to restore calm. France was also committed to reducing the abusive use of the veto in cases of serious crimes.
OH JOON ( Republic of Korea) said that signs of impending conflict must be properly detected and analysed, with United Nations presence on the ground, such as that in South Sudan, more active in collecting the relevant information ahead of brewing conflicts. A united voice of the Council was then critical for action. In addition, given the reluctance of countries to accept assistance in preventing conflict, a balance must be struck with national prerogatives to govern States' own affairs and the need to maintain international peace and security. The Council must meet the international community’s expectations to maintain international peace and stability.
JUAN MANUEL GÓMEZ-ROBLEDO, Under-Secretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, Mexico, said that “conflict prevention is beyond the obligation of this Council and a joint responsibility for all of us". Preventative diplomacy was particularly important in that regard. Given the complexity of current potential conflicts, assistance must be provided to States and perpetrators of grave human rights crimes must be brought to justice, no matter how high their positions, without vetoes impeding such action. His country was active in reforming the use of the veto in that regard. The International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court were important tools for ensuring accountability and peacefully resolving conflicts. Use of advisory opinions could be effective in some situations, along with all the tools mentioned in today's resolution. Despite the difficulties, "globalization of indifference must not make headway", he stressed.
MASOOD KHAN ( Pakistan) said peaceful settlement of disputes was a primary element in preventing armed conflict, as was sustainable development that dealt with root causes. Prevention should never become a pretext for interventionism, however. Pre-emptive diplomacy was needed but the Council should not step in too far when the parties themselves should be resolving matters. Once a conflict erupted, however, as in Gaza, the Council must step in to end the violence. Often, quiet diplomacy, conducted by the Secretary-General, could be more effective than controversial action by the Council. It was critical that major Powers come to agreement; a new cold war was helpful for no one and had lead to a deadlock in Syria and other areas. For the effective prevention of conflict, it was most important for the Council to uphold the rule of law.
BHAGWANT SINGH BISHNOI ( India) said Council decisions, including on the resolution just adopted, were made before consultation with non-Members, and he, therefore, questioned the purpose of an open debate. He supported the concept note's reference to promoting a culture of prevention, but also called for introspection by the Council. It had the tools to fulfil its responsibilities, but used them selectively. Technical fixes were not the answer. There was a strong need to respect national authority while interventionism ran the danger of exacerbating conflict. "The developing world consists of nascent sovereignties and its actions should not be such as to revive the insecurities of a bygone era," he warned, advising "abundant caution" on innovative approaches to conflict prevention, and warning against imposed solutions. Chapter 7 action was binding, but depended on the Council retaining a moral authority that was open to question until its composition better reflected the aspirations and views of the larger United Nations membership.
ANTONIO DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA ( Brazil) said preventive diplomacy went far beyond diplomatic actions like mediation and early warning measures. Consideration of peace and security had to extend to areas upon which the Council rarely dwelt. Fulfilment of commitments was essential, with little progress so far on the elimination of nuclear weapons. The Council needed to truly engage in resolving protracted disputes that sowed the seeds of renewed violence in many regions. It was important also to fulfil pledges made, particularly when dealing with conflict in less developed areas of the world, so meeting aid flow targets could help countries build more just and inclusive societies. The most efficient method was support for strong and functional multilateralism, and a system that could respond to evolving challenges. Coercive measures like sanctions and military action should be avoided where possible and when the exceptionalism of a certain group of countries posed a threat. Governance and credibility of institutions was essential, and reform of the Council would increase its inclusivity and legitimacy.
IOANNIS VRAILAS, a representative of the European Union Delegation, recalling that roughly one third of peace agreements on intra-State conflict signed between 1950 and 2004 relapsed into conflict within the next five years, suggested that the Council, where appropriate, consider extending existing political missions when the Secretary-General requested extensions for the sake of conflict prevention. The work of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund was also important in that regard. The Union used an early warning approach both for conflict and mass atrocities. The “responsibility to protect” principle provided various tools, including early warning, for a system-wide approach to prevent atrocities. The Secretary-General’s “Rights up front” initiative was also an important tool to strengthen early warning and prevention of atrocities. The nexus between peace, security and development was a key underlying principle in the Union’s comprehensive approach. Implementing Council resolution 1325 (2000) was also crucial as it aimed to ensure equal and full participation of women in peace processes and conflict-prevention strategies. Underling the link between human rights and peace and security, he said the Union’s early warning system used human rights indicators as a means to detect risk of conflict.
RON PROSOR ( Israel) said that his experience on both the battlefield and in the diplomatic arena had shown him that war began when hatred and intolerance went unopposed. Seventy years after the Holocaust, which was preceded by the warning signs of abuse of Jews, Jewish communities around the world were again being subjected to threats, beatings and destruction of property. Heads of State compared Israel to the Nazis without condemnation. There were currently 41 Islamic terrorist groups operating around the world, amassing weapons, persecuting minorities and women, and like Hamas, placing civilians in harms' way by using populations as shields for their attacks. The choice must be made for or against a Middle East in which violent extremists suppressed the rights, beliefs and aspirations of millions of people, but radical extremism threatened the entire world. In order to prevent more war, war must be declared on radical ideology, bigotry and hypocrisy. Freedom, tolerance and peace could then be victorious.
OSAMA ABDELKHALEK MAHMOUD (Egypt), saying occupation of land significantly contributed to conflicts, called on the Council to explore how to ensure implementation of existing resolutions and how to best use the tools available to it under Chapter VI. Poverty, lack of development, organized crime and terrorism were key drivers of conflict and needed addressing. Egypt was at the forefront of international efforts to do so. Non-traditional drivers of conflict, such as drought in Africa, also played a part. Early detection of warning signs could prevent potential conflict and should be the basis of effective containment. The United Nations had to retain a focus on the key components and cardinal principles of its Charter, with its intervention in domestic matters of States clearly prohibited unless posing an immediate threat to international peace and security.
GERT ROSENTHAL ( Guatemala) agreed with the growing emphasis on conflict prevention, though believed it threw up questions. One such was over the role of the Council and how best it could use the different instruments that were available to it. It was important to consider whether the tools responded well to current realities and whether they allowed crises to be addressed quickly and early. Conflict prevention efforts had to complement national efforts and had to overcome possible mistrust and lack of political will. Often, Governments and other actors were unwilling to heed warnings over potential conflicts, which explained why such tools were rarely mobilized. Regional organizations were, therefore, useful to tackling disputes early. Existing prevention measures allowed rapid responses, but the same model could not be applied across the board.
RAJA REZA RAJA ZAIB SHAH (Malaysia) associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said questions were raised by the nature of contemporary conflicts over the ability of the United Nations, and particularly the Council, to respond to new types of conflict. Noting the "array of tools" available under Chapter VI of the Charter, he suggested closer cooperation between the Council and General Assembly to ensure the widest-possible support for proposed preventive measures and approaches. The United Nations should look to strengthen its capabilities in that area. National and regional efforts could positively complement the United Nations’ work and "serious, sustained attention" should be devoted to them. The Organization could also better assist countries and societies facing relapse into conflict. More attention should be given to the Peacebuilding Commission as a platform for exchange of expertise and experience.
ROMÁN OYARZUN MARCHESI ( Spain) agreed that the international community must move from a culture of reaction to one of prevention and use all instruments available for prevention of conflicts. Mediation was central to Spanish foreign policy, and his country had launched many initiatives to strengthen that tool. For mediation to succeed, however, there must be local ownership and complementarity in the case of the involvement of other actors. Peacebuilding was equally important, and for that reason, he supported a stronger relation between the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission. A focus on the responsibility to protect could support countries to protect their populations and in that way stem the outbreak of violence, as well.
OMAR HILALE (Morocco), associating his statement with the one to be made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said more must be invested in negotiations and consultations to prevent conflicts from breaking out. He concurred with today's resolution about the importance of other tools, such as the Secretary-General's good offices, the use of political missions, cooperation with regional organizations and other mechanisms. A global concept of prevention was needed, however, in order to deal with the changing nature of conflict, which was increasingly internal. Assistance to States in that context was, therefore, essential. Morocco had made conflict prevention central to its foreign policy, particularly in North Africa and the Middle East. The difficulties in preventing conflict could be overcome by a united international community.
BASHAR JA'AFARI ( Syria) said that the very same policies that allowed the outbreak of the first two World Wars were now moving the world towards a possible third. Populations, particularly in the Arab world, were now suffering increasingly because of interventions from the outside. Decrying the history of foreign governance of Arab lands after the First World War, he asked who benefited from the crises arising in the Arab region. The peoples of the region were paying the price for interventions such as the invasion of Iraq; now weapons and support for attacks had arrived in Syria. The terrorism there could not be justified by calling it revolution.
JAVAD SAFAEI (Iran), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, favoured giving priority to conflict prevention and moving from a culture of reaction to one of prevention. There were high financial costs and even higher human costs to conflict and the message was clear: “Conflicts are too costly for humanity and must be prevented as far as possible.” Prevention was a primary obligation of Member States and efforts had to conform to the Charter. National Governments bore primary responsibility, with the United Nations and the international community in assistance. The most useful instruments for achieving the goal were found in Chapter VI of the Charter. Preventive actions should be initiated as early as possible, while the right of national authorities to resolve international crises should be respected. Preventive efforts should also be multi-dimensional and focus on root causes. The role of the Non-Aligned Movement needed strengthening.
KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV ( Kazakhstan) said that the United Nations needed to agree on a collective tool kit to achieve such objectives as conflict prevention. Political differences in the Council should not hinder its action. He also underlined the link between peace and security and development. If Council members did not agree on resolutions, they could not effectively address issues. The Council should support the Secretary-General, his special representatives and envoys. His Government also supported United Nations regional offices. He proposed the establishment of a United Nations regional hub for development and humanitarian action in Almaty. The African Union, European Union and other regional organizations could play major roles in conflict prevention. The international community must promote tolerance and non-discrimination through entities, such as the Alliance of Civilization.
OLIVIER ZEHNDER ( Switzerland) said that, because the cost of ending conflict was many times higher than the cost of preventing it, the Council needed to fully utilize the various tools at its disposal. Through the cross-regional group of States, the Council’s Accountability, Coherence and Transparency initiative, his country had raised the question of improving the Council’s preventive capacities, including it being alerted as early as possible to potential crises, so that appropriate action could be taken at that stage. Also crucial to early conflict prevention was the Peacebuilding Commission, especially in light of the fact that half of countries emerging from conflict relapsed into violence. Special political missions, as well, were the Council’s tools of preventative diplomacy and required improved funding. Lastly, future successful conflict prevention should be based on cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, engendering local ownership and constructive coordination between all national, regional and global stakeholders.
GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA VELÁSQUEZ ( Peru) said that the Charter gave the Council tools to prevent emerging conflict and to act if those actions were not effective. However, in recent times, the Council was now reacting to, not anticipating conflict. The Council must do more to prevent conflict, he stressed, highlighting Article 99. Conflicts occurring around the world had not been spontaneous. They had occurred from a variety of sources, including deep-rooted issues and structural matters and had come about over a large period of time. It was urgent that the Council adopt a comprehensive and strategic approach to address underlying causes on the ground, and incorporate preventative diplomacy and conflict resolution in order to prevent a resurgence of violence. Security concerns and early warnings must be taken into account. He also highlighted the work of the Peacebuilding Commission, urgently appealing to States to support that body's work.
ERIK LAURSEN (Denmark), speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries, said that Member States must make the United Nations equipped to contribute more to preventing violent conflict. The Council had mandated many important special political missions that were essential for conflict prevention. It was crucial that those missions be provided with adequate and predictable funding. Despite wide recognition that conflict prevention saved both lives and money, there was still a striking imbalance in the funding for conflict prevention versus peacekeeping.
MOTOHIDE YOSHIKAWA ( Japan) said that, as Chair of the Working Group on Lessons Learned of the Peacebuilding Commission, he had heard from three countries on the Commission’s agenda countries undergoing transitions, including Sierra Leone, Burundi and Liberia, which had allowed for a deeper understanding of challenges being faced. The Commission could play a role in addressing the risk of recurrence during a transitional period by monitoring progress, among other actions. His country, as well, had contributed $390 million to the United Nations Human Security Trust Fund to promote conflict prevention and peacebuilding. In addition, it had actively supported African countries' own efforts to consolidate peace through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development process, contributing $550 million for peacebuilding. Lastly, his country had promoted the role of women in preventing conflict, as well as consolidating peace, including through the training of female mediators and the construction of a vocational training centre to empower women affected by conflict.
AMAN HASSEN ( Ethiopia) stressed the importance of Chapter VI of the Charter, noting that the Organization's efforts had been reactionary. It failed to act swiftly enough to save lives. Recent conflict in South Sudan and the Central African Republic showed how expensive it was to deal with those conflicts. Prevention was less expensive, and thus, should receive more attention. Proactive Council action was needed for early warning to provide rapid responses. He warned against overlapping activities among the United Nations different mechanisms. It was also necessary for the United Nations to enhance cooperation with regional organizations in accordance with the Charter.
YUSRA KHAN (Indonesia), aligning his delegation with the Non-Aligned Movement, affirmed the Association of South-East Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) commitment to not only address regional conflicts, but to be part of the global solution. The sources of current conflicts were multilevel and multifaceted, thus, dramatically changing their characteristics. Open dialogues such as today's debate should continue, allowing the Council to consider Member States' concerns. That Council should be more proactive in stalling conflicts. Welcoming the resolution's emphasis that the primary responsibility of preventing conflict lay within the State, he said that the Organization should support and compliment national efforts. Peacebuilding should also be an important aspect, tackling root causes. However, any early engagement by the Council must not interfere with a State's internal affairs.
YASHAR ALIYEV ( Azerbaijan) said that the boundary between intra-State and inter-State conflicts had become increasingly blurred in recent decades. Complicated instances included attempts of one State disguising its role in fuelling conflict on the territory of another State by setting up and supporting a subordinate separatist regime beyond the control of a legitimate Government. Conflict prevention in intra-State relations was inextricably linked to the peaceful settlement of disputes, as stated in Article 2 of the Charter. When one State resorted to force, occupying the territory of another State, that principle must not impair the inherent right of self-defence as enshrined in Article 51. Council resolutions should call things by their names. "Call a spade a spade rather than seek a balance in addressing the key issue of responsibility," he said. The imperative of establishing and documenting truth, shedding light on real facts and combating impunity was undeniable, but such approaches must not be selective or politically motivated.
OLEKSANDR PAVLICHENKO ( Ukraine) said the impunity for violations of the Charter and international treaties had been among the main causes of aggression against his country and the occupation of Crimea. Despite the support of almost all Council members for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, one of them had abused the veto power and had blocked practical measures by the 15-nation body. Taking advantage of its veto power, that State had committed acts of aggression against Ukraine, even though it had always recognized Ukraine’s territorial integrity and state borders in accordance with relevant bilateral treaties. "Veto power is not just a privilege or good luck," he said, adding that States with that power had an obligation and duty to responsibly maintain peace and security in the world.
FRANTIŠEK RUŽIČKA ( Slovakia) said that the United Nations was not alone in advancing preventive action. Regional bodies had also increasingly taken their own initiatives for preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention. Closer cooperation and interaction between the United Nations and regional organizations was needed. Credible and in-depth security sector reform had proven to play a decisive role in reducing or even eliminating conditions facilitating conflict outbreak. It may not be a primary preventive instrument, but it definitely was a tool to create conditions to avoid relapse of conflict.
ZOHRAB MNATSAKANYAN ( Armenia) said prevention went beyond the aims of pre-empting an actual outbreak of conflict. Equally important was the prevention of a resumption of conflict in situations when the final resolution remained pending. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was a case in point, with the use of force by Azerbaijan in violation of the Charter against the population of Nagorno-Karabakh, which had realized its right of self-determination. In the past weeks, an alarming escalation of tension and considerable increase of ceasefire violations across the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, as well as attempted incursions and subversive operations of Azerbaijan army units had occurred. He also noted the recent targeting and mass killing of religious and ethnic minorities, including the Yazidis, who had been targeted by terrorist groups, such as the "Islamic State". The United Nations system should mobilize efforts and act without delay, and the Council should treat the "tragic situation of the Yazidi population as a matter of utmost urgency."
MARIA EMMA MEJÍA ( Colombia) said her country knew too well the consequences of conflict as it had experienced it for more than five decades. Conflict weakened institutions and made society vulnerable. Over time, it could become even more complex and difficult to address. The obligation to protect civilians had often been forgotten in conflict. Her Government had established dialogue with armed groups acting outside the law — a step that had given rise to the possibility of a negotiated peace. The risk of relapse into conflict was high when preventive measures were not taken. It was important to create stability during the post-conflict period to establish lasting peace and to promote the use of Chapter VI and a culture of prevention. She welcomed the concept note for today’s debate, which included the role of women in conflict prevention processes.
MICHAEL DOUGLAS GRANT ( Canada) said that when women were fully engaged in all levels of decision-making, including economic, political and peace processes, then sustained peace and stability were achieved. The barriers to peace, that included the subjugation of women and girls, must be addressed in the post-2015 development agenda. Successful preventive strategy to conflicts depended not only on the cooperation of United Nations bodies, but sustained political will of Member States, who, as a whole, should provide the Organization with the necessary support to undertake effective preventive action in specific situations. The United Nations needed to use all of the tools at its disposal to prevent conflict, and the Council had a major role to play in that regard. Resistance and political division among Member States had already cost too many lives.
CHAYAPAN BAMRUNGPHONG ( Thailand) said that an accurate and unbiased assessment of potential conflicts by reliable sources was necessary to enable the Council to apply the right tools at the right time. United Nations country teams on the ground, Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, Special Envoys and other United Nations bodies, as well as regional organizations could provide useful information and assessment. Regular briefings and reports by relevant United Nations bodies of countries concerned could provide the Council with updates and insights. But, lack of unity and the diverse national and political interests among Council members impaired its swift action. Its indecisiveness could undermine its credibility and shatter the hopes of people trapped in conflict.
TIM MAWE ( Ireland) said that the Council needed to analyse information better, draw conclusions sooner and then make the right decisions. Early warning was only effective when acted upon. Vigorous, sustained diplomacy was needed where conflict was brewing. Intensive diplomatic efforts, using the good offices of the Secretary-General, his senior envoys and United Nations staff in the field, had been and could continue to be effective in bringing parties back from the brink of conflict. The Council could deploy special political missions much earlier as they played a key role in advancing the political dialogue and other peacebuilding tasks.
CHARLES NTWAAGAE ( Botswana) said that the Council's effectiveness in maintaining international peace and security at times lent itself to legitimate questioning when the Council failed to act swiftly and decisively. Thousands of innocent lives continued to be lost, and humanitarian crises were reaching catastrophic proportions. The Council should intensify its efforts to fight "the just battle". The uncontrolled movement of small arms and light weapons within and across borders also remained a cause for collective concern, as their presence, illegal transfer and continued employ created tensions in communities, often leading to a variety of conflicts. He called upon the international community to commit to ending that illegal trade. In addition, the continued use and indiscriminate testing of nuclear weapons by some countries threatened mankind’s existence. Guaranteeing the preservation of the planet and human race was not only the responsibility of those who possessed those weapons but by all who desired a stable, peaceful and secure world.
MATEJ MARN ( Slovenia) said that what made the heartbreaking and saddening images of conflicts raging around the world even more unacceptable was that they were occurring despite consistent work on conflict prevention and peaceful resolution of disputes. The resulting broad framework of preventive measures resulting from such efforts now needed to be put into practice. The Council should strengthen its early warning mechanism. Towards that end, organizing regular horizon-scanning meetings with high-level United Nations officials would be beneficial. As well, the Secretary-General, in accordance with Article 99, should bring to the Council’s attention matters that threatened international peace and security. Too often the case, the international community dealt with crises when it was too late. Political considerations often overrode concerns of international humanitarian law and human rights violation. When crimes against humanity and war crimes, among others, were threatening or ongoing, it was imperative that the Council’s permanent members not exercise the right of veto.
PETER VAN DER VLIET (Netherlands) welcomed horizon-scanning or general briefings on emerging conflicts or possible volatile situations by the Secretary-General as a more regular and permanent feature on the Council's agenda. His delegation strongly encouraged the Council to take measures to expand the use of peaceful settlements of disputes, both in relation to State and non-State actors. His country hosted the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. One essential factor in preventing conflict and avoiding tensions within societies was ensuring and protecting the basic human rights of all members of the population, he said, commending the work of Ms. Pillay.
MILORAD ŠĆEPANOVIĆ ( Montenegro) said a fifth of the world's population lived in conflict-affected countries. Conflict hit the most vulnerable. It was, thus, the duty of Member States to share the burden of preventing and resolving conflict. Conflict resolution and the maintenance of sustainable societies was "the challenge of our times". The international community was far from having an effective system to deal with that challenge. Prevention and early intervention did work. He also underscored the importance of ensuring that perpetrators did not go unpunished. Regional and subregional organizations could play an important role in conflict resolution. The United Nations could offer a holistic approach, given the nexus among peace and security, development, human rights and rule of law.
RODOLFO REYES (Cuba) called for the causes of conflict to be reduced, including imperialistic domination, the seeking of natural resources, colonial practices, unequal trade regulations and the weakening of a people’s self-determination, to name a few. The Council’s important role must be guided by the Charter as a defender of peaceful solutions, ensuring that it worked against the recourse of war, preserving life and never promoting armed confrontation or regime change. He expressed concern over the Council’s passivity in the face of the many deaths of innocent lives in Gaza from indiscriminate force, therefore, raising the question of what it was doing to prevent conflict. He also reiterated his country’s “strict rejection” of a recent plan funded by the United States Agency for International Development, which sought to convert young Cubans to undermine Cuba’s constitutional order and he demanded the end of such illegal actions. He emphasized that Judaism should not be exploited. The Jews of Cuba were both communists and had the full rights to practise their religion.
DO HUNG VIET ( Viet Nam), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that more conflicts were breaking out and lessons learned must be revisited. The use of force only resulted in the loss of life and material destruction and should not be present in the twenty-first century. Amidst the signs of intra-State and inter-State conflict, international law and fundamental principles, including peaceful settlement of dispute and sovereign integrity, must be upheld. Rules must be translated into concrete actions and sincere dialogue. Regional and international organizations should promote engagement conducive to creating solutions. The United Nations and Council played a critical role utilizing the many tools available. Coordination of United Nations bodies and regional organizations would engender better information and early warnings. Creating a culture of peace that adhered to international law and taking concrete actions through dialogue would save future generations from the scourge of war.
YOUSEF SULTAN LARAM ( Qatar) said his Government’s foreign policy strove to prevent and resolve conflict by addressing its root causes and by pursing the peaceful settlements of disputes. There was a need to operationalize the tools adopted by the United Nations. Regional organizations could provide support in that regard. Prevention of conflict was a proactive measure and it required short-, medium- and long-term strategies. Mediation, especially diplomatic mediation, was an important means to resolve conflicts. Qatar had participated in many mediation efforts in the Middle East and Africa. Today’s resolution could help the international community act early.
GIZEM SUCOĞLU ( Turkey) said that mediation was the most effective and efficient way to prevent armed conflict. More support was needed for United Nations mechanisms for that purpose. Mutual respect between cultures was also needed and for that reason Turkey, with Spain, had founded the Dialogue among Civilizations. She stressed the value of cooperation with regional organizations and United Nations regional offices. The best way to help countries fulfil their obligations to maintain peace was capacity-building under the framework of peacebuilding. Overall, a comprehensive approach was needed, implemented by a united international community. Divisiveness, particularly on the Council’s part, could only present obstacles to preventing conflict.
KAREN LINGENFELDER (South Africa), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), welcomed the United Nations progress in conflict prevention and said Council action should support such efforts rather than be at odds with them. There were several occasions when Council actions had undermined United Nations and regional efforts to mediate peaceful resolution of conflicts. As a member of the Friends of Mediation, South Africa was looking to refocus the Assembly on preventive measures for conflict management and she called on other States to support those efforts. Predictable resources for mediation efforts and capacity-building were essential. The African Union had established a peace and security architecture focused on prevention and post-conflict reconstruction, and SADC had undertaken mediation efforts to quell political conflicts. She encouraged full implementation of the Nairobi Declaration of December 2013 and looked forward to participating in the Great Lakes Private Sector Investment Conference.
ROFINA TSINGO CHIKAVA ( Zimbabwe), speaking on behalf of SADC and associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said the priority was managing disputes to prevent violence. The challenge was to make accurate predictions based on evidence in order to forestall progress towards conflict. The financial and human costs attested to the importance of doing so. Poverty and exclusion often fuelled conflict. There was an inextricable link between peace and development. The two went hand in hand. The billions of dollars used for war could be put to better use for humanity. The African Union was establishing the root causes of and methods for addressing disputes, with the continental early warning system as one example. The Panel of the Wise also played an important role in mediation and conflict resolution. Early warning systems were in development, with SADC's in place and based on a set of national early warning centres feeding information into a central early warning hub, with a rapid response brigade constantly on standby to respond to a crisis.
CAROLYN SCHWALGER (New Zealand) pointed out that the Council had been debating conflict prevention for over a decade, but that it had been "little more than a thematic vision", with much less success in implementing practical conflict prevention outcomes in specific cases. She voiced hope that today's debate might be an opportunity to shift the focus to making prevention a practical reality. Recalling the Ad Hoc Working Group on the matter, she noted that it had been quite successful in developing practical methodologies. However, in recent years, the Council's changing working methods had made it difficult to play that preventive role, with relevant tasks more pre-programmed and formal. A prevention culture must be more a part of the Council's day-to-day work. The Council should be mindful of its traditional tendency to delegate conflict prevention to the Secretariat, and that the stigma of appearing on the formal Council agenda was keeping some countries from seeking early assistance.
PENDAPALA A. NAANDA ( Namibia), aligning himself with statements on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and SADC, said that enhancement of cooperation among States was urgently needed to resolve conflicts and create an environment conducive to development. Cooperation between the Council and regional and subregional organizations was particularly important. Reform of the Council was also relevant to conflict prevention, as was support for mediation and confidence-building measures. The prevention of conflict would only be achieved, however, when all Member States and parties to conflict fully committed themselves to common objectives and the principles of the Charter.
Taking the floor again, the representative of Azerbaijan said the Armenian representative’s statement compared “apples with oranges”, equating conflict prevention and conflict resolution. Though they were related, they were not the same thing. The “preposterous” statement was another attempt to distract Member States from Armenia’s occupation of a large portion of Azerbaijan’s territory and its ethnic cleansing of the population. Armenia’s actions provided strong grounds for international sanctions and its forces had to withdraw. The earlier that was realized, the sooner peace, predictability and stability could be realized.
The representative of Armenia also took the floor for a second time, stressing the need to avoid the risk of resumption of conflict. Recent escalations concerned him and lessons had to be taken from those developments. The alternative was a catastrophe and Armenia had no interest in war, but a willingness to fight for peace. Calling for compromise, he noted that Armenia fully supported the agreement reached in Kazan in 2011. Confidence-building measures were necessary, meaning strict adherence to the 1994 and 1995 ceasefire agreements, as well as other credible measures, which must be implemented as soon as possible.
The full text of resolution 2171 (2014) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling all its previous resolutions and statements of its President on prevention of armed conflict, preventive diplomacy, mediation and peaceful settlement of disputes, in particular resolutions 1366 (2001) and 1625 (2005), and the statements of its President of 22 February 1995 (S/PRST/1995/9), 30 November 1999 (S/PRST/1999/34), 20 July 2000 (S/PRST/2000/25), 13 May 2003 (S/PRST/2003/5), 20 September 2005 (S/PRST/2005/42), 21 April 2009 (S/PRST/2009/8), 22 September 2011 (S/PRST/2011/18), 15 April 2013 (S/PRST/2013/4),
“Recalling the determination of the peoples of the United Nations, to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights,
“Recalling all Purposes and Principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,
“Recalling the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security and acting in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
“Reaffirming the Security Council’s continuing commitment to addressing the prevention of armed conflicts in all regions of the world,
“Expressing its determination to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations in preventing and ending armed conflicts, their escalation, spread when they occur, and their resurgence once they end,
“Recalling that the prevention of conflict remains a primary responsibility of States, and further recalling their primary responsibility to protect civilians and to respect and ensure the human rights of all individuals within their territory and subject to their jurisdiction, as provided for by relevant international law, and further, reaffirming the responsibility of each individual State to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity,
“Acknowledging the role that civil society can play in contributing to conflict prevention,
“Reiterating the need for a comprehensive approach to conflict prevention and sustainable peace, which comprises operational and structural measures for the prevention of armed conflict and addresses its root causes, including through strengthening the rule of law at international and national levels and promoting sustained economic growth, poverty eradication, social development, sustainable development, national reconciliation, good governance, democracy, gender equality and respect for, and protection of, human rights,
“Calling attention to the importance of early awareness and consideration of situations which may deteriorate into armed conflicts, and emphasizing that the United Nations, including the Security Council, should heed early warning indications of potential conflict and ensure prompt and effective action to prevent, contain or end conflicts, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,
“Underlining the overriding moral, political and humanitarian imperatives, as well as the economic advantages of preventing the outbreak, continuation, escalation or relapse into conflict,
“Deeply concerned by the high human cost and suffering caused by armed conflicts, as well as the material and economic costs to the countries directly affected, the wider region and international community, including through the inclusive rebuilding of states and societies in the aftermath of armed conflict, and recognizing that peace, security and development are mutually reinforcing, including in the prevention of armed conflict,
“Affirming that a comprehensive conflict prevention strategy should include, inter alia, early warning, preventive diplomacy, mediation, preventive deployment, peacekeeping, practical disarmament and other measures to contribute to combating the proliferation and illicit trade of arms, accountability measures, as well as inclusive post-conflict peacebuilding, and recognizing that these components are interdependent, complementary and non-sequential,
“Emphasizing the critical role of peacebuilding and the Peacebuilding Commission in support of countries emerging from conflict, in particular through the mobilization of sustained international support to critical national capacity needs,
“Stressing the essential role of the Secretary-General in the prevention of armed conflict, including through early warning,
“Stressing also the importance of the Secretary-General’s efforts to enhance his role, in accordance with Article 99 of the Charter of the United Nations,
“Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on “Preventive Diplomacy: Delivering Results” (S/2011/552) and the recommendations contained therein on steps to maximize the prospects of success in United Nations preventive diplomacy efforts,
“Noting also that terrorism is an important element in an increasing number of conflict situations and that countering incitement to terrorism, motivated by extremism and intolerance, and addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, can complement conflict prevention efforts,
“Stressing the importance of accountability in preventing future conflicts, avoiding the recurrence of serious violations of international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law, and enabling sustainable peace, justice, truth and reconciliation, and emphasizing in this context the responsibility of States to comply with their relevant obligations to end impunity and, to that end, to thoroughly investigate and prosecute persons responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, or other serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law,
“Stressing that the fight against impunity and to ensure accountability for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes has been strengthened through the work on and prosecution of these crimes in the international criminal justice system, ad hoc and mixed tribunals, as well as specialized chambers in national tribunals; and recognising in this regard the contribution of the International Criminal Court, in accordance with the principle of complementarity to national criminal jurisdictions as set out in the Rome Statute, towards holding accountable those responsible for such crimes; and reiterating its call on the importance of State cooperation with these courts and tribunals in accordance with the States’ respective obligations,
“Reaffirming the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peacebuilding, and reiterating its call to increase the equal, full and meaningful, participation, representation and involvement of women in conflict prevention and mediation efforts in a mutually reinforcing manner in line with resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013) and 2122 (2013),
“1. Expresses its determination to pursue the objective of prevention of armed conflict as an integral part of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security;
“2. Calls upon all States to intensify efforts to secure a world free of the scourge of war and conflict;
“3. Stresses that the prevention of conflicts remains a primary responsibility of States and actions undertaken within the framework of conflict prevention by the United Nations should support and complement, as appropriate, the conflict prevention roles of national Governments;
“4. Reaffirms the duty of all States to settle their international disputes by peaceful means, inter alia through negotiation, enquiry, good offices, mediation, conciliation, arbitration and judicial settlement, or other peaceful means of their own choice;
“5. Recalls Chapter VI, in particular Articles 33 and 34 of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirms its commitment to the settlement of disputes by peaceful means and the promotion of necessary preventive action in response to disputes or situations, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security;
“6. Recognizes that some of the tools in Chapter VI of the Charter of the United Nations, which can be used for conflict prevention, have not been fully utilized, including negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement and resort to regional and subregional organizations and arrangements, as well as the good offices of the Secretary-General, and stresses its determination to make and call for the greater and more effective use of such tools;
“7. Acknowledges the important role the following can play in contributing to the prevention of the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict;
– United Nations regional offices;
– Special Political Missions;
– peacekeeping operations;
– the Peacebuilding Commission
“as well as regional and subregional organizations and arrangements;
“8. Acknowledges also that sanctions imposed under relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations are an important tool in the maintenance and restoration of international peace and security and can contribute to create conditions conducive to the peaceful resolution of situations that threaten or breach international peace and security, and support conflict prevention;
“9. Encourages the Secretary-General to continue enhancing the use of his good offices, dispatching Representatives, Special Envoys and mediators, to help to facilitate durable, inclusive and comprehensive settlements and further encourages the Secretary-General to continue his early engagement in the prevention of potential conflicts;
“10. Encourages field-based Special Political Missions and Peacekeeping Operations to enhance their assessment and analysis capabilities to prevent relapse into conflict within their existing mandates;
“11. Recognizes that mediation is an important means for the pacific settlement of disputes, including wherever possible preventively and before disputes evolve into violence and appreciates the efforts of the Secretary-General to continue to strengthen United Nations mediation support capacities, including the Mediation Support Unit as a provider of mediation support to the United Nations system, in accordance with agreed mandates;
“12. Expresses its willingness to give prompt consideration to early warning cases brought to its attention by the Secretary-General, including to the dispatch, in appropriate circumstances, of preventive political missions and encourages the Secretary-General to bring to its attention any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security, in accordance with Article 99 of the Charter of the United Nations;
“13. Acknowledges that serious abuses and violations of international human rights or humanitarian law, including sexual and gender-based violence, can be an early indication of a descent into conflict or escalation of conflict, as well as a consequence thereof; and calls on States which have not already done so to consider ratifying the instruments of international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, and to take appropriate steps to implement these instruments domestically, which could contribute to timely prevention of conflicts;
“14. Encourages the Secretary-General to continue to refer to the Council information and analyses which he believes could contribute to the prevention of armed conflict, including on cases of serious violations of international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law, and on potential conflict situations arising, inter alia, from ethnic, religious and territorial disputes, poverty and lack of development;
“15. Expresses its commitment to take early and effective action to prevent armed conflict and to that end to employ all appropriate means at its disposal, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations;
“16. Recalls the important role of the Secretary-General’s Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect, whose functions include acting as an early warning mechanism to prevent potential situations that could result in genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing, as well as the important role the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict and the Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict can play in contributing to conflict prevention; calls upon States to recommit to prevent and fight against genocide, and other serious crimes under international law, and reaffirms paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit outcome document (A/60/L.1) on the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity;
“17. Recognizes the important role the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide can play in conflict prevention, and also recognizes the role their briefings on human rights violations and hate speech play in contributing to early awareness of potential conflict;
“18. Emphasizes the important role that women and civil society, including women’s organizations and formal and informal community leaders, can play in exerting influence over parties to armed conflict; reiterates the continuing need to increase success in preventing conflict by increasing the participation of women at all stages of mediation and post-conflict resolution and by increasing the consideration of gender-related issues in all discussions pertinent to conflict prevention;
“19. Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General and his Special Envoys and Special Representatives to United Nations missions, as part of their regular briefings, to update the Council on progress in inviting women to participate, including through consultations with civil society, including women’s organizations, in discussions pertinent to the prevention and resolution of conflict, the maintenance of peace and security and post-conflict peacebuilding;
“20. Expresses its commitment to consider and use the tools of the United Nations system to ensure that early warning of potential conflicts translates into early, concrete preventive action, including towards the goal of protecting civilians, by or in coordination with the most appropriate United Nations or regional actor; in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;
“21. Encourages the peaceful settlement of local disputes through regional arrangements in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter, acknowledges the efforts undertaken to strengthen operational and institutional cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations aimed at conflict prevention, and in this regard, reiterates the need to continue strengthening strategic dialogue, partnerships, and more regular exchanges of views and information at the working level, with the aim of building national and regional capacities in relation to preventive diplomacy;
“22. Calls for enhanced cooperation and capacity building with regional and subregional organizations and arrangements to help to prevent armed conflicts, their spread and impact, including through cooperation in early warning mechanisms, as well as to help facilitate preventive action; consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations;
“23. Reiterates its support for the work of the Peacebuilding Commission and expresses its continued willingness to make use of the advisory, advocacy and resource mobilization roles of the Peacebuilding Commission in peacebuilding activities;
“24. Reaffirms its willingness to strengthen its relationship with civil society, including, as appropriate, through, inter alia, meetings in an informal and flexible manner with civil society, to exchange analyses and perspectives on the issue of the prevention of armed conflict;
“25. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Council on actions taken by him to promote and strengthen conflict prevention tools within the United Nations system, including through co-operation with regional and subregional organizations, by 31 August 2015;
“26. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
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