DPA newsletter surveys political challenges and achievements amid continuing turbulence
In the new issue of its bi-annual bulletin Politically Speaking, the Department of Political Affairs illustrates how United Nations mediators and political and peacebuilding missions are working in complex environments in areas of tension around the world to prevent conflict and bolster peace.
Most conflicts are political in nature and require political solutions, underlines Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman in an overview article on UN diplomacy in today’s crises. Yes, the United Nations can and often must use troops to bring security and stability. And yes, humanitarian actors help to diminish the suffering. But lasting solutions to conflicts require working the “politics in tough places”, he says.
The challenge is tragically illustrated by the conflict in Syria, where fighting continues to rage despite ongoing efforts to bring about peace negotiations. The central difficulty is getting all parties to understand that the solution can only be political, argues Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in an interview in this edition of Politically Speaking.
Political efforts are also central to a new UN-backed push to bring peace and security to the Great Lakes
region of Africa. The cover story looks at both the promise and challenges ahead in implementing the so-called “Framework of Hope” for the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region.
The new issue of Politically Speaking also retraces the establishment of the UN’s new political mission in Somalia, where encouraging progress is underway after decades of anarchy, famine and political wrangling. Change is also noticeable in the improving relationship between Iraq and Kuwait, the newsletter notes, and in Yemen — the Middle East’s only negotiated transition — where the UN is supporting an historic national dialogue, and where women and youth are participating in the political process like never before.
Yet these achievements are fragile. The newsletter shows why the coming months and years will be decisive for these countries and others alike — including Burundi and Guinea-Bissau, which are aiming for landmark elections.
Other articles outline how the UN is supporting a long-term vision for the Sahel
, assisting the Central African Republic
as it struggles to emerge from another crisis, and i
ntroducing a greater focus on gender
in conflict prevention and resolution.