Amid Rising Number of Conflicts Worldwide, Security Council Presidential Statement Underlines Urgent Need for Advancing Preventive Diplomacy Tools, Practices

SC/13168
18 January 2018
8161st Meeting (PM)

Amid Rising Number of Conflicts Worldwide, Security Council Presidential Statement Underlines Urgent Need for Advancing Preventive Diplomacy Tools, Practices

Expressing concern over the growing number of conflicts worldwide, the Security Council today underlined an urgent need for redoubled efforts for prevention and resolution.

In presidential statement S/PRST/2018/1, presented by Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and Security Council President for January, members underlined a profound need to focus on, among other things, advancing further conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy tools, practices and efforts, and ensure their most effective use.

The Council underscored the importance of peacebuilding and emphasized the need for engaging and collaborating with regional actors in policy related and country-specific issues in the advice made by the Peacebuilding Commission.  It also acknowledged the significant role of the Commission and United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Offices.

Reiterating that United Nations cooperation with regional and subregional organizations was critical to contributing to the prevention of the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict, the Council emphasized the importance of creating potential for scrutinizing closely complex, multifaceted and case-specific relationships of security and development.

It also underlined the importance of promoting the ability of the United Nations to deliver on its founding determination to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.  It placed an emphasis on conflict prevention, preventive diplomacy, peacebuilding and sustaining peace, sharing best practices and formulating forward-looking recommendations and strategies on them in light of the increasingly transnational nature of the causes, consequences and contributing factors of conflict.  Causes included terrorism, armed group activities, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and organized crime and trafficking of conventional weapons, in particular small arms and light weapons.

In addition, the Council underlined that addressing conflicts could include measures to rebuild trust by bringing together Member States around common goals.  It stressed the necessity of addressing the root causes of conflicts and recalled that the prevention of conflict remained a primary responsibility of States.

The 15-member organ further recalled the primary responsibility of States 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.  It further reaffirmed the responsibility of each individual State to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

The Security Council recalled that a comprehensive conflict-prevention strategy should include, inter alia, early warning, preventive deployment, mediation, peacekeeping, non-proliferation, accountability measures, as well as post-conflict peacebuilding, and recognized that those components were interdependent, complementary and non-sequential.  It also reaffirmed the vital role of women in peacebuilding and recognized the important and positive contribution of youth in efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.

The meeting began at 12:59 p.m. and ended at 1:02 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2018/1 reads as follows:

“The Security Council reaffirms its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as its commitment to uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter, including its commitment to and respect for the political independence, sovereign equality and territorial integrity of all States and the need for States to comply with their obligations under international law.

“The Security Council, within its mandate to maintain international peace and security, notes the importance of continuing to strive towards sustainable peace and achieving a world free of violent conflicts by the United Nations Centenary, as well as managing shared challenges and opportunities along the way.

“The Security Council expresses concern over the growing number of conflicts in different geographic areas all over the globe, and underlines urgent need for redoubled efforts for their prevention and resolution, addressing where pertinent the regional dimensions of conflicts with specific emphasis on regional diplomacy and arrangements.

“The Security Council recalls that the parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice, and urges such parties to settle their disputes by such means.

“The Security Council recalls its previous relevant resolutions and presidential statements addressing issues of preventive diplomacy, prevention of armed conflict, peacebuilding and sustaining peace, as well as mediation and the peaceful settlement of disputes.

“The Security Council recognizes that development, peace and security, and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.

“The Security Council underlines the importance of promoting the United Nation’s ability to deliver on its founding determination to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and putting emphasis on conflict prevention, preventive diplomacy, peacebuilding and sustaining peace, sharing best practices, as well as formulating forward-looking recommendations and strategies on them in light of the increasingly transnational nature of the causes, consequences and contributing factors of conflict, including terrorism, armed group activities, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, organized crime, illicit trafficking of conventional weapons, in particular small arms and light weapons.

“The Security Council underlines also that addressing conflicts may include, where and as appropriate, measures to rebuild trust by bringing together Member States around common goals to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.

“The Security Council stresses the necessity of addressing the root causes of conflicts and takes note of the proposals to research their implications to international peace and security in regional perspective, where appropriate.

“The Security Council recalls 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, further reaffirms the responsibility of each individual State to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

“The Security Council further recalls that a comprehensive conflict prevention strategy should include, inter alia, early warning, preventive deployment, mediation, peacekeeping, non-proliferation, accountability measures, as well as post-conflict peacebuilding, and recognizes that these components are interdependent, complementary and non-sequential.

“The Security Council reaffirms the primary responsibility of national Governments and authorities in identifying, driving and directing priorities, strategies and activities for peacebuilding and sustaining peace, emphasizes that sustaining peace is a shared task and responsibility that needs to be fulfilled by the Government and all other national stakeholders, and in this regard, emphasizes that inclusivity is key to advancing national peacebuilding processes and objectives in order to ensure that the needs of all segments of society are taken into account, and stresses that civil society can play an important role in advancing efforts to sustain peace.

“The Security Council takes note of the reports of the Secretary-General on conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy and looks forward to the report of the Secretary-General on implementation of its resolution S/RES/2282.

“The Security Council 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.

“The Security Council commends the Secretary-General for his efforts to enhance the performance of the Secretariat’s peace and security pillar, takes note of the ongoing reform efforts within three areas (peace and security, development, and management) and looks forward to the results of the ongoing reviews.

“The Security Council encourages the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to:

  • make the United Nations more coherent and integrated, effective and efficient;
  • enhance the Organization’s ability to coherently support Member States’ pacific settlements of disputes and their responses to the complex challenges faced by the contemporary world;
  • ensure better use of conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy tools, where relevant, in cooperation with regional and subregional organizations and other relevant actors, as mandated.

“The Security Council acknowledges the determined work to strengthen strategic cooperation and coordination among the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations that can play an important role in conflict prevention, and in this regard, encourages consideration of the need to:

  • continuously support national Governments, and where mandated, other relevant stakeholders;
  • support the pacific settlement of local disputes through regional arrangements or by regional agencies in accordance with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter;
  • continue strengthening strategic dialogue, partnerships, more regular exchange of views, analyses and information at the working level to build national and regional capacities in relation to the preventive diplomacy tools;
  • invigorate and engage potential and existing capacities and capabilities, particularly through United Nations regional political offices;
  • contribute to the coherence and integration of their early warning, conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy efforts, inter alia, through mediation and the Secretary-General’s Good Offices, as appropriate;

“The Security Council underscores the importance of peacebuilding, emphasizes the need for engaging and collaborating with regional actors in policy related and country-specific issues in the advice made by the Peacebuilding Commission and acknowledges the significant role of the Peacebuilding Commission and United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Offices, inter alia, in supporting national efforts to build and sustain peace, as well as addressing cross-border threats in accordance with existing mandates.

“The Security Council reaffirms the important role of women in peacebuilding, notes the substantial link between women’s full and meaningful involvement in efforts to prevent, resolve and rebuild from conflict and those efforts’ effectiveness and long-term sustainability, and stressing, in this regard, the importance of women’s empowerment and equal participation in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security and the need to increase women’s role and leadership in decision-making and with regard to conflict prevention and resolution and peacebuilding, including in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflict, the consideration of gender-related issues in all discussions pertinent to sustaining peace.

“The Security Council recognizes the important and positive contribution of youth in efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and further affirms the important role youth can play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and as a key aspect of the sustainability, inclusiveness and success of peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts.

“The Security Council remains convinced that the protection of children should be an important aspect of any comprehensive strategy to prevent and resolve conflict as well as to build and sustain peace and stresses also the importance of adopting a broad strategy of conflict prevention, which addresses the root causes of armed conflict in a comprehensive manner in order to enhance the protection of children on a long-term basis.

“The Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security underlines a profound need to focus on, inter alia:

  • advancing further conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy tools, practices and efforts and ensure their most effective use;
  • facilitating the Council’s consideration of prevention issues;
  • streamlining the activities, enhancing and strengthening the role of its Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa.

“The Security Council reiterates that United Nations’ cooperation with regional and subregional organizations is critical to contributing to the prevention of the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict, in line with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter.

“The Security Council, for attaining sustainable peace, including through engagement on conflict prevention and peacebuilding, emphasizes the importance of, inter alia:

  • creating potential for scrutinising closely complex, multifaceted and case-specific relationship of security and development, where appropriate;
  • utilizing revamped regional approach, where relevant;
  • strengthening coordination within the UN to increase the effectiveness of assistance provided on the ground and ensure greater transparency.

“The Security Council encourages periodic update by the Secretary-General to the Council on the status of conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy efforts."

For information media. Not an official record.