By J Nastranis
UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – As conflicts escalate in different geographic areas all over the globe, the 15-nation Security Council has underlined an urgent need for redoubled efforts for their prevention and resolution, addressing where appropriate the regional dimensions of conflicts with specific emphasis on regional diplomacy and arrangements. The Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security
In presidential statement (S/PRST/2018/1), presented by Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and Security Council President for January, veto-wielding five permanent members and ten non-permanent members underline the need for continuing to strive towards sustainable peace and achieving a world free of violent conflicts by 2045, the year of the UN’s Centenary.
In the statement of January 18, the Council underscores the importance of peacebuilding and emphasizes the need for engaging and collaborating with regional actors in policy related and country-specific issues in the advice made by the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC). It also acknowledges the Commision’s significant role and the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Offices.
The Council reiterates that UN cooperation with regional and subregional organizations is critical to contributing to the prevention of the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict, and emphasizes the importance of creating potential for scrutinizing closely complex, multifaceted and case-specific relationships of security and development.
The presidential statement also emphasizes the importance of promoting the UN’s ability to deliver on its founding determination to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.
It places 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.
The causes include 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 underlines that addressing conflicts could include measures to rebuild trust by bringing together Member States around common goals. It stresses the necessity of addressing the root causes of conflicts and recalls that the prevention of conflict remains a primary responsibility of States.
The 15-member organ further recalls the primary responsibility of Member 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 reaffirms the responsibility of each individual State to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
In the presidential statement, the Security Council recalls that a comprehensive conflict-prevention strategy should include, among others, early warning, preventive deployment, mediation, peacekeeping, non-proliferation, accountability measures, as well as post-conflict peacebuilding.
It points out that those components were interdependent, complementary and non-sequential. It also reaffirms the vital role of women in peacebuilding and recognizes the important and positive contribution of youth in efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.
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 sub-regional 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 sub-regional 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; and
– 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. [IDN-InDepthNews – 28 January 2018]
Photo: Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and President of the Security Council for the month of January 2018, addresses the Security Council meeting on Maintenance of International Peace and Security. 18 January 2018. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.
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