As conflicts become more complex, ‘mediation is no longer an option; it is a necessity’, UN chief tells Security Council

UN Photo/Evan Schneider Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the Security Council meeting on the maintenance of international peace and security, with a focus on mediation and settlement of disputes.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

As war and the mediation of peace have become increasingly complex, innovative thinking is needed to save and improve the lives of millions, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council on Wednesday.

Speaking alongside the UN chief were the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, a member of his High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, and Mossarat Qadeem, the co-founder of PAIMAN Alumni Trust, a civil society group working to prevent violent extremism in Pakistan.

As speakers at the day-long debate warned that the maintenance of international peace and security faces multiple challenges, Mr. Guterres noted that many internal conflicts feature a deadly mix of fragmented armed groups and political interests, funded by criminal activities, and that peace agreements are becoming more elusive and short-lived.

Archbishop Justin expressed concern that the international rules-based order is struggling, with national interests too often allowed, “even in this chamber”, to overcome the wisdom of those who have lived through war.

For this reason, the Secretary-General has made diplomacy for peace one of his key priorities, with a focus on prevention and investment in mediation, peacebuilding and sustainable development.

UN Photo/Loey Felipe
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, addresses the Security Council meeting on the maintenance of international peace and security.

As an example of his commitment, he pointed to the creation of the High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation in September 2017, which aims to allow the UN to work more effectively with regional organizations, non-governmental groups and others involved in mediation around the world.

Mr. Guterres pointed to the work of Board member and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo – who travelled to Liberia on behalf of the Secretary-General to support the peaceful transfer of power after the 2017 elections – as an example of how the Board can be deployed in the cause of conflict prevention.

He added that the UN is already has a wide range of mediation resources at its disposal, including special envoys and representatives pursuing consultations, good offices and formal talks.

An example is the UN Standby Team of Senior Mediation Advisers, a group with expertise on a wide range of issues connected to peace negotiations. The group, part of the UN Mediation Unit, is providing crucial advice in areas of conflict, from the Central African Republic to Yemen and South Sudan.

Archbishop Justin described the Unit as a vital component of the UN’s cross-agency and cross-departmental reconciliation strategy, which is helping to build shared understanding between the UN and its partners.

Mr. Guterres told the Council that the UN recognizes the important role played by an “enormous range” of actors, from national bodies to civil society group, women’s organisations, religious leaders and young activists.

In South Sudan, where a peace deal has recently been agreed, the UN envoy there is supporting local efforts to address communal conflicts and, as Archbishop Justin explained, church leaders are playing an increasingly important role in moving the South Sudanese peace process beyond its current roadblocks.

UN Photo/Evan Schneider
Mossarat Qadeem, Co-founder of PAIMAN Alumni Trust, addresses the Security Council meeting on the maintenance of international peace and security.

The Secretary-General and Ms. Qadeem both emphasised the importance of investing in women’s meaningful participation and leadership in peace processes. Mr. Guterres cited the emergence of regional networks of women mediators, such as the Nordic Women’s Mediators’ Network and the African Union’s FemWise group.

Ms. Qadeem highlighted ways in which women have been excluded from mediation, with many sceptical of their ability to talk to violent extremist groups like the Tamil Tigers or the Taliban. In fact, women have played mediation roles in both cases.

For example, several years ago a group of mothers of missing soldiers in Sri Lanka successfully mediated a ceasefire, which was followed by peace talks. And Ms. Qadeem shared her own experience of speaking with the Taliban in Pakistan.

“I found the courage not only to speak with them to release my staff members they had captured, but I took the chance to seek support for the implementation of health and education projects. This is mediation.”

The UN chief told the Council that a changed conflict landscape calls for bold, creative thinking in international mediation: using social media effectively as a tool to bring communities together, speaking with one voice, and supporting the mediation efforts of regional and sub-regional organisations. “Innovative thinking on mediation”, he said, “is no longer an option; it is a necessity.”

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Five cities short-listed to become the European Youth Capital 2017

Dangers of poor quality health care revealed ‘in all countries’: WHO report

Writing a new story in gender inequalities: women gaining space and respect in medicine

Africa cannot afford to lose doctors to COVID-19

UN aid teams scramble to reach ‘most remote places’ cut off by Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique

Climate change hits the poor hardest. Mozambique’s cyclones prove it

World’s first space sustainability rating launched

These are the refugee athletes at the Tokyo Olympics

Italy should boost spending and strengthen cooperation and integration of employment services to help more people into work

How AI can inspire doctors to be more inventive

The US banks drive the developing world to a catastrophe

COVID-19 outbreak: Commission supports repatriation of EU citizens from cruise ship in Japan

Commission welcomes European Parliament adoption of EU4Health programme

WHO and IFMSA as transcendent pillars for world improvement

vSudan: UN chief calls for ‘positive momentum’ as civilian rule talks stall between military and opposition

Nokia wins Commission’s approval for Alcatel-Lucent acquisition: a new way for antitrust cases?

Global health challenges require global medical students

Unlock the value proposition for Connected Insurance

We need to bridge the education gap for refugees, says new UNHCR report 

Greece’s future solely in the hands of Tsipras; he can direct the poor country any way he likes

Brexit: UK business fear of a no-deal scenario preparing for the worst

Further reforms in France can drive growth, improve public finances and boost social cohesion

These are the next big products in consumer technology

How female founders and investors are shaking up venture capital

Top officials say UN will support Bahamas’ rescue, relief efforts as Hurricane Dorian churns in Atlantic

Doctors are humans too: the benefits of embracing your mental status

6 charts that show how Japan’s economy stacks up as it enters a new era

Parliament to allow COVID-19 vaccines to be developed more quickly

What to know about the EU’s facial recognition regulation – and how to comply

Not enough resettlement solutions for refugees worldwide, says UN

3 reasons why AI won’t replace human translators… yet

Here’s how data can help us fix the climate

UN rights expert calls for end to ‘purgatory’ of ‘international inaction’ facing Myanmar’s remaining Rohingya

The European Parliament rewrites the EU budget in a bright day for the Union

Further reforms will move Slovakia toward a more innovative and inclusive society

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

The fires in the Brazilian amazon rainforest may be related to the increase in the number of hospitalizations for respiratory complications in the state of PARÁ

Threatened by rising sea levels, the Maldives is building a floating city

Joint UN-Red Cross appeal to end rising sexual violence as a weapon of war

A few, or rather two, trade and economic alliances may rule our brave new world

This start-up is putting commercial air conditioning on ice to cool global warming

How to future-proof India’s economy

Fighting cybercrime – what happens to the law when the law cannot be enforced?

Here’s how drone delivery will change the face of global logistics

The future of global health is female

Water inequality used to be a developing world problem only. Not any more

Climate experts pledge to scale up high-altitude fight against mountain melt

Six steps that can help us to tackle homelessness

South Korea: A cherished partner for the EU

Future Healthworker’s role in 2030 Agenda

Ahead of State of the Union the European Youth Forum highlights lack of action on youth employment

Hackers can use public USB chargers to steal personal data. Here’s what you need to know about ‘juice jacking’

Somalia: UN congratulates Puntland region’s newly-elected President

The Role of Medical Workers in Fighting Covid-19 in Indonesia             

Digital technology helped create the skills gap. Here’s how it can help close it

What happens after you recover from coronavirus? 5 questions answered

Chart of the day: When do young Europeans leave home?

Refund for cancelled travel during the pandemic: Commission decides to refer SLOVAKIA to the Court of Justice

What slums can teach us about building the cities of the future

DR Congo: Ebola claims over 1,000 lives, Guterres commits ‘whole’ UN system, to help ‘end the outbreak’

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s