Diplomacy and national leadership crucial in preventing war, Security Council hears


The UN’s top political affairs official on Wednesday stressed the urgent need for better prevention measures to save lives and boost development, amid a surge in armed conflicts worldwide and the unprecedented humanitarian crises they bring.

Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs told ambassadors at the Security Council that conflict prevention is a cornerstone of the UN’s mission.

“Prevention saves lives and safeguards development gains. It is cost effective,” she said.

Recalling the Secretary-General’s policy brief on A New Agenda for Peace, Ms. DiCarlo said prevention needed to be prioritized at the international, regional, and national levels.

Tweet URL

Collective action

Internationally, she underscored the significance of collective action. Invoking the UN Charter, which mandates effective measures to prevent and remove threats to peace, Ms. DiCarlo said, “ultimately … prevention is about the use of diplomacy for peace.”

“All sides must prioritize diplomacy – especially countries that disagree – to bridge the growing divides in the world and to ensure that unmitigated competition does not trample humanity,” she added.

In the regions

Ms. DiCarlo also highlighted the crucial role of regional partnerships in conflict prevention.

Noting increasing regionalization of conflicts, she pointed to successful endeavors such as the Helsinki Process in Europe and integration efforts in Africa as models for effective regional cooperation.

“UN Regional Offices in Central Africa, West Africa and the Sahel, and Secretary-General’s Special Envoys for the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes all work closely with their regional counterparts, helping to resolve issues that transcend borders, such as farmer-herder disputes,” she said.

National level

On the national front, Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo emphasized the responsibility of individual countries to build mechanisms for peaceful dispute resolution and address underlying drivers of conflict.  

“Every single country, whether rich or poor, has an obligation to address the drivers of conflict in its own society, and to make the necessary political and financial investments to that end,” she said.

She cited examples of countries investing in national peace initiatives, underscoring the universal nature of prevention as a collective goal.

Women peacebuilders

Ms. DiCarlo also noted the New Agenda for Peace focus on women’s full, meaningful and effective participation in preventing conflict and building sustainable peace.

“Simply put, without half the population participating and deciding, there cannot be sustainable peace,” she said, urging greater action to realize the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo briefing the Security Council.

Our common goal

Also speaking, Sérgio França Danese, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, highlighted that conflict prevention is a part of the comprehensive approach to sustaining peace, one which requires close cooperation between the Commission and the Security Council.

“We should never lose sight of the fact that prevention is part of the effort to maintain international peace and security and to pursue our common goal of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” said Mr. Danese, who is also the Brazilian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN.

“As our shared reflection on the importance of prevention has evolved, we came to recognize the centrality of a comprehensive approach to sustaining peace,” he added.

He also highlighted the importance of addressing the root causes of conflict, promoting sustained and sustainable economic growth, poverty eradication and building accountable institutions.

“The Commission recognizes that conflict prevention as part of sustaining peace requires a cross-pillar approach and reaffirms that development, peace and security, and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing,” he said.

Peacebuilding Commission

The Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) is an intergovernmental advisory body supporting peace efforts in conflict-affected countries and is a key addition to the capacity of the International Community in the broad peace agenda.

It is composed of 31 Member States, elected from the General Assembly, the Security Council, and the Economic and Social Council.

Share this post

About The Author

Related Posts

Post Comment

Comment List

Latest News

Follow us