As conflicts become more complex, UN chief urges ‘diplomacy for peace’

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

In his address to the Security Council's debate on Mediation and the Peaceful Resolution of Conflicts, 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.

"Conflicts around the world drag on for years and decades, holding back development and stunting opportunities. Comprehensive peace agreements are becoming more elusive and short-lived. Political will wanes; international attention drifts," he said.

"As bad as the situation is in many parts of the world, I am convinced that it is within our power to tackle and reverse these trends," the UN chief said, stressing that for this reason, he has made diplomacy for peace one of his key priorities, with a focus on prevention and investment in mediation, peacebuilding and sustainable development.

"The United Nations has a number of mediation resources that we deploy in various ways. My special envoys and representatives pursue consultations, good offices, and formal talks, often alongside envoys and mediators from regional organizations or member states," Guterres said.

"They may lead a political process, as in Libya or Yemen. They may head a complex peacekeeping operation, as in Mali. Or they may focus on prevention from a regional office, as in West Africa," he stated, pointing out that collaboration with other mediation actors is key.

Speaking alongside the UN chief were 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.

Source: International Islamic News Agency