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On Conflict Prevention


The United Nations headquarters building in Vienna.

“The United Nations . . . remains the focal point for the maintenance of international peace and security. Yet, we look out at a world mired in crisis and conflict.”

“The United Nations was established in the wake of two devastating World Wars, with the intent to save future generations from the scourge of such conflict,” Political Minister Counselor of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Christopher Klein, said recently at a UN Security Council Open Debate on Conflict Prevention in New York City.

“The United Nations . . . remains the focal point for the maintenance of international peace and security. Yet, we look out at a world mired in crisis and conflict.”

Today’s complex conflicts increasingly involve heavily armed non-state actors, some infused with extremist ideologies. These actors push clashes across borders, traffic in illicit goods, undermine governments, and destabilize entire regions.

“The international community did not fully imagine such conflicts at the United Nations’ inception,” Mr. Klein said. “The UN system has nonetheless developed ever more nimble and well-suited tools to respond to early warning signs of conflict and instability.”

The United States commends efforts by the UN Department of Political Affairs to monitor and analyze political developments around the world and to alert the UN Security Council to brewing crises.

The United States welcomes the creation of the Standby Team of Mediation Experts, as they have played a critical role in peaceful dispute resolution in several areas.

At the same time, dozens of UN Special Envoys, political missions, mediators, and good offices of the UN Secretary-General work tirelessly to bridge political differences.

“There is a common thread for successful missions: they need sound and credible leadership, strong mandates, and monitoring and reporting capacity on potential drivers and flashpoints of conflict,” he said. “Serious human rights abuses, including sexual violence, can be an early indication of imminent conflict, as well as a consequence of it.”

The United States supports the UN Security Council’s resolution on conflict prevention.

“We share a common responsibility to do everything in our power to pursue sustainable solutions to disputes and to prevent violence and bloodshed,” Mr. Klein said in conclusion. “It is indeed the reason this Council was created.”

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