UN Security Council Meeting on Maintaining International Peace and Security
Maintaining International Peace and Security
By: Laura Agosto
On August 29th, the UNSC received briefings from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and Peace Activist Mossarat Qadeem. After receiving briefings on pressing issues regarding maintaining international peace and security, Member states discussed methods to involve women and youth in peace operations.
- Opening Statements
- Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations noted that as wars become more complex, mediation techniques must also improve. He noted how creativity and cooperation are essential characteristics for successful mediation, noting the success of mediation when UN Special Envoys engaged with local civil society groups. The Secretary-General observed important developments in the growing roles women and youth are playing in mediating otherwise impossible conflicts. Secretary-General Guterres called upon the UNSC to show a united front, as to signal to warring parties that they must settled their disputes peacefully.
- Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and Member of High Level Advisory Board on Mediation emphasized the importance of reconciliation networks as a means to creating long-lasting peace. He emphasized the importance of grassroots organizations in partaking in peace negotiations, because they play the most consequential role in maintaining peace.
- Mossarat Qadeem, Peace Activist and Co-Founder of PAIMAN Alumni Trust highlighted women’s effective use of soft power and how women can use their personal connections to their households and communities to successfully mediate conflicts.
- Statements from Permanent UNSC Members
- United States
The United States recognized the effectiveness of mediation, but noted that even the most skilled mediators cannot compel actors to reach peaceful solutions. The United States called on Member States to be willing to use strong tools to push warring parties to the negotiating table.
- United Kingdom
The United Kingdom noted the progress the United Nations has made in professionalizing mediation. More broadly, the United Kingdom stated that mediation must be properly resourced, and that women should and must have an equal role as local and national leaders and decision-makers.
France emphasized mediation as an essential tool of conflict resolution as provided by Chapter 6 of the UN Charter. France noted the recent success of mediation in states like Gambia, implying this success can be reproduced in other conflict-ridden states.
- Russian Federation
Taking an economics viewpoint, the Russian Federation cites benefits mediation has over peacekeeping or sanctions that hinder development. The Russian Federation urges the UN to divide mediation tasks evenly, cautioning against monopolizing mediation efforts to achieve political goals.
China cites the UN Charter as a framework to engage in peaceful dispute settlement through political and diplomatic means.
- Statements from Other UNSC Members
Poland called for enhanced mediation capacity of the UN, and noted the crucial involvement of civil society to design, implement, and monitor peace solutions.
The Netherlands described prevention as the core of United Nations work. Because of complex conflicts facing the international community, the Netherlands stated the UN is uniquely placed to provide coordination among multiple peace actors to reach peaceful settlements.
Sweden cited women’s participation in mediation as not a women’s issue, but an issue of peace and security. Sweden urged the Council to stand united in support UN mediation efforts and to involve women, religious, and youth groups in these processes.
- Latin American and Caribbean Group
Bolivia has always and will continue to support the use of peaceful dispute settlement. Bolivia praised the work of the High Level Advisory Board on Mediation organized by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Peru welcomed the creation of the High Level Advisory Board, but stressed that the international community must actively support the development and strengthening of mediation capacities.
- Central Asian Group
Recalling ts inclusion of women, religious, and youth groups in brokering Syria peace talks and the Iran nuclear, Kazakhstan called for an inclusion approach to mediation from all UNSC Member States.
- Middle East
Kuwait expressed dissatisfaction with high UNSC spending on peacekeeping operations, arguing that those resources should be redirected to mediation efforts instead.
- African States
Equatorial Guinea spoke on behalf of itself, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ethiopia, and called for UNSC member-states to act more proactively to fund mediation appropriately. Citing complex challenges to international security, Equatorial Guinea noted the scope of mediation is too large for the UN to tackle on its own. Equatorial Guinea called for additional support to local mediation partners to assure successful, long-term peaceful solutions.