Rediscovering Preventive Diplomacy for Peace in the World’s Hotspots: A View from the United Nations
The world is experiencing a time of growing strain on United Nations peacekeeping operations and international fatigue associated with the costs of armed conflict and violence around the world. In response, the UN has increasingly shifted to use of preventive diplomacy and mediation as cost-effective options for responding to crises and escalating armed conflicts. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reinvigorated the UN’s work in this area, making it a cornerstone of his efforts to retool the UN and establish a more peaceful world.
On July 26, the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement and the Managing Global Insecurity Project at Brookings hosted a discussion of the ongoing shift within the United Nations to bolster its diplomatic efforts. The event featured a keynote address by UN Under-Secretary-General Lynn Pascoe. Following his remarks, Paul B. Stares of the Council on Foreign Relations and David R. Smock of the United States Institute of Peace joined the discussion. Fellow Andrew Solomon, deputy director of the Brookings-Bern Project, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
After the program, panelists took audience questions
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Biden’s overarching message [in an address to the U.N. General Assembly] . . . was that strategic competition with China will not in any way diminish America’s commitment to working with other nations to tackle shared existential threats like climate change and pandemics. [The challenge for the U.S. president is to find a way of tackling shared threats in an era of great power rivalry and nationalism...] He will try to work with China but he also needs a back-up plan if that fails to materialise. Today’s speech was a first step in that direction.