Preventing conflicts and sustaining peace by using diplomacy, good offices and mediation is first priority area and the forefront of UN agenda and the highest priority of the United Nations Secretary General.
The UN Department of Political Affairs plays a central role in preventing conflicts and bringing sustainable peace worldwide. With its Headquarter in New York and regional offices across the world, the DPA monitor and assess the situation in order to identify the potential crisis before they erupt by providing early responses. To than tend, the DPA works closely with UN Resident Coordinators (RCs) and UN Country Teams (UNCT), national governments, regional organisations, UN agencies and other relevant stakeholders. UN regional offices and special envoys observe the situation in countries where there is a risk of political tension. Actions aimed at preventing violence extremism, electoral violence and conflict-related sexual violence are undertaken in close collaboration with the UN Secretary General, UN Security Council, regional organisations and UN Member States. Preventive diplomacy plays a crucial role in conflict prevention and it may take the form of mediation, conciliation or negotiations. The UN Department of Political Affairs coordination actions in the HQs and regional offices and provides technical support.
Regional and liaison offices are platforms for early warning and preventive diplomacy. They engage in many countries in political dialogue in order to reduce socio-political polarization or prevent further escalation into violence. The main activities cover support to electoral process, good governance and restitution of border disputes. Thanks to regional and liaison offices, the situation is closely monitored, analysed and evaluated. UN collects the data to assess risks, identify measures to prevent or mitigate violence and improve the overall UN coherence. The Crisis Response System designed by the DPA aims to provide urgent support and analysis to countries, regions where first symptoms of crisis occurs. The system consist of four main components:
- Standby team of senior Mediation Advisors, a team of mediation specialist ready to be deployed within 72 hours to provide expertise on security arrangements, ceasefires and reconciliation. They are intended to provide a short mediation support in the most urgent situation to mitigate conflicts.
- Mediation Roster – a list of 240 mediators who can deployed for long mediation support for sophisticated matters
- Rapid Response Window – rapid support to envoys, international organisations in situation of protracted conflict or political instability.
- Political advice and surge support directly provided by DPA.