Wars can be prevented or mitigated by early, clear and well-designed political and diplomatic engagement. Yet policymakers are increasingly stretched by a myriad of global crises. Refocusing on knowledge, relationships, frameworks, strategic communication and pathways to peace is crucial to limiting and resolving the world’s current upsurge in deadly conflict.
The Islamic State, al-Qaeda-linked groups, Boko Haram and other extremist movements are protagonists in today’s deadliest crises, complicating efforts to end them. They have exploited wars, state collapse and geopolitical upheaval in the Middle East, gained new footholds in Africa and pose an evolving threat elsewhere. Reversing their gains requires avoiding the mistakes that enabled their rise.
The us-and-them mentality [of the new UN counter-terrorism proposal means] the U.N. has been positioned even more forcefully on the government's side when it [is sometimes] already perceived as too close to the government.
If we see deepening European crisis, one of the world’s major balancing voices will be lost.
Crisis Group’s first update to our Watch List 2017 includes entries on counter-terrorism, Afghanistan, Egypt, Somalia and the Western Balkans. These early-warning publications identify conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace.
For the first time in three decades, four countries, driven by war, verge on famine. Over coming weeks, Crisis Group will publish special briefings on Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria. Each conflict requires tailored response; all need increased aid and efforts to end the violence.
With the proliferation of conflicts, weakening international institutions, and rising nationalism, the world faces daunting times ahead. A new coalition of states must come together to promote our collective interest in peace and security.
Originally published in Journal of International Affairs
The appointment of former Crisis Group President & CEO Louise Arbour as the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration is welcome news, especially as strengthened conflict prevention efforts are essential to addressing the global refugee crisis.
Crisis Group’s Watch List 2017 includes the Lake Chad basin, Libya, Myanmar, Nagorno-Karabakh, Sahel, Somalia, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela and Yemen. This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace.