The annual United Nations General Assembly high-level session in the last week of September offered leaders and diplomats the chance to address today’s gravest crises. UN Director Richard Gowan and Senior Analyst Ashish Pradhan reflect on what happened and its potential impact on crisis diplomacy.
The UN General Assembly kicks off on 17 September amid general scepticism about the world body’s effectiveness in an era of rising great-power competition. But the UN is far from paralysed. Here are seven crisis spots where it can make a positive difference for peace.
Wracked by divisions and political infighting, the UN Security Council is failing to respond to some of the world’s most pressing crises. To overcome dysfunction and retain credibility, the council’s members should prioritise the few cases where international cooperation is still possible.
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.
A corto plazo, [la retirada del INF] apenas ofrece a Washington nuevas posibilidades en el plano militar.
While Russia is very keen for the Europeans to start funding Syrian reconstruction, most big EU donors want to set very strict conditions for doing so while Assad is in power.
On the whole UK diplomacy at the UN has been quite good on a number of issues. But the colonial legacy resonates so deeply at the general assembly.
While China is increasingly active across the UN, other states are suspicious of its stances on human rights and development. But it is the indispensable power in climate talks now.
This is definitely a moment where Germany and its EU allies are stepping up to show they stand beside multilateral values and principles even if the U.S. is walking away.
The U.S. has a long history of seeking regime change and a much shorter list of successful endeavors.
China and the West are increasingly at loggerheads in Turtle Bay. So are European capitals and Washington. The handling of African crises is contentious as well. Amid these frictions, it is the job of UN diplomats to keep channels for quiet communication up and running.
Watch List Updates complement International Crisis Group’s annual Watch List, most recently published in January 2019. These early-warning publications identify major conflict situations in which prompt action, driven or supported by the European Union and its member states, would generate stronger prospects for peace. The third update to the Watch List 2019 includes entries on Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Sudan and Yemen.
The latest edition of Crisis Group's monthly conflict tracker highlights dangers of escalating conflict in Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Tunisia. But there are resolution opportunities in Sudan.
The latest edition of Crisis Group's monthly conflict tracker highlights dangers of escalating conflict in Cameroon, Kashmir, Lebanon, and Yemen. But there are also resolution opportunities in Afghanistan.
Originally published in The Brussels Binder