Ten years of UN collaboration to prevent violent conflict

During the last ten years, the FBA and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, UNDPA, have worked together to strengthen the UN's capacity to prevent and resolve conflicts. The cooperation was commemorated during a high-level meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, where a discussion was held on todays’ complex conflict patterns and challenges.

– We have together trained over 200 UN staff from across the system in the kinds of skills which are fundamental to the UN’s role as bridge-builder and its efforts in preventive diplomacy and mediation. The course on designing and supporting dialogue and mediation processes has become one of the cornerstones of UNDPA training and remains one of the best courses available to UN staff seeking to hone their skills in mediation and mediation support, said Jeffrey Feltman, UN Under-Secretary-General and Head of the UN Department of Political Affairs, in his opening remarks.

The importance of dialogue and mediation to solve and prevent violent conflicts has, during the past decade, become increasingly recognized. Not least within the UN system, in which a series of reports and resolutions have established that conflict prevention is a key priority for the UN.

Sweden has long and actively supported the UN Department of Political Affairs whose task is to assist the Secretary-General, the special envoys and the UN’s political missions to promote durable solutions to conflicts. In 2006, FBA and UNDPA jointly developed a dialogue and mediation course, which has since become important to increase the UN's mediation capacity and strengthen the organization's ability to identify potential crises before they break out, and to design effective responses.

– A large part of the UN officials involved in conflict prevention has passed our training. The course is very much appreciated and we are proud to provide tailor-made support to people in key positions in the work to resolve complex conflicts of our time, said Sven-Eric Söder, Director-General at the FBA.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs also highlighted that the FBA has provided direct support to UN missions in the field, for example by providing training on conflict analysis and mediation skills, and that Peace and Development Advisors have benefited from FBA support. The Swedish Women Mediation Network, and the support to the Nordic Women Mediation Network, were also pointed out as initiatives that will benefit the UN as it seeks to increase the number of women Special Representatives of the Secretary-General.

– These are just some examples of the valuable partnership between UNDPA and FBA. A partnership that helps us build the capacities and expertise needed for a proactive and effective UN in the fields of conflict prevention and mediation, said Jeffrey Feltman.

During the high-level meeting on December 1, the increased number of non-state armed groups and their implications for conflict prevention was specifically discussed. Jeffrey Feltman and Sven-Eric Söder opened the discussion together with Sweden’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, H.E. Ambassador Per Thöresson.

The panel consisted of Teresa Whitfield, Officer-in-Charge, Policy and Mediation Division, UN Department of Political Affairs, Barney Afako, member of the UN Standby Team of Senior Mediation Advisors and Richard Attwood, Director of Multilateral Affairs and Head of New York Office, International Crisis Group. The panel was moderated by Mr Chris Spies, peacebuilding expert.

Read more about the FBA's work on conflict prevention and conflict resolution here.

Photo: UN Photo/Joao Araujo Pinto

MORE FROM HOME

Counterterrorism key to EU’s work for peace, security and development

On 11 March 2004, in the middle of rush hour, commuter trains explode at three stations in the Spanish capital Madrid. The bombings caused 2,000 wounded and 191 dead in the worst attack that has occurred in Europe in peacetime. The following year the EU adopts a strategy to combat terror.

2020-03-24 08:00

IN THE FIELD

Read our publications

Image description

An Introduction to Human Rights and Security Sector Reform

Successful security sector reform (SSR) must be guided by the understanding of people as rights-holders and the state, including core security actors, as duty-bearers in providing security as a service to the people.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
FBA
Year:
2020

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Andreas Berg

    ‘May you live in interesting times – in Ukraine’

    Almost six months ago I wrote about the prospects for reform in Ukraine following the decisive election of a new president and parliament, driven by the desire of the voting public for major reform and stabilization of a country still involved in an ongoing conflict.

    Since then, the new government has frequently been tested by complex challenges at home and abroad, testing its endurance while already challenged with the immense task of reforming and restoring public trust ... Read entire post »

    2020-03-04 18:03
  • Posted by Jessica Rothman

    Peace-making and cheese-making in Georgia

    Exactly ten years had passed since I last worked in Georgia, when I returned for my deployment to the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), in the country that has a special place in my heart. I arrived with so much curiosity and excitement, wondering how Georgia had developed and recovered after the war in 2008. The first thing that struck me was the condition of the cars, where were all the dilapidated Ladas and Volgas that used ... Read entire post »

    2019-12-05 11:19
  • Posted by Eric Mellado-Åhlin

    Revising the UN guidelines for support to the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants: a high-hanging fruit

    One of my first tasks as a desk officer at FBA, working with disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants, was to assist in arranging a conference in Stockholm. As the conference approached, I understood that the goal – to unite the 25 UN agencies of the Inter-Agency Working Group on DDR and come to agreement on the way forward for the revision of the Integrated DDR Standards (IDDRS) – was more complicated than I ... Read entire post »

    2019-11-26 16:22
Photo

Saba Nowzari

Saba Nowzari is expert on Mali, the Middle East and women, peace and security

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

Photo

Our partner countries

FBA is part of Sweden’s development aid within the area of peace and security

Read more about the countries where we work

Twitter