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Conflict Resolution: Peace Around the World

Table of contents

18 min read

The UN has peacekeeping missions around the world that maintain peace and stability in conflict-affected areas, mandated by the UN Security Council and typically composed of military, police, and civilian personnel.

The United Nations (UN) stands as the world's foremost intergovernmental organization, acutely aware of global power dynamics. Tasked with maintaining peace, combating poverty, and advocating for human rights, it navigates complex relationships between nations to create equilibrium. Awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for its role in peacekeeping post-World War II, the UN emphasizes its mission to uphold international peace and security. It aims to foster friendly relations among nations, tackle international problems cooperatively, promote human rights, and harmonize national actions—all while navigating the intricate power dynamics that define global politics.

The UN is a peacekeeping force working on:

  • Democracy
  • Prevent and resolve global conflicts
    • Setting up peacekeeping missions
    • Security and aims to promote peace
      • Counseling warring parties in many countries
      • Facilitates peaceful conflict resolution worldwide by mediating conflicts
  • Build strong economies
  • Improve access to education and improve access to healthcare
    • Setting up schools and clinics for refugee children
  • Establishing legal codes to end gender discrimination and other social ills
  • Providing humanitarian aid
  • Human rights and development throughout the world
  • Among countless other projects worldwide

The UN facilitates peaceful conflict resolution worldwide by providing a forum for countries to come together to resolve their disputes.

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The United Nations

The United Nations was founded in 1945 to prevent future wars and promote peace between countries. For the UN to facilitate peaceful conflict resolution around the world, it must first be able to identify conflicts and then develop solutions for them. One way they accomplish this task is by creating committees made up of member states who have an interest in resolving a particular issue. For example, suppose there is an ongoing conflict between two countries over territory or resources. In that case, those countries might be invited to send representatives to meet with delegates from other member states who have experienced similar situations to discuss possible solutions.

Another method these committees employ is mediation, where emotional intelligence is key. A member state serves as an intermediary between conflicting parties, facilitating an agreement beneficial to both sides without resorting to violence or military action. This can happen in peacetime or even post-hostility, provided there's potential for a peaceful resolution.

The UN's global reach is extensive:

  • It has 193 member states
  • Its headquarters are in New York City
  • Its official languages are English and French
  • It employs over 44,000 people worldwide
  • It has more than 50 subsidiary organizations based on its mandates
  • It has six main organs (Secretariat, General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC], Trusteeship Council [TC], and International Court of Justice [ICJ])
  • It maintains several specialized agencies (UNICEF, WHO, etc.) as well as various programs (UNRWA).

The UN Charter

The UN Charter is its foundational document that defines the powers of member states within the organization. For example, the UN Charter states that member states should settle disputes peacefully and without war. This means when one country believes another has violated an international agreement or treaty, it can take its concerns directly to an appropriate body within the UN system.

The Rule of Law

The rule of law is a concept the United Nations have used to promote peace worldwide. The idea is all nations should respect each other's laws and honor international agreements. The hope is that no nation will ever go to war with another for violating those laws or agreements.

The rule of law is a system of rules and principles that apply equally to all citizens, making it possible for people to know the standards and hold their governments accountable. The rule of law is the foundation for peace and stability in societies worldwide.

In countries with no rule of law, people cannot trust their government or each other. As a result, they become afraid to speak out against injustice or express opinions that may differ from those in power. Corruption flourishes and economies deteriorate as a result. When citizens are afraid to speak out against injustice, they are prevented from participating fully in public life.

In places where the rule of law exists, citizens have more confidence that they can get help from their government if they need it because they can trust their laws will be enforced fairly. A strong rule of law also provides stability by discouraging violence. It makes people feel safe knowing their rights will be protected when disputes arise.

The UN and Peaceful Conflict Resolution Around the World

Although the UN headquarters is in New York City, they have offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Rome, Vienna, and other cities worldwide.

The UN has many different organizations within it that work towards peacebuilding and conflict resolution around the world.

For example:

  • The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) works with governments to provide humanitarian aid during times of crisis.
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) works to promote decent work conditions around the world.
  • The Office of Disarmament Affairs
  • Office for Central Support Services
  • World Intellectual Property Organization
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  • United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

There are many different ways that the UN can promote peace around the world. The UN is a powerful organization that has the potential to help countries around the world reach their full potential. As part of its mission, it works to promote peace and security, advance human rights, fight poverty and hunger, protect the environment and sustainable development, provide humanitarian aid during natural disasters and armed conflicts, and uphold international law.

Non-Violent Conflict Resolution

The UN champions non-violent conflict resolution, leveraging negotiation skills to foster peaceful dialogue between parties in armed conflicts. They discourage military action, focusing instead on compromise and negotiation as alternatives to violence or force.

Acknowledging this approach doesn't entirely eliminate violence or conflict within countries, it does reduce instances where violence is employed due to perceived threats or prior harm. Effective negotiation play a role in minimizing such incidents.

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When a country is undergoing a peaceful conflict, the UN can send peacekeeping forces to try to resolve it. These forces are often sent by countries with a strong military history of not being involved in conflicts. The goal is to keep both sides from killing each other and making peace.

This is usually done by sending soldiers from all over the world to help local police forces keep the peace until an agreement can be reached.

The soldiers will monitor the situation and ensure no one breaks the rules or laws during the conflict resolution process.

Peacekeeping is a complex, multi-faceted undertaking. Since its inception, the United Nations has been essential in promoting international peace and security. In recent years we have seen a proliferation of peacekeeping missions around the world.

To understand what peacekeeping is, it is important to understand what it is not. Peacekeeping is not a substitute for conflict resolution. Instead, it is one tool among many that can help to end the conflict. Peacekeeping can only be successful if all parties involved are willing to participate in an open dialogue about how best to resolve their differences peacefully.

Peacekeeping forces are often deployed when there is no possibility of direct negotiations between parties involved in a conflict. They are also used when other methods have failed or been rejected by one or more parties involved in the conflict. Other forms of intervention (such as mediation) may also be used.

Peacekeeping forces can also provide aid and assistance to displaced persons or refugees and other forms of humanitarian aid.

However, sadly, before deploying peacekeepers onto the ground, sometimes these methods alone are insufficient.

The UN and Peaceful Conflict Resolution Around the World

In recent years the UN has taken on a new role: protecting civilians from mass atrocities. The concept of "responsibility to protect" is relatively new, but it is quickly becoming an essential part of international law.

The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a set of principles states have agreed on to protect civilians from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. The concept was introduced at the United Nations World Summit in 2005.

Under this definition:

  • "genocide" means killing members of a discrete group because of their race or ethnic origin
  • "war crimes" mean deliberate attacks on civilians or prisoners of war
  • "ethnic cleansing" involves attacking civilians to drive them out of lasting peace without some international presence on the ground (which may include both militaries and civilian personnel)

Preventive Disarmament

Preventive disarmament is an effective way to ensure no one has access to anything they could use as a weapon during conflict resolution efforts. For a country to be truly prepared for peace and conflict resolution, it must have a strategy in place. The most effective strategies involve preventive disarmament.

Preventive disarmament is the process of removing weapons or other materials that could potentially be used to cause harm to people or property. It's important to note this practice doesn't just apply to weapons. This practice can include any material or substance used as a weapon (like an automobile or a chemical).

A good example of preventive disarmament is when military personnel removes all weapons from their soldiers before they go into battle. This way, there's no chance for any unnecessary damage caused by friendly fire incidents often caused by troops who might have been carrying guns at the time of their deployment.

Preventive Diplomacy

The United Nations was founded after World War II to ensure that such an event could never happen again. It was to build a framework for cooperation among nations. They have been successful in their mission. The number of wars has declined dramatically since the 1950s. This is largely due to their work at preventing conflict through preventive disarmament. Preventive disarmament is the process of gradually getting countries to reduce their armed forces until they are small enough that they cannot wage war.

Preventive diplomacy is working with parties early on to prevent violence from breaking out.

This can be done through:

  • face-to-face meetings
  • telephone calls
  • written communications

It is designed to avoid conflict rather than resolve it after it has already begun.

The UN has a long history of promoting preventive diplomacy, a method of conflict resolution that aims to prevent or avoid wars by addressing the causes of conflict.

Preventive diplomacy uses many different tools and techniques for preventing conflict.

  • Encouraging governments to work together on common goals
  • Providing mediation services for disputes between states
  • Working directly with local communities to find solutions that will benefit everyone involved in a conflict situation.

Prevent Conflict

The UN's main goal is to prevent conflict. They provide peacekeeping, enforce economic sanctions, and promote human rights.

The UN has five core principles:

  1. Equal rights for men and women

  2. Peaceful resolution of disputes

  3. Respect for human rights

  4. Promotion of social progress

  5. Tolerance among nations

The UN believes the best way to do this is by engaging in open dialogue between countries.

The UN's primary purpose is for countries to work together towards common goals.


The Secretary-General is the head of the United Nations. They travel worldwide to meet with leaders from different countries and encourage them to work together. The Secretary-General also works with other people to help people in need.

The Secretary-General leads a team of more than 40,000 international civil servants who work in New York City and at more than a dozen other locations worldwide. The Secretary-General can be anyone from any country, but they must be educated and have a lot of experience working in government and politics. They are chosen by the General Assembly. The Secretary-General has a big job. They have to lead an organization with 193 member states, including some very powerful countries (like China and Russia) and some very small ones (like Tuvalu). It takes a lot of work for all these countries to work together.

The Secretary-General is elected by the General Assembly every five years. This position has no term limits.

Security Council

The Security Council is the most influential body in the United Nations. It's made up of five permanent members:

  • The United States
  • Russia
  • China
  • France
  • The United Kingdom

It also includes ten rotating members who serve two-year terms. The Security Council has 15 different powers, including:

  • The ability to make recommendations on peacekeeping operations
  • The ability to call emergency sessions
  • The ability to impose sanctions on countries that don't follow UN rules

The Security Council has the power to determine the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It then calls on member states to address by peaceful means or collective defense. It can also decide to impose sanctions or authorize using force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

General Assembly

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. The UNGA is the only one in which all member states have equal representation. The assembly meets once a year in September at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. It is responsible for maintaining international peace and security, promoting friendly relations among nations, and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The General Assembly's powers are to:

  • Consider and approve any recommendations made by the Security Council on the maintenance of international peace and security
  • Receive reports from other UN bodies
  • Discuss all questions relating to international peace and security as well as other matters within its competence under the Charter of the United Nations
  • Call non-member states to appear before it for discussion
  • Make recommendations for consideration by international bodies.

The General Assembly is the UN's main deliberative, policymaking, and representative organ.

It has five main functions:

  1. To consider and adopt resolutions on important issues

  2. To elect the non-permanent members of the Security Council

  3. To receive reports from other UN bodies and agencies

  4. To make recommendations to other organs and agencies

  5. To formulate principles for international law and international relations

Peace and Security

Peace and security are at the core of the United Nations' mission. Today, it serves as an international forum for states to work together to address global issues such as health pandemics, climate change, and economic development. The UN has since expanded its mission to include human rights, sustainable development, gender equality, and international law.

Peace and security are essential values to the UN. The UN has done a lot to end conflict by not using force. They build trust in the international community, which leads to peaceful resolutions and long-term stability.

Companies Are Taking on the Core UN Value

Companies are using the UN values at work to create a more inclusive, engaged workforce. The United Nations (UN) has been working for almost 70 years to promote human rights, peace, and development worldwide. The UN aims to achieve that goal by working with governments, businesses, and civil society. It's one of the most successful organizations in history. It has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize six times.

One way companies use the UN values at work is by focusing on equality and diversity. Companies want to create an environment where everyone feels included and valued, no matter how different they are from one another. For example, companies can set up mentorship programs between senior staff members and junior staff members who have faced discrimination in the past.

Companies must also ensure they treat employees equally regardless of gender, race, or religion.

Creating goals directed at ending:

have been adopted by many companies across the globe.

Companies are using these values by creating positive working environments where employees feel safe and supported. This can be accomplished with things like flexible working hours or the ability to work remotely from time to time. Another way companies are incorporating these values into their work environments is by giving back to the community through volunteering programs or fundraising events.

In addition, many companies are also taking steps toward environmental sustainability. Some examples include switching to electric vehicles or buying carbon offsets when possible.

All these are positive changes inspired by the UN to help break down barriers between different groups of people so they can work together more effectively towards a common goal.

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