Preventive diplomacy: Delivering results - Report of the Secretary-General (S/2011/552)
This report is dedicated to the memory of former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld as we mark this year the fiftieth anniversary of his death in 1961.
I believe we have only begun to explore the full potentialities of the United Nations as an instrument for multilateral diplomacy, especially the most useful combinations of public discussion on the one hand and private negotiations and mediation on the other.
The present report examines the opportunities and the challenges the United Nations and its partners currently face in conducting preventive diplomacy in a changing political and security landscape.
Focusing specifically on diplomatic action taken to prevent or mitigate the spread of armed conflict, the report describes the relevance of preventive diplomacy across the conflict spectrum and as part of broader, nationally owned strategies to promote peace. It highlights the growing expectations placed on the United Nations system and other organizations in the area of conflict prevention and stresses the central importance of partnerships to this end.
The report illustrates how recent preventive diplomacy engagements have made a difference on the ground in a range of different contexts. It discusses the risks and obstacles that continue to hamper preventive efforts and identifies key elements which, in the experience of the United Nations and its partners, have proven critical in maximizing the success of these efforts: early warning, flexibility, partnerships, sustainability, evaluation and resources. The report concludes with recommendations to further strengthen international capacity for preventive diplomacy over the next five years.