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UN to adopt measure aimed at conflict prevention

August 20, 2014

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Security Council members have agreed on a resolution aimed at intensifying efforts to prevent conflicts at a time of growing unrest around the world, Britain’s U.N. envoy said Wednesday.

Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the council will vote on the resolution Thursday at the start of an open meeting focusing on conflict prevention that will be addressed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and human rights chief Navi Pillay, who will be making her last appearance before her term ends on Aug. 30.

“We believe that the council spends too much time on conflict management and occasionally conflict resolution but not enough on upstream conflict prevention,” Lyall Grant told several journalists Wednesday. “We hope that a forward-leaning resolution on conflict prevention will be adopted.”

The draft resolution recognizes that some of the tools in the U.N. Charter for settling disputes peacefully have not been fully used.

It expresses the council’s determination to make — and call for — greater and more effective use of tools including negotiation, inquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement and seeking assistance from regional organizations.

The draft encourages the secretary-general to dispatch representatives, special envoys and mediators to prevent potential conflicts and help produce settlements.

If adopted, the council would encourage the secretary-general to bring any matter that in his opinion threatens international peace and security to its attention — and the draft expresses the council’s willingness to promptly consider early warning cases that he raises.

The proposed resolution notes that serious human rights abuses and violations of international law can be an early sign of an imminent conflict.

It stresses that the prevention of conflict remains a primary responsibility of the 193 U.N. member states but expresses the council’s commitment “to take early and effective action” to prevent armed conflict.

The draft calls for a report in 12 months on how efforts at conflict prevention have improved.

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