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Research Report

Preventive Diplomacy:: Regions in Focus

International Peace Institute
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2011
Pages: 68

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. [i]-[i])
  2. (pp. [ii]-[iii])
  3. (pp. 1-3)
    Francesco Mancini

    Preventive diplomacy—conceived by Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld in the mid-1950s and revitalized in the early 1990s by Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali—is a vital instrument in the United Nations’ conflict-prevention toolkit. While the responsibility for preventing conflict and its escalation ultimately lies with countries themselves, the UN has played an indispensable supporting role since its establishment and will continue to do so.

    Over the past few years, there has been a resurgence of interest in employing preventive tools to thwart the outbreak and escalation of violent conflict. At the United Nations, member states have shown increasing interest in the kinds of...

  4. (pp. 4-14)
    Fabienne Hara

    The United Nations has lost significant ground in the area of conflict prevention, management, and resolution on the African continent. Despite having a significant presence in almost all crisis situations, making normative progress in some areas like international justice and the responsibility to protect, and diversifying its intervention toolbox from peacekeeping and good offices to more thematic areas like mediation support, constitution making, and human rights inquiries, there are few promising signs that the UN will regain its previous position as the primary port of call to support the resolution of crises on the continent. This trend has manifested itself...

  5. (pp. 15-27)
    Sandra Borda

    Latin America is currently going through a time of deep political and economic reconfiguration and transformation. In the political arena, Brazil has been consolidating its power and leadership; several countries have chosen to “Latin-Americanize” their foreign policy, discarding their former alignments with the United States (Venezuela and Argentina being the most outstanding cases);¹ left-leaning governments, clearly critical of US power in the area, have become consolidated; and, finally, many of the region’s countries are adopting an increasingly diversified foreign policy as the presence of extra-regional actors has become more and more visible. All of these phenomena have contributed to the...

  6. (pp. 28-34)
    Jim Della-Giacoma

    Preventive diplomacy in Southeast Asia has traditionally been characterized by much talk and little collective action. While the region is riddled with lingering conflicts, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been proud that, since its formation in 1967, no two members have had a “large-scale” war. Prior to the recent Thai-Cambodian border conflict, the consensus-based nature of the “ASEAN way” lulled the region into a false sense of security in which interstate violent conflict was considered unthinkable. Yet, with many disputes remaining unresolved, including conflicting claims between various countries in the region and China, the potential for clashes...

  7. (pp. 35-41)
    Leon V. Sigal

    The Korean Peninsula remains the cockpit of insecurity in Northeast Asia. If left unresolved, the situation there could destabilize the entire region.

    A settlement seemed possible in October 2007, the most promising moment for peace on the peninsula since 2000. On October 4th, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun signed a potentially far-reaching summit agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Among its provisions was a pledge “to discuss ways of designating a joint fishing area in the West Sea to avoid accidental clashes and turning it into a peace area and also to discuss measures to build military confidence.”¹...

  8. (pp. 64-64)