UN must commit to "surge in diplomacy for peace" Guterres urges

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

The UN must commit to a surge in diplomacy for peace, enhance its mediation capacity and take preventative action to avert mass atrocities or grave human rights abuses.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres outlined his views on conflict prevention in his first major speech to the Security Council on Tuesday.

He also called on Member States to make greater use of Chapter VI under the UN Charter which provides for the peaceful settlement of disputes.

Jocelyne Sambira has the details.

The UN needs to adopt a "whole new approach" to avert conflicts around the world, the Secretary-General has urged in his address to the Security Council.

Millions of people in crisis look to the Council to preserve global stability and to protect them from harm, he reminded the delegates.

Too much time and resources have been spent responding to crises than preventing them, António Guterres noted, adding that the UN's response remains fragmented.

"We must commit to a surge in diplomacy for peace, in partnership with regional organizations, mobilizing the entire range of those with influence, from religious authorities to civil society and the business community. We will launch an initiative to enhance our mediation capacity, both at United Nations Headquarters and in the field, and to support regional and national mediation efforts. I ask the Security Council to make greater use of the options laid out in Chapter VI of the UN Charter. And I am prepared to support you through the use of my good offices and my personal engagement."

Mr Guterres called on Council members to work with him to demonstrate leadership, and strengthen the credibility and authority of the United Nations, by "putting peace first".

In an effort to begin the reform process, he recently appointed a Special Advisor on Policy whose main task will be to map the prevention capacities of the UN system and to bring them together into an integrated platform for early detection and action.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’34″

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