The UN and Conflict Prevention: From Rhetoric to Concrete Action

Tasneem Jamal

Author Lynne Griffiths-Fulton

The Ploughshares Monitor September 2001 Volume 22 Issue 3

“[M]ake conflict prevention the cornerstone of collective security in the twenty-first century.” Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations

In June, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, produced a report outlining the UN’s responsibilities in the area of conflict prevention. This article provides an overview of the report and highlights those recommendations, which the international community, and in particular the UN Member States, should support in order to cultivate a culture of prevention. Kofi Annan uses the report to confront the obstacles which have plagued preventive measures in the past – lack of coordination between agencies, lack of political will on the part of Member States –

We Call for Peace: Statements on Peace by Canadian Churches and Religious Organizations

Tasneem Jamal

…armed conflicts and their legacies.

When the churches speak of peace, justice, and integrity of creation, they speak of what Project Ploughshares calls “common security”: the reconciliation of partners in conflict, justice in trade relationships between North and South, and the reduction and elimination of the sense of being under threat, among other factors. In the language of the Bible, “common security” is “abundant life” and prophets and preachers repeatedly call on the peoples to “choose life.” Particularist security has made life unliveable; it is killing even without war.

For more than a decade, Canadian churches have called for disarming where we are, on the side which is neither better nor worse than any other side, but which allows us…

Colombia (1964 – first combat deaths)

Tasneem Jamal Americas

Updated: June 2015

The Conflict at a Glance

Who (are the main combatants): The Colombian government and military, supported by the United States and various right-wing paramilitary groups, are fighting left-wing guerrillas, especially the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN).

What (started the conflict): Conflict that began between the government and left-wing guerrillas, primarily FARC and ELN, in the 1960s grew from a concatenation of social, political, and economic problems. The greatest violence developed in the 1980s and 1990s when wealthy landowners backed right-wing paramilitary groups to fight the guerrillas. During this period drug cartels also generated the most violence. Both left- and right-wing groups profited from the drug trade, and were responsible

The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict

Tasneem Jamal

Author Larissa Fast

The Ploughshares Monitor Spring 200 Volume 25 Issue 1

In 2005, representatives of organizations from around the world will gather at the UN headquarters in New York to discuss civil society roles in conflict prevention. The international conference will be the culmination of a multi-year process of transnational and regional networking to address the challenge of more effective civil society involvement in preventing conflict. The overall objective of the initiative, called the Global Partnership to Prevent Armed Conflict (GPPAC), is to develop a common platform for effective action in conflict prevention, from the community to the global levels.

The idea grew out of the 2001 UN Secretary-General’s Report, Prevention of armed conflict, in which Kofi Annan

The Wars of 1997: Introduction to the Armed Conflicts Report 1998

Tasneem Jamal

…rendered homeless, destitute and dependent on humanitarian assistance by the wars of 1997.

The world’s most warring region is still the Middle East (Table 1) where almost half of the region’s 14 states experienced warfare on their territory in 1997. Not surprisingly, the Middle East also continues to be by far the largest recipient of imported weapons (see map on page 17) – a product of the combined ingredients of enduring political conflict and significant oil wealth. About one-quarter of the states of Africa and Asia had war on their territory in 1997 – with Asia hosting almost 40 percent of all the world’s current wars.



Geographic Distributions of Armed Conflicts, 1997

Region # of…

South Sudan: formerly Sudan (1983 – first combat deaths)

Tasneem Jamal Africa

Updated: June 2015

The Conflict at a Glance

Who (are the main combatants): The Government of South Sudan, with the support of Uganda, opposes rebel militias; there is also dissension in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The current outbreak of violence is largely between supporters of the government led by President Salva Kiir and those loyal to former Vice-President Riek Machar. There are disputes between Sudan and South Sudan over borders, oil production and support for rebel groups.

What (started the conflict): In December 2013 President Salva Kiir accused former Vice-President Riek Machar of responsibility for a failed coup. Soldiers and rebels loyal to Machar – who is from the Nuer tribe – began to fight official

Democratic Republic of the Congo (1990-first combat deaths)

Tasneem Jamal Africa

Updated: June 2015

Summary Type of Conflict Parties to the Conflict Status of the Fighting Number of Deaths Political Developments Background Arms Sources Economic Factors

The Conflict at a Glance

Who (are the main combatants): The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the support of some armed militia groups and the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), versus numerous armed rebel factions and foreign armed forces.

What (are the major aims and events): Rebel groups are fighting to gain control over territory and vast mineral wealth. The government seeks to put down insurgents and maintain control. The March 23 Movement (M23), a rebel group that had gained substantial territory through violent

Sudan-Darfur (2003 – first combat deaths)

Tasneem Jamal Africa

conflict): The conflict is multilayered. In Darfur, President al-Bashir and Sudanese forces have been involved in what many are calling genocide against particular non-Arab rebel tribes since 2003. Al-Bashir was the first sitting head of state indicted by the International Criminal Court, for war crimes and crimes against humanity. In parts of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, armed rebel groups fight for regime change or for more autonomy for their region or tribe. Since South Sudan’s secession in 2011, violence has displaced or severely affected more than 900,000 people in the South Kordofan region. Additional clashes occur sporadically between tribes and ethnic groups, often over resources and land.

When (has fighting occurred): The conflict in Darfur began in…

Israel-Palestine (1948 – first combat deaths)

Tasneem Jamal Mideast

Updated: June 2015

The Conflict at a Glance

Who (are the main combatants): The government of Israel, with strong support from the United States, opposes the governing authorities of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO/Fatah), is in charge of the West Bank, while Hamas controls the Gaza Strip. In 2014, Fatah and Hamas formed a unity government, led by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

What (are the major aims and events): Israel aims to consolidate its territory in the region and protect itself against attacks from Palestinian groups, whose ultimate objectives are to end the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank and create a Palestinian state in those territories with East Jerusalem as

Religion and Violent conflict: A Practitioner’s Functional Approach

John Siebert

Author John Siebert

The Ploughshares Monitor Summer 2007 Volume 28 Issue 2

A workshop at the annual Peacebuilding Consultations of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa in May 2006 focused on religion as a proximate or structural source of conflict. This article is adapted from a presentation given at that workshop.

The post-9/11 “war on terror” has created its share of difficulties and dilemmas. What is this war actually about and how should it be fought? Is it a holy war? A clash of Christian and Islamic civilizations? A contest for access to resources, particularly oil? Does it represent modernity confronting the frustrated remnants of pre-modern societies or democracies versus authoritarian regimes? Or is this