The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recently devised and reinvigorated UN mechanisms of conflict prevention, including preventive diplomacy and special political missions. Successful recent examples of UN engagement in conflict prevention include the cases of Kyrgyztan, South Sudan and Kenya. However, the system of UN conflict prevention and early warning has long historical roots, and it has been gradually developing from a hiearachical system towards a network-based one. At the same time, the UN Secretariat has developed a variety of tools of conflict prevention and early warning, including the Interagency Framework Team. What tangible results has the UN conflict prevention produced? What have been the major structural changes that have taken place in UN conflict prevention and early warning? How should the UN conflict prevention and early warning mechanisms be further developed in terms of their structures and operations? Do bureaucrats and bureaucracies really matter in conflict prevention and early warning?
Tapio Kanninen, Co-Director of the Sustainable Global Governance Project and Senior Fellow, Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies in the City University of New York, Former Chief of the Policy Planning Unit of the UN Department of Political Affairs
Touko Piiparinen, Researcher, Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Mika Aaltola, Program Director, Finnish Institute of International Affairs