The world is facing the highest number of violent conflicts since 1945 and today, one quarter of humanity lives in conflict-affected areas. In this challenging context, prevention is more vital than ever. The Secretary-General’s action report, “Our Common Agenda”, proposes a New Agenda for Peace with conflict prevention at its core.
International Geneva is playing an important role in the area of preventive diplomacy and mediation. The unique tradition and spirit of Geneva make the city a venue of choice for mediators who work to prevent or end violent conflicts. UN Geneva, with its skilled staff and state-of-the-art facilities, hosts and supports several peace processes and high-level political discussions, including:
- The Intra-Syrian talks led by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria;
- The Geneva International Discussions on the Conflict in Georgia, co-chaired by the European Union, the UN, and the OSCE;
- Informal 5+1 meeting on Cyprus;
- The UN-led peace talks led by the Special Advisor of the Secretary-General for Libya.
“Our Common Agenda” also underlines the critical importance of establishing inclusive, multistakeholder partnerships to build a more peaceful and sustainable world. A Senior Mediation Officer, located within the Office of the Director-General, supports the work of mediators and helps them connect with the diverse “peace community” based in Geneva. The strong partnership between the United Nations, regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, think tanks and many other actors has made additional specialized resources available in support of the ongoing work for peace.
UN Geneva also co-organizes important outreach events dedicated to peace and conflict resolution on an annual basis, such as the Geneva Peace Talks and Geneva Peace Week. Additionally, it hosts various discussions to support National Governments’ efforts for peace and development.
The UN continues to intensify its work related to digital technologies and mediation which developed across multiple initiatives and collaborations centered in Geneva where various organizations collaborate in the context of the CyberMediation Network. The work on digital technologies and mediation develops across two main tracks: an operational track promotes the safe use of digital technologies in mediation and a strategic track which explores the transformational impact of digital technologies on modern conflict and assesses how traditional methods of conflict prevention and resolution will adapt to the new conflict environment.