Coping with Conflict and Violence: Challenges for the UN and International Conflict Management

IPI organized a policy workshop on “Coping with Conflict and Violence: Challenges for the UN and International Conflict Management.” The workshop launched a new series of IPI Working Papers on trends in armed conflict and organized violence and the challenges posed for international response. The Papers form part of a larger series of studies on global issues and international crisis management conducted by IPI’s Coping with Crisis program.

The United Nations is undergoing a critical transition with a new opportunity to reflect on the challenges that UN peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding will confront in coming years. How the UN shapes, or reshapes, its capacities for conflict management needs to start with an analysis of the problem. What can we say about contemporary patterns in armed conflict and organized violence? And what are the implications for how the UN organizes itself in response? The recent decision of the General Assembly to endorse significant structural reforms in UN peacekeeping, in the context of enormous and rising expectations for UN peace operations, only underscores the timeliness of these issues.

IPI has just released six new studies addressing these issues from different perspectives: changing patterns of conflict and violence (by Andrew Mack); transnational organized crime and its relationship to conflict, sanctions, and peace operations (by James Cockayne); responses to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (by Keith Krause); changing terrain for mediation and peacemaking (by Chester Crocker); new challenges for peacekeeping (by Richard Gowan and Ian Johnstone); and effectiveness of international peacebuilding (by Charles Call and Elizabeth Cousens).

The event featured an introductory keynote address by Mr. Jean-Marie Gu éhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.