How the Coronavirus Pandemic Affects Conflict Dynamics and Mediation: New Challenges to Peace and Security

On May 19th, IPI together with the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, cohosted a virtual event on “How the Coronavirus Pandemic Affects Conflict Dynamics and Mediation: New Challenges to Peace and Security.” Speakers shared their views, insights, and ideas on mediation in the time of a global health crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic presents unique challenges, particularly for countries without the required state capacity to address a worldwide health emergency and also for regions already battered with various conflicts. The outbreak has the potential to disrupt humanitarian aid flows, peacekeeping operations, and mediation/facilitation efforts. While the international community is heavily focused on mitigating the effects of the unfolding public health crisis, which could result in new areas of instability, terrorist organizations and violent non-state actors could perceive the relative lack of attention on them as a window of opportunity. As such, the pandemic poses a new threat to the maintenance of international peace and security, at a time when the traditional tools of mediation, conflict prevention, and peacekeeping are under stress.

The international community must work together to sustain efforts for peaceful resolution of conflicts. This virtual event addressed the current and emerging peace and security challenges, as well as provide recommendations for the way forward.

Welcoming Remarks:
Ambassador Burak Akçapar, Director-General for Foreign Policy, Analysis and Coordination, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey

Speakers:
H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, Co-Chair of the Friends of Mediation Groups in the UN, OSCE and OIC
H.E. Mr. Pekka Haavisto, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Co-Chair of the Friends of Mediation Groups in the UN and OSCE
H.E. Mr. Ignazio Cassis, Federal Councillor, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, Co-Chair of the Friends of Mediation Group in the OSCE
H.E. Ms. Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs
H.E. Mr. Smaїl Chergui, African Union Commission Commissioner for Peace and Security

Moderator:
Mr. Terje Rød-Larsen, President, International Peace Institute