Kuwait urges UNSC to prioritize mediation in peacemaking

NEW YORK: Kuwait’s Representative to the United Nations Mansour Al-Otaibi addresses a UNSC session on ‘Mediation to Broker Peace’. — KUNA

NEW YORK: Kuwait Representative to the United Nations Mansour Al-Otaibi called on the UN Security Council to attach greater importance to peacemaking and working with partner organizations to solve conflicts. Regional organizations can play greater roles in brokering peace in keeping with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, he said at a UNSC session on ‘Mediation to Broker Peace’. Ambassador Otaibi referred to a verse in the Qur’an stressing the importance of mediation 1,400 years ago. “Indeed, the United Nations was established to prevent conflict, and mediation is a civilized means for settling conflict,” he pointed out.

“If two parties agree to participate, it is a sign of their civilized nature. The history of mediation demonstrated it had been institutionalized in the twentieth century, notably through the 1907 Hague Convention. It is unfortunate the Council has not paid enough attention to mediation. It should increase its use of Chapter VI of the Charter. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Ambassador Otaibi stressed. “It is unacceptable for the United Nations to spend billions of dollars containing and managing conflicts by deploying peacekeepers when it is more viable to invest in mediation. Logic dictates it should prioritize Chapter VI over Chapter VII,” he went on.

Ambassador Otaibi pressed the council to prioritize mediation, giving regional and sub-regional organizations more responsibility through Chapter VIII in this regard. The Kuwaiti diplomat appreciated the efforts of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to settle conflicts in various parts of the world, and asked him to continue using his offices in this regard. In his address to the session, the UN chief said the United Nations “must be bold and creative” in harnessing the avenues and capacities available for mediation. “We must make prevention our priority by investing in mediation, peace-building and sustainable development,” Guterres stressed. “The United Nations has various resources it deploys, including the Standby Team of Senior Mediation Advisers, whose members are providing guidance in the Central African Republic on transitional justice and assisting in the design of a mediation process in Yemen, among its many efforts around the world.”

Discreet engagement also plays a role, he said, noting that talks with the Taliban, away from the glare of publicity, has allowed positions to be clarified, while broader work with non-governmental organizations – which often have greater freedom to establish contacts and foster dialogue with armed groups – has been instrumental to success. “I urge you to commit to more effective use of mediation,” the Secretary General added. – KUNA

This article was published on 30/08/2018