The UN Secretary-General has identified the prevention of violent conflict as the overarching priority of his first term. Operationalizing conflict prevention is particularly challenging for the UN in fragile and conflict-prone countries in which it has no peacekeeping or political mission and no envoys deployed. In those so-called “non-mission settings”, the UN’s presence consists only of its development agencies, which are headed by a Resident Coordinator.
To make prevention a reality will thus rely on the UN’s ability to turn Resident Coordinators into preventive diplomats and crisis managers and to ensure they can best leverage the UN’s development presence towards prevention objectives. This is no easy task, as Resident Coordinators operate within narrows mandate, political, and resource constraints. However, experience has shown that politically astute and entrepreneurial Resident Coordinators have at times managed to overcome those constraints to become effective prevention actors.
This project aims to record some of those positive RC experiences across ten case studies, aiming to extract good practices and lessons, which are meant to inform and inspire other RCs deployed in countries experiencing crisis or political tension. The project will deliver two outputs towards this aim:
Together, these outputs will provide the UN system with evidence-based options on preventive action in non-mission settings. They will provide the UN with concrete insights that can be used in training, induction, and guidance materials to improve how the RC system engages to prevent conflict.
After conclusion of the project, UNU-CPR will leverage its strong and ongoing relationships with various parts of the UN system to provide advice and follow-up as needed to ensure continued uptake of the project’s findings. This will help to ensure that the RC system can show clearly tangible improvements on the ground, in support of the UN.