Conflict prevention

Conflict prevention is the proactive action done to stop disagreements or tense situations from developing into full-time conflicts. It entails spotting possible points of contention and resolving them before they become more serious. Early warning systems, diplomatic discussions, mediation, and encouraging communication between contending parties are a few possible conflict avoidance techniques. By promoting peace discussions between two nations that are engaged in territorial disputes, the United Nations, for instance, can engage in conflict prevention and stop armed war from starting.
A good example is the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) which was formed via the promulgation of the Security Council resolution 1284 of 17 December 1999. UNMOVIC was meant to substitute the former United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and continue with the UNMOVIC’s mandate to disarm the Republic of Iraq her alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as well as to operate a system of ongoing monitoring and verification to ensure Iraq's compliance with her obligations not to acquire the same weapons forbidden to her by the Security Council.


An undertaking that is designed to ensure that there is preservation of international peace, however delicate, where fighting has been ceased, and help the parties in implementing agreements agreed upon by the peacemakers. For many years now, peacekeeping has evolved from a primarily traditional model of observing cease-fires and the separation of parties to a conflict to incorporate a complex multidimensional and multifunctional model of peacekeeping operations which involve majorly three components of multidimensional peacekeeping operations – military, police and civilian who work towards achieving sustainable peace.
In the same vein, peacekeeping is an act of sending an unbiased multinational military or civilian force into a conflict-affected area to uphold stability is known as peacekeeping (Porath, 2003). When a ceasefire has been declared, peacekeepers work to ensure that it is being followed, promote communication, and create a safe environment in which peace agreements can be carried out. As an illustration, the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus has been present on the island since 1964 to preserve harmony between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot populations.

Peace enforcement

In order to impose or restore peace in a conflict zone, military action is frequently used and is usually approved by the Security Council. When belligerent parties refuse to halt hostilities or abide by peace agreements, peace enforcement operations are carried out. With this intervention, armed organizations are to be neutralized or discouraged, and a safe environment will be created for peace to flourish (Reychler & Langer, 2006). The 1999 NATO-led operation in Kosovo, which sought to stop Serbian forces' ethnic cleansing of Albanians, serves as an illustration of a peace enforcement operation.
Peace enforcement operations entails application of force, with the authorization of the Security Council. This may range from the use of forcible measures, including the application of military force. Such actions are authorized to re-establish international peace and security in circumstances where the UN Security Council has determined that there is an existence of a threat to international peace, breach of the prevailing peace or act an act of aggression. The Security Council may make use of, where appropriate, regional and international mechanisms, organizations and agencies for enforcement action under its authority. In the past instances, peace enforcement has in the contemporary peace missions been implemented by NATO or coalitions of nations – often with massive US contributions based by decisions of the Security Council. Afghanistan as another example of a peace enforcement.


To aid the conclusion of a dispute, peacemaking refers to diplomatic actions and conversations that are taken to reconcile opposing parties. Initiatives for promoting peace frequently involve mediators or facilitators who try to reconcile disputes and find amicable solutions. By establishing a framework for negotiations and addressing crucial problems like borders, security, and the status of Jerusalem, the Oslo Accords of the 1990s, brokered by the United States and Norway, sought to bring about peace between Israel and Palestine (Van Zyl & Campbell, 2019).
It includes broad measures to resolve conflicts in progress and more often times entails diplomatic actions to bring antagonistic parties to a negotiated peace agreement. The Secretary General of the United Nations, upon the request from the Security Council or the General Assembly or at his own initiative, may exercise his or her “good offices” to aid in resolution of a raging conflict. Peacemakers may be in the form of groups of states, governments, regional, organizations, envoys or the United Nations. Peacemaking efforts may also be undertaken by unofficial and non-governmental groups, or by eminent personalities who work independently.
An example on peace making is the late former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan peace plan for Syria also known as the six-point peace plan for Syria. This undertaking was promulgated in February 2012. This initiative is considered as one the most serious international efforts to end the Syrian conflict in the Middle East using diplomatic means. The peace plan prescribed a cease-fire to be observed across Syria with effect from 10 April 2012. However, in reality the cease-fire was imposed by the Government of Syrian on 14 April 2012.


Efforts to address the underlying causes of wars and create lasting peace in post-conflict countries are included in the field of peacebuilding. It entails initiatives to improve governance, foster peace, boost economic growth, uphold the rule of law, and promote social cohesion (Galtung, 1969; Yılmaz, 2011). The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission is an illustration of peacebuilding; it aids nations in the process of going from a state of conflict to one of peace by offering financial and technical help for reconstruction, institution-building, and fostering inclusive political processes. the following are the examples of post-conflict peacebuilding activities:

  1. Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) of combatants.
  2. Electoral assistance.
  3. Mine action.
  4. Protection and promotion of human rights.
  5. Security Sector Reform (SSR)13 and other rule of law-related activities.
  6. Support to the restoration and extension of State authority.

Political Process

It is important to note that, while these activities are being undertaken, the political process runs parallel all through. For sustainable peace to be realized, a robust political process mu be in place.


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