75 Years of UN Special Political Missions: Informed by the Past, Adapting for the Future

Source The United Nations



Media www.rajawalisiber.com – The United Nations marks the 75th anniversary this year of the establishment of the first United Nations special political mission (SPM): the deployment of Folke Bernadotte to the Middle East in 1948 as United Nations Mediator.

Since 1948, SPMs have become indispensable instruments for the maintenance of international peace and security. They have accompanied Member States through historic times of change, from supporting the decolonization and independence processes in Africa and Asia in the 1960s to assisting Central America in ending its civil wars in the 1990s.

Today, SPMs – civilian missions with mandates to support Member States in conflict prevention, peacemaking and peacebuilding – have become more numerous, complex and diverse. They include special envoys seeking to broker peace agreements to end devastating civil wars; regional offices that serve as forward platforms for preventive diplomacy; groups of experts monitoring the implementation of Security Council sanctions regimes; missions verifying the implementation of peace agreements or ceasefires; and integrated operations supporting complex political transitions and national peacebuilding efforts. In their different configurations, SPMs share one common objective: advancing political solutions to conflict through diplomacy.

In his policy brief on “A New Agenda for Peace”, the Secretary-General issued an urgent call for Member States to boost diplomacy in an era of divisions. He called for strengthening multilateral action for peace to address rising and interlocking threats to international security such as the changing conflict landscape, persistent violence outside of conflict environments, the potential weaponization of new technologies, rising inequalities, shrinking civic space, and the climate emergency. SPMs are a critical asset in the UN’s diplomacy for peace.

To mark the 75th anniversary of SPMs, the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), together with the Permanent Missions of Finland and Mexico, organized a side event during the main session of the General Assembly on 5 October. This video was launched at the event.

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