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2. Armed conflict prevention, management and resolution




International efforts to prevent, manage and resolve armed conflict had some striking successes in 1995 in several highly publicized cases, although lesser known conflicts continued to elude the peacemakers. The most spectacular achievements were the Dayton Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina and the separate agreement on Croatia which brought conflict there to a halt in November. In the Middle East, further agreements between Israel and the Palestinians signalled that the peace process was still advancing.

Success was also registered in Haiti, where a peace enforcement operation by a US-led multinational coalition force transferred responsibility to a UN peacekeeping operation once the situation had been stabilized. Peace accords which appeared sustainable were finally concluded for Angola and Liberia after long and bitter civil wars, although their implementation remained unsteady. The cease-fire in Northern Ireland endured but peace talks remained elusive.

While the UN in its 50th anniversary year played a role in almost every conflict situation, the new emphasis was on conflict prevention or, in UN parlance, preventive diplomacy. Peacekeeping headed for a period of retraction and consolidation as five major operations of varying success, including the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR), the largest in UN history, drew to a close in 1995. UN peacekeepers had been continually humiliated in Bosnia until rescued from their misery by NATO bombing and replaced by a non-UN force. Peace enforcement triumphed.

Diplomatically the UN was marginalized by the Dayton process - it was not even represented at the talks. This experience and the UN's growing financial crisis further dampened enthusiasm for major new UN peace missions. Paradoxically, the UN was at the same time becoming more efficient and effective at planning and managing peacekeeping operations.

Regional organizations moved frustratingly slowly to increase their own capacity for conflict prevention, management and resolution and still failed to live up to their promise.

The most effective actors in most peacemaking efforts were, as might be expected, those with the greatest political and military power, the USA and Russia in particular, ad hoc consortia of interested regional states assisted by developed state partners or the conflicting parties themselves.


Appendix 2A. Multilateral observer, peacekeeping and electoral operations, 1995


Appendix 2A presents a table of international observer, peacekeeping and electoral operations in 1995.


Appendix 2B. Supplement to An Agenda for Peace

Appendix 2B contains the text of UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali's Supplement to An Agenda for Peace of 3 January 1995.


Appendix 2C. Redesigning Nordic military contributions to multilateral peace operations







Participation in international operations is becoming an increasingly important task for the armed forces of the Nordic countries, but variations in security perceptions and alignments have resulted in different policies. While Norway, Sweden and Finland share a residual security concern over political volatility in Russia, Denmark has been able to reorient its defence forces towards international missions relatively more decisively. The gamut of possible peace operations is most extensive for Denmark and most restrictive for Finland, the decisive factor being the extent to which use of force by national contingents is considered permissible. Sweden, actively pursuing a new policy on peace operations, and Finland, having moved towards broadening its traditionally cautious approach, continue to debate the policy implications of continued non-alignment within the EU. In spite of differences in organization and policy, the tradition of cooperation fostered by the Nordic countries is still one of their great strengths. They have been able to assemble and deploy joint battalions quickly, as in the case of Macedonia, and to coordinate the joint operation of their units in UNPROFOR. Their joint participation in IFOR will provide the next indicator for future development of their international forces.


Appendix 2D. Reform of the United Nations



In its first 50 years the UN saved millions of lives, clothed, fed and sheltered millions more, oversaw decolonization, kept the peace in war situations and helped resolve and prevent conflict in others. Its 50th anniversary was to be a year of celebration and contemplation of reform, but was characterized by growing financial crisis and realization of the urgent need for fundamental reform. No reform proposals reached fruition. September 1996 was established as the deadline for a consolidated set of reform proposals to be submitted to the General Assembly. The future UN will only be as efficient as its members allow it to be. There is no dearth of creative ideas but it remains to be seen whether member states will have the political will to begin the reform process.