UN Early Warning for Preventing Conflict

2011. Author: Micah Zenko, Rebecca Friedman and the Journal of International Peacekeeping

Despite repeated calls for a coordinated UN early warning system for preventing conflict, early warning is currently performed piecemeal by seven UN bodies and one ad hoc initiative. Due to the difficulties inherent in the UN’s structure – the transparency of the organization and member states’ sensitivity about perceived encroachments on their sovereignty – the UN cannot, and arguably should not, develop a comprehensive early warning system for preventing conflict. Instead, the UN could improve its ability to analyse and absorb early warning information already in the system by: reforming the Executive Office of the Secretary-General; strengthening the early warning and assessment capacities within the aforementioned bodies; soliciting greater cooperation with the US intelligence community and regional organizations; and promoting enhanced inter-agency cooperation.

  • Early Warning Early Response
  • Research/Lessons Learned
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