Preventive diplomacy is action to prevent disputes from arising between parties, to prevent existing disputes from escalating into conflicts and to limit the spread of the latter when they occur.
Michael S. Lund, the author of "Preventing Violent Conflict: A Strategy for Preventive Diplomacy", identifies it as "action taken in vulnerable places and times to avoid the threat or use of armed force and related forms of coercion by states or groups to settle the political disputes that can arise from the destabilizing effects of economic, social, political, and international change."
Since the end of the Cold War the international community through international institutions has been focusing on preventive diplomacy. As the United Nations and regional organizations as well as global and regional powers discovered the high costs of managing conflict, there is a strong common perception of benevolence of preventive diplomacy. Preventive diplomacy actions can be implemented by the UN, regional organizations, NGO networks and individual states. One of the examples of preventive diplomacy is the UN peacekeeping mission in Macedonia (UNPREDEP) in 1995–1999. It was the first UN preventive action.
- UN Secretary General Report "Agenda for Peace", 1992
- UN Secretary General Report "Prevention of Armed Conflict", 2001
- Preventive Diplomacy/Conflict Prevention, Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA
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