NEW YORK – Pakistan urged the UN Security Council to make full use of the preventive diplomacy tools at its disposal under Chapter VI – especially mediation, arbitration, inquiry, judicial settlement, involvement of regional organisations, and the secretary general’s good offices – to defuse tensions and to resolve conflicts that were simmering just below the surface but threaten to explode.
Participating at the open debate on conflict prevention in the Security Council, Pakistan’s permanent representative to UN Ambassador Masood Khan said that in the recent past, there has been a growing tendency in the council to pass resolutions under Chapter VII. “The council feels that its action is not potent enough if it has not done so. Some situations do require immediate action under Chapter VII,” he added.
He highlighted that the Security Council’s efforts to prevent conflicts would lack credibility if its resolutions were implemented selectively. “This council’s resolutions on longstanding issues await attention and implementation, while it takes on new issues. The council should uphold the international rule of law,” he added. He emphasised that prevention of conflict should never become a pretext for interventionism and that preventive diplomacy does not mean preventive deployment or peace enforcement.
Ambassador Masood said that conflicts should not be brought to the council’s table only after they have already erupted. He said that the council should avoid activism in situations where parties were in a position to handle and resolve their differences or where regional mechanisms could play a more effective role. He said that the council should not inadvertently become an instrument for igniting or fueling crises.
The ambassador said that after hostilities have already broken out, such as in Gaza, the council’s responsibility increases manifold to intercede and intervene to stop further deterioration. “Passivity or a hands-off approach in the face of a raging crisis should not be an option,” he said. He said that the council was not omnipotent and that many decisions impinging on peace and security and especially those involving major powers were taken outside the council.
“It is – therefore – important for these powers to use the full cycle of early warning, conflict prevention and crisis management to avoid descent into a new ‘Cold War’ or exacerbation of tensions,” he said. He emphasized the need for a timely agreement between major powers to avert escalation of the conflict. He referred to Syria and Ukraine where an agreement on solution could have prevented the upsurge.