Prevention, only ‘sustainable solution’ to conflict, deputy UN chief tells Nigerian law students

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Speaking in Nigeria, the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has emphasized the importance of prevention as “the only real, sustainable solution” to resolving the challenges thrown up by conflict.

Prevention will help us “flatten the curve” of conflict, and thus create space for our conflict management tools, which are currently often overwhelmed”, she said on Thursday, in a lecture delivered at Baze University, in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, entitled: The Use of Ceasefire Agreements In Avoiding Escalation of Armed Conflicts.

The Deputy Secretary-General was the guest lecturer at the University’s Faculty of Law Lecture Series.

Early intervention

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed addresses the Faculty of Law at Baze University Abuja in Nigeria

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed addresses the Faculty of Law at Baze University Abuja in Nigeria, by UNIC Lagos/Oluseyi Soremekun

According to her, at the heart of this approach is the need to engage early and proactively with a wide range of actors, in particular regional, subregional organizations and civil society, while continuing to make a significant political investment in peace making and conflict resolution across the globe.

“Nowhere is this more evident than in Africa, where the UN has established a strategic partnership with the African Union (AU) and the UN Regional Economic Commission (UNECA). The UN has also focused on helping to reinforce national capacities for conflict prevention, with the understanding that prevention is more effective when it is led by national or local actors”, she said.

The UN, Ms Mohammed explained further, has put inclusion and the promotion of women’s political participation and youth engagement, at the centre of all efforts towards peace and security.

Prioritize gender equality

In establishing the role of gender equality in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, Ms. Mohammed emphasized that gender equality must be prioritized, noting that societies that sideline half their populations from political and economic life, leadership and decision-making, will always be vulnerable to conflict.

“Efforts that are responsive to the specific needs and rights of women and girls are likely to have more impact and contribute better to sustainable peace.” Added the Deputy Secretary-General.

On arrival at the University, she was received by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Tahir Mamman (OON, SAN); Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi; the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Dr. Ali Ahmad and other senior management of the University.

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