UN Photo/Marco Dormino
And yet, away from the big stage of geopolitical rivalries, the multilateral system has logged some success in preventing conflicts. These successes merit greater attention than they currently get, not only because they give us a more balanced appreciation of what the system can do but also as sources of valuable lessons on how to make it work better.
The authors identify three cases – the Gambia, Bolivia and Nepal – where multilateral actors helped to manage tensions that could well have escalated into (further) violent conflict. The cases illustrate the roles multilateral actors and institutions can play and under what conditions their efforts are most likely to succeed.
Fortunately, most of the world is not Syria or Ukraine. There are serious conflict risks inherent in “easier” cases, where contextual conditions are more favorable to prevention efforts and where multilateral actors have critical assets to contribute. Multilaterals can get these cases right – and they must, lest even more of the “easier” cases become “difficult” ones.
Read further at the Global Public Policy Institute.