The United Nations' Department of Political Affairs (DPA) has created an innovative new website to give diplomats, politicians, mediators and other officials critical advice and background information to help them resolve violent conflicts around the world.
Launching the website at UN Headquarters here, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari called it a serious effort to synthesize existing UN knowledge about peace agreements and how they are reached, and to make that know-how readily available to anyone engaging in peace-making efforts today.
The website contains a comprehensive, indexed database of modern peace agreements, guidance on how to manage a peace process and a "peacemaker's toolbox" with links to resources that include a handbook for drafting the language of peace accords.
"UN Peacemaker can help ensure that we are not reinventing the wheel. And, better yet, that we are not repeating mistakes," Gambari said, noting that while each conflict and peace process is unique, the same sorts of issues arise again and again.
The new website, he added, is part of a broader push by DPA to place UN peacemaking on a more solid footing, as Member States called for during the World Summit in September last year.
DPA also plans to set up a mediation support unit that will provide specialized assistance and advice to peace envoys operating in the field, as well as a "standing team" of on-call mediation experts who can be dispatched at short notice to help in peace negotiations.