Every day, world has many conflicts between many parties. The big challenge is to prevent these conflicts before they spread in to a huge blood -shed. Most of the international organizations, regional organizations get the responsibility to prevent these conflicts. Generally, this process is known as the preventive diplomacy. Generally, preventive diplomacy is an action to prevent a conflict arising between parties and prevent a conflict before they spread in to a huge blood-shed.

Basically, there are many actors such as global organizations, regional organizations, non- governmental organizations to conduct preventive diplomacy. United Nations owns a huge place among them to conduct preventive diplomacy. The United Nations implements a huge process towards the preventive diplomacy as the dominant international organization in the world. They achieved success by many cases. But sometimes United Nations have many challenges when conducting preventive diplomacy. The basic reason to establish the United Nations is to prevent a world war three. So United Nations have a duty to conduct preventive diplomacy.

However united nations have a well-organized mechanism to conduct preventive diplomacy around the world. Inside the united nations, the key actors, tools or instruments to conduct preventive diplomacy as follows;

  • General assembly
  • Security council
  • Peacebuilding commission
  • Good offices of the secretary general
  • Envoys
  • Regional officers
  • Resident political missions
  • Peacekeeping operations
  • Group of friends and other diplomatic support

This article discuses about the Burkina Faso case as the successful point of the United Nations and Kashmir case as a failure of the United Nations. Also, this article is made for identify the successes as well as failures of United Nations faced in conducting preventive diplomacy in the past decades and how to face those challenges and remove those failures to conduct preventive diplomacy.


Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in the Sahel region of west Africa. After 2013 Burkina Faso’s government initiated an amendment of the constitute to increase the presidential term 2014 public opposition grew against this matter and it led to the resignation of then-president Blaise Compaoré.a year later, a former presidential guard tried to coup d’état the transition authorities, a month before the new election. Before the coup, as opposition to the proposed constitutional change, the UN’s regional office in west Africa (UNOWA), economic community of west African states (ECOWAS) tried to dissuade president Blaise Compaoré. Special representative of the secretary general (SRSG) Mohamed Ibn Chambas specially played a major role in this discussion.

However, SRSG chambas, the higher commissioner for human rights, condemned the coup and tried to protect the civilians.

After that UN met the coup leaders together with regional leaders and transitional authorities. UN successfully told to the coup leaders that they did not enjoy political a result of that the transitional authorities were restored to their positions. quickly, UN deployed a team to support to the SRSG and follow development.

In 2015 Burkina Faso hold an election and chosen Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of the People’s Movement for Progress as president.

Opportunities of Burkina Faso case

In this case study, special representative of the secretary general (SRSG) Mohamed Ibn Chambas played a huge role. Specially, after the coup SRSG chambas and condemned the coup and tried to protect the civilians. Also, he and the higher commissioner for human rights hold a discussion with Burkina Faso’s president Blaise Compaoré and tried to dissuade him. However world-wide united nations envoys are good opportunity to conduct preventive diplomacy.

The next opportunity is the effective partnership with the regional organizations. According to this matter, it is very difficult to conduct preventive diplomacy without the partnership with the regional the discussion with the Burkina Faso’s president Blaise Compaoré, UN regional office in the west Africa (UNOWA) and economic community in west African states (ECOWAS) tried to dissuade him. However, the effective partnership with the regional organization was a great opportunity to conduct preventive diplomacy in Burkina Faso.


When conducting preventive diplomacy in the world, United Nations gained opportunities as well as of the current case is the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan.

Actually, the origin of the Kashmir conflicts is very old because it was began in 1947.but it is still happen in fail to resolve the Kashmir conflict is a great challenge in front of the united nations from 1947 to present. (also including past decade)

Before the 1947, Kashmir was a princely state in the Indian subcontinent. After the Indian independence act in 1947, the princely states had the right to choose independence or accede the either between India and Pakistan. Most of the princely countries agreed to join with the India. But Kashmir did not get any decision about the join either India or Pakistan and agreed to sign agreement with India and Pakistan.
Hari Singh the Hindu ruler was the ruler of the Kashmir. The majority people of the Kashmir were Muslims and they did not like to a Hindu ruler.

However, there were 4 main conflict between the India and Pakistan, in Kashmir from 1947.

  • 1947 conflict between India and Pakistan about the invading Pashtun forces
  • 1965 conflict again between India and Pakistan about the “Gibraltar” project of Pakistan.
  • 1971 again between the India and Pakistan about the independence of Bangladesh
  • 1999 (Kargil war) between India and Pakistan about the “operation Vijay” project of India

This is the past events of Kashmir case. But this conflict still happens in today.

In 2008, human rights workers find nearly 1000 unmarked graves near the line of control. Hundreds of protestors in Indian Kashmir clash with police on April 25, demanding an investigation into the graves.

In 2016, india and Pakistan engage in a war of words after 18 Indian soldiers are killed in an attack by armed militants in Indian administered Kashmir. after two weeks, two Pakistan soldiers are killed in a clash with Indian soldiers across the facto border.

Civilian killings, sexual violence, violation of human rights, torture, abuses by armed groups, Restrictions on the rights to freedoms of expression and association, violation of land rights, increasing cease fire violations are mostly happen in this area since past decade.

However, as the main peace building organization in the world United Nations acted as a mediator in this case in many times.

  • In 1949 cease-fire order
  • 38 resolution
  • 39 resolution
  • 47 resolution
  • Dixon plan

Also, under the report of human rights in Kashmir 2018, Office of the United Nations High commissioner for Human Rights clearly mentioned that including the possible establishment of a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent investigation in to allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir. Also, OHCHR recommended to both governments of India and Pakistan to fully respect for the international human rights law obligations.

challenges of Kashmir case

Since Many Years, UN has debated, passed many resolutions, appointed commissions, mediators and representatives. But even United Nations couldn’t conduct preventive diplomacy in Kashmir. Every year, there are many armed conflicts, sexual harassments, human rights violations, in the Kashmir, between India and Pakistan.

According to the Pakistan, the non-implementation of UN security council resolutions for a plebiscite in the Kashmir over six decades is the challenge of UN.

The other challenge is the loss of confidence between parties. sometimes India and Pakistan governments had accepted Kashmir to be a disputed territory at the United Nations. But Kashmir think that they don’t want a third party (UN) to resolve this problem and Kashmir have always been part of Pakistan and want to make Pakistan as their homeland. But India through its 70 years-long occupation to deny Kashmir’s right to do so.

Sometimes Pakistan wanted to for a referendum, but the feelings in India that Kashmir is its integral part always halted the progress of UN by different excuses.

UN tried the best in its capacity to resolve the conflict. But always UN fails to bring India,Pakistan and Kashmir in to one attitude.

Simply, preventive diplomacy means an action taken to prevent conflicts arising between two or more parties. According to these two case studies, sometimes UN had succeeded to conduct preventive diplomacy and in other hand UN have some challenges to conduct preventive diplomacy.

In the Burkina Faso case, world-wide UN representatives and the effective partnership with regional organizations are the opportunities of the UN.

But in the Kashmir case, though the UN passed resolutions, appointed representatives to solve the problem, the ideological conflicts between three parties is the challenge towards this case.

However, the most necessary solution to solve Kashmir dispute is to held a plebiscite or again empower the UN trusteeship council and keep the Kashmir area under it until they choose the self-government.

Sources –

  • Report of the secretary general, (September 2011) SG REPORT ON PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY,United Nations,New York.

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