Stressing the need to prevent conflicts before they break out, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged attention to their root causes.
In remarks to the International Crisis Group dinner in New York, Mr. Annan called for greater scrutiny of the various underlying and immediate sources of major violent, destructive conflicts, as well early warning signs of their emergence. In addition, he suggested that participants delve into the question of how to mobilize sufficient political support and resources to undertake timely and effective preventive action.
The Secretary-General proposed study of effective methods of preventive action. In order to institutionalize these, he asked, "How can procedures and policies for anticipating and responding to possible conflicts be operationalized in the regular functioning of international governmental and non-governmental organizations?"
Mr. Annan hailed the work of the International Crisis Group, calling it "a global voice of conscience, and a genuine force for peace."
"I hope that you can develop your early warning and advocacy role even further, complementing the UN's own efforts, while maintaining the independence and high credibility of your analyses," he told those present. "The complex and dangerous world we face demands nothing less."
The International Crisis Group is a private multinational organization operating on five continents to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts.