Focus on more than just “CNN stage” of conflict: Deputy UN chief

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First Lieutenant Sigit Jatmiko, a member of Indonesia’s Formed Police Unit serving with UNAMID, interacts with children in the Abu Shouk IDP Camp during his morning patrol.
Credit: UN Photo/Albert González Farran

Attention should be paid to all the stages of a conflict and should not just focus on what has been described as the “CNN stage”, according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General.

Jan Eliasson referred to the American news channel during a briefing in the Security Council on the Secretary-General’s Report on Peacebuilding in the Aftermath of Conflict.

Mr Eliasson said the report is a reminder that peacebuilding is at the core of the United Nations’ aims and ambitions.

He said conflicts can be broken into different phases.

“When we look at the life of a conflict, we have a tendency to focus on the middle section of that life of a conflict – when you are at the ‘CNN stage’ – when you are at the stage of suffering and taking urgent decisions peacekeeping operations. I think we need all to think of extending that attention to the pre-stage and the post-stage. The life of a conflict which is discovered at the first vibrations on the ground – that is when we should start to act.”

Mr Eliasson also stressed that at the end of fighting important work needs to follow to avoid getting back to what he called “the vicious cycle of conflict”.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

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