UN chief highlights role of reconciliation in peace, security maintenance

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 20, 2019
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UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday highlighted the role of reconciliation in maintaining peace and security, stressing that its processes must evolve to respond to the changing nature of conflict.

At a Security Council open debate on reconciliation, Guterres said successful reconciliation contributes to preventing a recurrence of conflict and building more peaceful, resilient and prosperous societies.

Reconciliation processes have played a crucial role in resolving ethnic, religious and political differences and enabling people to live in peace, according to Guterres.

"Reconciliation helps to repair fractures caused by an absence of trust between state and people," he said. "It is a process through which societies can move from a divided past to a shared future."

Moreover, the UN chief stressed the need for the concept of reconciliation to evolve to keep up with the changing nature of conflict. "It can no longer be confined to those directly involved in waging war."

As social, economic and political inequalities are growing, amplified by the climate crisis and by new technologies, he said, reconciliation processes must respond to these challenges by being broader, deeper and more inclusive than ever before.

"Reconciliation must have an impact at the individual, interpersonal, institutional and socio-political levels," he said. "Social and economic reform can play a central role in reconciliation, demonstrating the needs to address corrupt practices and systems that serve the interests of a small elite."

Guterres pointed out that reconciliation processes must fulfill two conditions.

First, he said, they must be based in the communities and societies affected by conflict. "Reconciliation must come from within, with the participation of all -- not only political leaders and organizations."

Second, he said, successful reconciliation processes address the pain and suffering of victims, understand the motivation of offenders, render justice, provide remedy, and ensure truth.

The UN is endeavoring to incorporate reconciliation programs under peace restoration and peace building initiatives in a number of countries across the world, according to Guterres. Enditem

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