Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 20th January, 2017 (WAM) — In a session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said his priority at the UN would be reform of the organisation’s peace strategy and architecture to recalibrate focus towards prevention – and not just resolution – of conflict. Pointing out that peace-keeping consumes over 70 percent of the UN’s budget, he said, “Today, most of our operations take place in countries where there is no peace to keep. Peace-keepers become, inevitably, parties to the conflict.” By preventing conflicts and helping countries that finally emerge from conflict, the UN will be able to limit its peace-keeping role.

Guterres, who assumed office on 1 January 2017, said his efforts at conflict prevention and resolution would not be limited to taking diplomatic action, but would attempt a comprehensive approach based on the UN’s core principles of ensuring peace, security, sustainable development and human rights.

“The best prevention is sustainable and inclusive development,” he said, pointing out that while the world is witnessing unparalleled technological progress, increasing volumes of trade, reduction of poverty and progress in living conditions, inequality has increased substantially. Meanwhile, the globalisation of communication has made everyone aware of rising inequality, leading to frustration and fuelling conflict.

The 47th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is taking place on 17-20 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, under the theme Responsive and Responsible Leadership. More than 3,000 participants from nearly 100 countries are participating in over 400 sessions.