On Friday 28 October the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect joined the Global Justice Center in hosting an event entitled, “The UN’s New Agenda for Peace and the situation in Myanmar: Examining Priorities in Practice.” Among the twelve commitments from the Declaration on the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations is the UN Secretary-General’s call for a “New Agenda for Peace.” Billed as an opportunity to revisit the UN Charter’s founding pledge to prevent the scourge of war, the New Agenda could be an opportunity to recalibrate multilateral approaches to conflict and atrocity prevention and resolution, as well as to promote human rights and gender equality.
Given the “systemic failures” and “structural shortcomings” in the UN’s handling of the situation in Myanmar (e.g. the 2019 Rosenthal inquiry), it is apt to consider what lessons Myanmar could hold for this New Agenda. In addition to shedding light on the UN’s conflict prevention shortcomings, a contextual look at the crisis and opportunities in Myanmar can be instructive. From the need to address gender in conflict to the limits of regional prevention mechanisms, the complexities of the situation in Myanmar challenge advocates, policymakers, and states to consider inclusive and reflexive paths to peace.