is action to prevent disputes from arising between parties, to prevent existing disputes from escalating into conflicts and to limit the spread of the latter when they occur..
Michael S. Lund, the author of "Preventing Violent Conflict: A Strategy for Preventive Diplomacy", identifies it as "action taken in vulnerable places and times to avoid the threat or use of armed force and related forms of coercion by states or groups to settle the political disputes that can arise from the destabilizing effects of economic, social, political, and international change."
Since the end of the Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...
the international community through international institutions has been focusing on preventive diplomacy. As the United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...
and regional organizations as well as global and regional powers discovered the high costs of managing conflict, there is a strong common perception of benevolence of preventive diplomacy. Preventive diplomacy actions can be implemented by the UN, regional organizations, NGO networks and individual states. One of the examples of preventive diplomacy is the UN peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....
mission in Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...
The United Nations Preventive Deployment Force was established on 31 March 1995 in Security Council Resolution 983 to replace the United Nations Protection Force in the Republic of Macedonia...
) in 1995-1999. It was the first UN preventive action.
Preventive measures include: early warning, fact-findings, early deployment, demilitarized zone
In military terms, a demilitarized zone is an area, usually the frontier or boundary between two or more military powers , where military activity is not permitted, usually by peace treaty, armistice, or other bilateral or multilateral agreement...
, confidence building measures.
1. UN Secretary General Report "Agenda for Peace", 1992 http://www.un.org/Docs/SG/agpeace.html
2. UN Secretary General Report "Prevention of Armed Conflict", 2001 http://www.reliefweb.int/library/documents/2001/un-conflprev-07jun.htm
3.Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA. Preventive Diplomacy/Conflict Prevention http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/prevent.htm