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Given the clear mandate of the UNSC in the realm of conflict management, one would not expect much hybridity among institutional arrangements within high-table diplomacy overall, but rather strenuous differentiation between formality and informality. There would appear to be serious risks associated with referring part of that mandate to other bodies, risks that by extension could undermine the status and functioning of the UN system at large. For analogous reasons, one would not expect the UNSC to cede ground on traditional security issues to other organizational bodies or legal frameworks. As mentioned previously, the council and the P5 countries exert considerable influence over interpreting and monitoring those boundaries and are likely to contest what they perceive as transgressions. Background Conflict management can be described as the process of addressing serious differences of opinion and interest. This process typically involves domination, compromise, and integration as the three main modes of operation in the context of international relations as well as of domestic politics.1 If sufficiently fierce, differences among political subjects and communities often evolve into overt enmity, in which case the conflict in question acquires a distinctive security dimension.2 With or without efforts to reconcile those differences and avert an escalation of the situation, the outbreak of violent acts may ensue. The management of “violence and insecurity,” which in international relations could be tantamount to war or the threat of war, constitutes an essential part of such activities.3 Conflict management, as here understood, would be substantively and qualitatively different without international security institutions. There is no doubt that the UNSC has been at the core of international conflict management ever since the 1946 foundation of the UN. Charged with Chapter 3 Conflict Management 78 Chapter 3 maintaining peace and security by way of the UN Charter, the council established itself in that capacity in the course of the following two decades. The rapid decolonization process and subsequent rise in the number of UN member states from fifty-one to over one hundred in the early 1960s nevertheless posed an enormous challenge to the young institution. The UN had to accommodate the growing heterogeneity of international diplomacy by altering the deliberation format applied at many levels, and it had to make room for hundreds of civil servants from the new member states. All of these changes presented the UN and its associated agencies and programs with substantial legal, political, and social difficulties that needed to be overcome.4 Most important, the decolonization process and the spawning of new UN member states required a reform of the council, which had to take place through an amendment of the charter that also brought about adjustments in the council’s size as well as in its mode of operation.5 Although an increase in the number of permanent member states was categorically rejected by the P5 governments, they readily acknowledged that an expansion was justified from the vantage point of representation. The council members under the leadership of the P5 countries decided on the reform expeditiously, and the 1965 charter amendment increased the number of member states from eleven to fifteen and the majority for action from seven to nine votes. As alluded to in chapter 1, the repercussions of the reform were felt within a few months. The number of meetings open to the public decreased, and the council expanded the practice of informally deliberating in its entirety (“informal consultations of the whole”), in alternative constellations (“informal consultations of other than the whole”), in “private meetings” (after which a single copy of a protocol is kept by the secretary general),6 and in unofficial consultations among council members or with member states credited with the desire and capability of helping to move a particular issue forward.7 In the late 1960s and the 1970s, the diplomatic process accompanying international conflict management by the UNSC slowly stabilized, with several caucus groups helping to solidify loyalties. Outside the P5 and E10 groups of countries that are directly derived from charter rules, the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM), the Group of Seventy-Seven (G77) developing states, and the EU caucus have demonstrated longevity. A number of “contact groups” and “friends” of a particular country exposed to conflict have also emerged, leaning on the UN Secretariat or P5 permanent missions for support and inspiration. Although newspaper reports from time to time cited initiatives by representatives of such caucus groups, much of the diplomatic activity was conducted unofficially and bilaterally, away from the scrutinizing gaze of...


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