UN peacekeepers and mediators are often a highly visible presence in ongoing violent conflicts and their aftermath, but can the United Nations prevent conflict from becoming violent in the first place? The UN expresses a desire to prevent violent conflict, but does it actually match its words with action and are preventative efforts successful? In our research on UN action in self-determination disputes we have found that the answer to both of these questions is generally yes. The UN gets involved in non-violent disputes with a propensity to become violent, and some UN actions can reduce the likelihood of escalation to civil war.
Beardsley, Kyle; David Cunningham & Peter B. White (2016) The United Nations and Conflict Prevention, PRIO Policy Brief, 17. Oslo: PRIO.