19 March, 2013 - At the Ninth Seminar for Special and Personal Representatives of the Secretary-General held in Switzerland in the first part of March, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon engaged in a dialogue with his heads of UN peace missions and peacekeeping operations around the world on enhancing UN practice.

The Secretary-General acknowledged progress made, and focused on addressing new and emerging challenges to preventing, and sustainably resolving conflict. He emphasized the crucial importance of preventive diplomacy, mediation, and the promotion and protection of human rights. Heads of 27 UN peacekeeping operations and special political missions took part as well as senior Headquarters officials including the Head of the Department of Political Affairs, the Head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Head of the Department of Field Support, Senior Advisors to the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Assistant-Secretary-General of the United Nations Development Programme, among others. A strategic partner, the African Union, was represented by the Commissioner for Peace and Security of the continental body.

Departmental Heads of Mission Conferences were also held immediately after the seminar to further discuss and refine approaches.

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden provided the funding that made these high-level knowledge and experience-sharing exchanges among senior UN peacemakers possible. 

UNITAR has been organizing the Seminar for Special and Personal Representatives and Envoys of the UN Secretary-General since 2001. The Ninth SRSG Seminar was organized by UNITAR, in association with the United Nations System Staff College.

For more information please see UNITAR's page on Peacemaking and Conflict Prevention.