Draft No. 1                                                                              English version 03-08-2003)



Proposal for the creation of a new UN subsidiary organ


UN Commission on Peace and Crisis Prevention







Conscious of

the need to defuse developing conflicts in crisis regions as early as possible through non-military intervention;

the need to consider adequately the complexity of crisis situations and the structures of conflicts, especially in the world's crisis regions;

the increasing importance of civil society in conflict resolution and conflict transformation in the world's areas of crises;


to prevent the violent escalation of conflicts;

to strengthen peace work, peace education and peace research worldwide;

to expand sustainable participation;

to foster confidence in the UN and its organizations, such that world peace can be promoted,


the General Assembly resolves to establish a UN Commission on Peace and Crisis Prevention (UNCOPAC), and enacts herewith the following statute.

Article 1: Duties

For the promotion of world peace and international security, UNCOPAC will take preventive action in advance of potentially violent conflicts. It will initiate and promote measures for the further development of crisis prevention and the peaceful resolution of conflicts. It will support steps towards the worldwide strengthening of peace work, peace education and peace research, and will coordinate them at international level.



CHAPTER I:            Organization of UNCOPAC


Article 2: Structure

UNCOPAC shall consist of 20 voting members with at least a 40 percent representation of both women and men in order to achieve gender balance.


Article 3: Criteria for the selection of members of UNCOPAC

(1)               UNCOPAC members should distinguish themselves through their moral authority, their experience in international cooperation, conflict analysis and crisis prevention, their gender sensitivity and their intercultural competence. They should be persons known for their dedication to democracy and commitment to interdisciplinary and global thinking based on the principle of sustainability. Members should be qualified specialists in one of the fields described in Article 16, paragraph (2) for the scientific staff, or have equivalent civil society competence. During the performance of their duties as members of UNCOPAC, they shall not hold any other political office.

(2)               In every election of UNCOPAC members, it shall be ensured that each candidate  possesses the required abilities and that the group as a whole represents all five UN regions.


Article 4: Selection and appointment of UNCOPAC members

(1)               In accordance with paragraphs 3 to 6, the UN General Assembly shall elect the members of UNCOPAC from a list of persons nominated by the specific organizations and institutions defined in paragraph (2).

(2)               All NGOs which are active in crisis prevention, conflict transformation, peacebuilding, human rights, peace education, peace studies or humanitarian aid and are accredited by the UN (or ECOSOC, as appropriate) may propose candidates for appointment to UNCOPAC. These proposals must include detailed information on the biography and activities of the nominees, confirming that they possess the qualifications specified in Article 3.

In cases of doubt, the NGO Committee of ECOSOCshall decide whether a UN-accredited NGO is active in the areas described in paragraph 2.

(3)               At least twelve months prior to the election, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall invite the organizations and institutions defined in paragraph (2)  to nominate, within a specified period, persons who are suitably qualified to become members of UNCOPAC.

(4)               An organization or institution may nominate a maximum of two persons. It is recommended that before nominating candidates, institutions and associations involved in peace research and peace work be consulted.

(5)               The Secretary-General shall prepare and publish an alphabetical list of all nominees. A shortlist will then be drawn up. Nominations in this round may only be put forward by groups of at least three accredited organizations which may nominate up to three individuals. The 60 persons receiving the most votes through this process shall be deemed to be nominated. If several candidates receive the same number of votes for the last vacant position, the oldest of these candidates shall be deemed be nominated.

(6)               The Secretary-General shall submit this shortlist, structured according to the five UN regions, to the General Assembly for a vote. Only the persons on this list may be elected. Four candidates must be elected from each UN region. The candidates with the highest number of votes in the General Assembly shall be deemed to be elected. If several candidates receive the same number of votes for the last vacant position, the oldest of these shall be deemed to be elected.


Article 5: Term of office

(1)               The 20 members of UNCOPAC shall be elected for six years. However, ten of the members elected in the first election shall serve for only three years.

(3)               The members whose term expires after three years shall be chosen by lot, to be drawn by the Secretary-General of the United Nations immediately after the first election has taken place.

(4)               The seats which become vacant shall be filled by the same method as is employed for the first election.

(5)               During each election, five persons shall be elected to a reserve list. Persons on that list may only become members of UNCOPAC if a regular member leaves office prematurely.


Article 6: Chair

Every two years, the members of UNCOPAC shall elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chair from their ranks. The election shall take place in accordance with UNCOPAC's rules of procedure.

Article 7: Privileges and immunities

Upon taking up their posts, members of UNCOPAC shall enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities in accordance with the UN Convention on Privileges and Immunities.


Article 8: Cooptation

UNCOPAC may coopt additional advisory members at any time. However, such members shall not be granted a right to vote.


Article 9: Decision-making

(1)               A quorum of 15 members shall be sufficient to constitute UNCOPAC.

(2)               UNCOPAC shall adopt decisions on substantive issues by an absolute majority of its members, and on procedural matters by a two-thirds majority of the members present.

(3)               If in an urgent procedure in accordance with Article 11, paragraphs (5) and (6), the quorum defined in paragraph 1 is not reached or it is foreseeable that a quorum cannot be reached, a proposal by the chair shall be decided on by correspondence within 14 days.



CHAPTER II: The competencies of UNCOPAC


Article 10:             Functions and powers

(1)               UNCOPAC may make recommendations to the UN General Assembly, the Security Council and the Secretary-General on measures to deescalate conflicts. It may also address recommendations to parties in conflicts. All recommendations must be published.

(2)               If developments are identified as potentially leading to a threat to world peace or to genocide or crimes against humanity, UNCOPAC shall develop proposals on non-military measures which could prevent such developments. While doing so, UNCOPAC shall give the states concerned the opportunity to present their views. The proposed measures shall be forwarded to the General Assembly, the Secretary-General and the Security Council and then be published. The deadlines laid down in Article 11, paragraph (5) and Article 12, paragraph (3) shall be met.

(3)               UNCOPAC shall publish a report on the implementation of its recommendations and proposals every six months. These reports shall be integrated into the annual report to the General Assembly in accordance with Article 15, paragraph (1).

(4)               UNCOPAC may despatch a UNCOPAC observer mission or confer the status of a UNCOPAC observer mission on non-governmental organizations (NGOs).


(5)               The use of sanctions pursuant to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter shall remain unaffected  by paragraphs (1) to (4).

(6)               UNCOPAC shall take general measures for the prevention of violence, especially initiatives for the establishment of additional research and educational institutions and for the training of peaceworkers, and may coordinate and support such activities.


Article 11:            Procedures

(1)               UNCOPAC shall establish ongoing links to early-warning institutions and projects and to the political unit of the Secretary-General of the United Nations through appropriate agreements.

(2)               A permanent group of experts from the scientific staff pursuant to Article 16, paragraph (2) shall work continuously on recording and evaluating the findings of these early-warning institutions and projects.

(3)               If this evaluation reveals any risk of developments as defined in Article 10, paragraph (2) of the present statute, the permanent working group shall inform UNCOPAC immediately in writing. This should describe the anticipated developments, assess the period of time still available for non-military intervention, and present the (perhaps varying) indicators and observation parameters supplied by the early-warning institutions. The staff of the early-warning systems concerned shall be informed of this step.

(4)               In this case, the chair of UNCOPAC shall be obliged to initiate an assessment procedure pursuant to Article 10, paragraph (2) of the present statute. It shall inform the NGOs, as defined in Article 4 paragraph (2), working in the affected region of the start of the procedure and request additional information.

(5)               In especially urgent cases, when the early-warning indicators show that the threat is imminent, the Chair of UNCOPAC must initiate an urgent procedure, which must be decided upon by UNCOPAC within six weeks.

(6)               UNCOPAC may also initiate an emergency procedure if no early warning has been given due to a lack of indicators but a threat as defined in paragraph (3) is evident.


Article 12:            The right of application for external organizations

(1)               All organizations and institutions with the right to nominate pursuant to Article 4 paragraph (2), as well as peace universities and peace research institutes shall, in accordance with the following rules, have the right to submit well-founded proposals falling within the remit of UNCOPAC, especially on prevention of violence, or to make applicationsto UNCOPAC pursuant to Article 10, paragraph (2) of the present statute.

(2)               A proposal or application must be introduced jointly by at least three organiza­tions or institutions.

(3)               UNCOPAC must adopt and publish its decisions on applications falling within the scope of paragraph (1) within three months, and in all other cases within nine months.



CHAPTER III.            Cooperation with other institutions and organizations


Article 13:            Obligation to provide information

The Security Council, the General Assembly and the Secretary-General of the United Nations may obtain opinions from UNCOPAC at any time.


Article 14:            Provision of information

To fulfil its duties, UNCOPAC will also rely on the expertise of the NGOs defined in Article 4, paragraph (2). To this end, it shall develop a system of information exchange with these organizations. UNCOPAC shall maintain continuous contact with UNESCO and UNHCR, as well as with national and regional governmental organizations working in similar fields, such as the OSCE.


Article 15:            Accountability

(1)               UNCOPAC shall be accountable to the General Assembly. The organizations and institutions participating in the nomination procedure shall be kept informed through the annual report.

(2)               At least every two years, UNCOPAC will hold a conference, which will take place in a different UN region on each occasion. At this conference, the activities of UNCOPAC and associated problems will be reported, and the requests, concerns, complaints, hopes and ideas of  international civil society relating to the functions of UNCOPAC will be heard.

(3)               These conferences will be organized on behalf of and in coordination with UNCOPAC by the cooperating organizations of the host country. All organizations and institutions which have nominated candidates in line with Article 4, paragraph (2) are eligible to send two representatives. NGOs which intend to participate in the next nomination procedure may apply to UNCOPAC for admission, provided that they fulfil the criteria defined in Article 4, paragraph 2. Public lectures and discussions for a wider public should be included.

CHAPTER IV:            The Secretariat


Article 16:             Secretariat

(1)               UNCOPAC shall be supported in the execution of its duties by a secretariat. This will comprise a scientific staff of some 50 highly qualified expertsas well as other qualified staff such as UNCOPAC may require for the performance of its duties. In addition, every member of UNCOPAC shall have the right to an assistant financed from the UNCOPAC budget.

(2)               The scientific staff should include the following competencies and disciplines:

§      peace and conflict research (especially large group psychology, political psychology; research on ethnocentrism and enemy images; international law; peace education; prevention of social violence; good knowledge of early-warning problems and systems, civil conflict resolution; research on peace­building and development of peace networks, peace constituencies and capacity-building; security analysis);

§      economics (especially mechanisms and impacts of economic sanctions and international boycotts, transformation of civil war economies and economies of violence, economic levers for the reduction of weapons production and trade, economies of weak resources and their administration, reconstruction of peace economies in post-war regions);

§      minority rights and human rights and the means and ways of guaranteeing them in multi-ethnic societies;

§      media analysis (especially the role of the media in preventing violence and promoting  reconciliation).

§      competence in "training the trainers" in the areas of peace education, conflict and conflict prevention, development of peace constituencies, intercultural dia­logue; training of qualified peaceworkers for international crisis intervention;

§      experience in the organization of training and research as well as in the area of organizational development;

§      practical experience in international governmental and non-governmental organizations in line with Article 4, paragraph (2).

(3)            Members of the scientific staff and other employees of UNCOPAC shall be selected and appointed by the chair of UNCOPAC following public hearings. There must be at least a 40 percent representation of both women and men in order to achieve gender balance. Vacancies will be published. In addition, the Chair may appoint regional experts on a short-term contractual basis to cover specific issues and cultures as required.



CHAPTER V: Miscellaneous provisions


Article 17:            Headquarters

UNCOPAC's headquarters shall be located in XXXXX.


Article 18:            Financing and budget

The costs of UNCOPAC and its operations shall be covered by the budget of the United Nations as well as by the UN member states. The General Assembly shall decide on the contribution rate of each state. Voluntary contributions from UN member states shall also be requested.


Article 19:            Rules of procedure

UNCOPAC shall adopt its own rules of procedure.