The United Nations and its Conflict Resolution Role
The Role of the United Nations in Conflict and Peace in Latin AmericaSezai Özçelik
Relatively speaking, Latin America is one of the least conflict-ridden regions in the World and a peaceful continent. South America, especially,hasa been one of the most peaceful places in terms of the absence of direct violence and interstate wars. While there have been bilateral or trilateral conflicts between the neighbors, most conflicts in Latin America can be categorized as internal and intra-state conflicts. Since the 1935 Chaco War between Paraguay and Bolivia, inter-state conflicts have rarely occurred among the Latin America countries. Also, the longest interstate dispute in the World happened in Latin America between Ecuador and Peru, which started in 1809 and finished in 1998. War has been the exception rather than the rule since 1883 in Latin America. The last inter-state conflict in the region was the Falkland/Malvinas War between an outside power and a regional middle power, namely, Great Britain and Argentina.
The relation between peace efforts of the United Nations and international politics in Latin America today requires our attention and calls for serious reflection and study. Changes in Latin America have been remarkably rapid and widespread since the end of the Cold War. As a result, it is necessary to give scholarly attention to the explanation and understanding of conflict, peace and the role of the United Nations in Latin America. Significant continuity is also visible in the institutions, ideas,and perspectives about conflict and peace in Latin America.1 Much of the conflict in Latin America has been connected within poverty and the proper place of the poor in modern Latin American society and politics. If a scholar properly defines the poor and sheds light on the proper explanation of poverty, it becomes easier to find and solve the root causes of conflicts in Latin America.