How to be conflict sensitive in the midst of a pandemic? A case study on Colombia

Efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 have led to a series of knock-on effects. Some measures have contributed to increased social conflict and violence. Understanding how to sustain peace, while implementing measures that had drastic psycho-socioeconomic impacts has been challenging for countries around the world. This policy brief looks at Colombia, a country with some success in the management of the pandemic, and highlights lessons learned on how the United Nations can support governments to be conflict sensitive when a country is hit by an external shock such as the COVID-19 crisis.

crowd of people waving flags

This policy brief analyzes how some measures to contain the spread of the pandemic, such as lockdowns may have contributed to the fluctuations in levels of violence, and provides four recommendations to prevent violence during major crises:

  1. The UN should call on member states to adopt conflict-sensitive policies to respond to major crises such as COVID-19
  2. The UN should support member states to develop conflict sensitive measures during a major crisis
  3. The UN could undertake a “lessons learned” exercise, including, e.g., PBSO, the UNDP-DPPA Joint Program, UNODC, WHO
  4. The UN could call on member states to develop a strategy to address residual risk factors for conflict deepened by the COVID-19 crisis

[ Read the full policy brief, How to be conflict sensitive in the midst of a pandemic? A case study on Colombia ]

Learn more about the Conflict Prevention work at CIC →

More Resources

  • Publication: Analysis May 17, 2023 CIC Perspectives

    Managing Opportunities, Challenges, and Expectations for the New Agenda for Peace

    Ahead of the policy brief expected from the UN Secretariat in June 2023, this piece provides a historical glance at past UN reforms, identifies the primary challenges and opportunities the UN and its member states face as they undergo this process, and looks forward to the key priorities that can be taken up from a realistic and practical perspective. Highlighted is how the New Agenda for Peace “provides a rare opportunity for the United Nations to examine and reflect upon the totality of the peace and security work of the Organization to uncover and better understand the synergies and contradictions of the existing processes and structures.”

  • Publication: Policy Brief April 24, 2023

    Does the Present Interpretation of the UN Principles Cause Harm in Syria and Yemen?

    This policy brief takes a comparative examination of how the United Nations has adopted a paradoxical interpretation of its guiding principles to address the complex humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen. It offers approaches that could change the course of international humanitarian operations and protect them from further politicization, weaponization, and diversion.

Stay Connected

Join our mailing list to receive regular updates on our latest events, analysis, and resources.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.