Peaceful Settlement of Disputes
Preventive diplomacy: Spanish priorities
Preventive diplomacy has become a fundamental instrument in conflict prevention. While it is true that diplomacy itself is a preventive way, when we speak about "preventive diplomacy" we refer to "measures designed to prevent existing disputes from becoming conflicts and prevent them, if they occur, from spreading." Prevention addresses the causes that give rise to the conflict from a perspective that integrates the three pillars of the United Nations: peace and security, human rights and inclusive development

In 2015, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, submitted a report entitled  the United Nations and conflict prevention: a collective recommitment to underline the need to evolve from a traditional culture of reaction to an indispensable culture of prevention.

His successor, António Guterres, pursued with the legacy of Ban Ki-Moon, making prevention culture one of the main priorities of his term of office. From the beginning, Spain showed its support to Secretary General António Guterres and stated the need for the international community to strengthen the use of preventive tools and also take into account the involvement of other local actors and promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue. The presence of Spain in the Security Council between 2015 and 2016 has served to strengthen the preventive purpose of the Council, in order to improve its capacity to respond to emerging crises and potential threats against peace and security. The prevention of conflicts is still a fundamental axis of Spanish foreign policy today. Facing this growing of conflicts, civil wars and the concerning figures of forced displacement, Spain believes that using a preventing democracy that integrates sustainable development, peace, governance, human rights and the rule of law has to be mandatory.

Women, Peace and Security

In 2000, the Security Council approved the first resolution on Women, Peace and Security, which dealt with the disproportionate and singular effect of the armed conflict on women. The increase in inequality between men and women in conflict situations and the exclusion of women from peace negotiations limits their access to opportunities for recovery and prevents their participation in reforming public laws and institutions. Resolution 1325 is a historical milestone in terms of gender, which recognises the essential involvement of women in order to achieve a lasting peace. The international community also stresses the importance of these women having access to justice and anti-discrimination services to protect them against human rights violations, during any conflict and once peace consolidation has begun. The UN urges Member States to ensure this participation of women in full-equality conditions and to incorporate gender perspectives in all areas of the peace process. 60 States are currently committed to increasing participation of women in peace operations.

In 2007, Spain approved its first National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, in compliance with what were back then two clear trends of Spanish foreign policy: working for international peace and security and fighting for no discrimination based on gender. Spain has proven to be a country committed to the struggle for equal rights and opportunities between women and men. The incorporation of the WPS agenda to the priorities of Spain during term in office of the Security Council and the approval of Resolution 2242 during it, highlight the importance that Spain attaches to this agenda. In addition, in 2017 Spain approved the  II National Plan of Action, which becomes a driving factor for concrete measures at the national level, as well as regarding foreign actions.

Youth, Peace and Security

Following the example of the WPS agenda, another historic moment took place in 2015 with the unanimous approval of Resolution 2250 of the Security Council on the contribution of young people to peace processes. The UN urged Member States to support and encourage the participation and representation of youth in the consolidation and maintenance of peace. In addition, the countries were required to put in place the necessary procedures and tools to ensure this participation and analyse the contribution of youth in order to generate more effective responses at local, national, regional and international levels. 

IHL: Civilian Peacekeeping

International humanitarian law (IHL) is a branch of international law that includes a set of rules aimed at the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, their effect limitations and the restriction of means and methods which make wars happen. We are talking about a file of complementary international treaties and conventions: IHL protects those who do not participate in the conflict, such as civilians and medical and religious personnel; it also protects wounded or sick combatants, castaways and prisoners of war. IHL recognises that these people have the right for their life, their physical and moral integrity to be respected, and based on these principles, they must be protected.

Resolution 2286

In addition to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 1977, it is worth mentioning the last Resolution 2286 of the UN Security Council, approved unanimously on 3 May 2016. The resolution submitted jointly by Spain, New Zealand, Japan, Uruguay and Egypt and co-sponsored by 85 countries, condemns attacks against doctors and hospitals in armed conflicts and calls for compliance with the obligations of International Humanitarian Law. Likewise, it urges States to investigate these violations of International Humanitarian Law and to take action against those responsible, and addresses issues such as the attack prevention, the importance of training, or the need to collect objective and reliable data about attacks against doctors and hospitals in countries in conflict. In addition, the resolution requests the Secretary General to provide some advice to prevent violence against humanitarian and medical personnel, wounded and sick, and to report to the Security Council on the implementation of the resolution at least once a year. This ensures the inclusion of this important issue on the Council's agenda.

Spain actively participates in the promotion of Resolution 2286 and belongs to the informal monitoring group of the 2286 in Geneva.

Children and armed conflicts

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) set forth a special protection to children. In the event of international or non-international armed conflict, children benefit from the general protection established in the Geneva Conventions regarding the rights of civilians who do not participate in hostilities and, as such, must be treated humanely. With regard to the IHL rules on the conduct of hostilities, special protection is applied, even if they participate directly in conflicts. The limits to such participation are included in the Additional Protocols of 1977, the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child and the last Optional Protocol to this Convention.

Spain is a member of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict in New York and supports the Safe Schools Declaration and the Vancouver Declaration on Child Soldiers of 2017.

Responsibility to Protect

The concept of Responsibility to Protect was born in the dichotomy between the ethical obligation to end the systematic violence against civilians and the principle of non-interference and sovereign equality included in the UN Charter. The RTP is based on the idea of "sovereignty as responsibility", understanding that States are responsible for protecting their citizens.
The RTP has become a priority for the international community being referred to by the Council on several occasions. In 2017, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the issue to include a new item on the Assembly agenda aimed at the RTP. In addition, a Focal Point Network was created in 2011, the Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes was prepared in 2014, and the Group of Friends of RTP was established in 2015.

Spain has shown an unwavering commitment to the principle of the Responsibility to Protect at all levels. At the international level, Spain co-sponsored, together with Chile, an open meeting in the "Arria Formula" format of the CS on RTP, focused on threats from non-state actors. The meeting took place in December 2015 and was open to all Member States, monitoring missions and civil society. At the regional level, Spain, again together with Chile, and in collaboration with the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and the Morgan Stanley Investment Funds, organised the 5th Meeting of the Global of Focal Point Network, which was held in June 2015 in Madrid..

Kigali Principles

In 2017, Spain has endorsed the Kigali Principles, a commitment to prioritise the protection of civilians in Peace Operations. 


In recent years, the United Nations has developed better instruments and greater skills in preventive diplomacy and, especially, in mediation. In 2008, the Mediation Support Unit was created within the Department of Political Affairs of the United Nations due to the growing demand for activities related to the matter in the International Community. This Unit provides operational support to the mediation activities undertaken or supported by the UN. However, the clearest element that shows the determination of the international community to promote mediation in the United Nations system is the creation of the Group of Friends of Mediation. The GFM, of which Spain is a founding member, is playing a very important role in all activities related to mediation that take place within the United Nations. This Group was created in September 2010 with the purpose of highlighting the importance of mediation in the United Nations system, creating a network of mediators and developing regional early warning centres.



  • 24 Jan @SpainMFA * RT @EUCouncilTVNews: Arrival and doorstep by @jmalbares, Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of #Spain, at today's…
  • 23 Jan @SpainMFA * RT @vonderleyen: Important conversation with Pedro @sanchezcastejon on the current situation in Ukraine. We are united in supporting the…
  • 20 Jan @SpainMFA * RT @GaviSeth: Thank you Minister @jmalbares, @SpainMFA for pledging vital funding to support the Gavi #COVAX AMC! We appreciate Spain’s com…
  • 20 Jan @SpainMFA * RT @SpainInTheUSA: While in Washington, @SpainMFA Minister @jmalbares met with Executive Director of Human Rights Watch’s @hrw America’s Di…
  • 19 Jan @SpainMFA * RT @SpainInTheUSA: 🇪🇸🇺🇸 @SpainMFA Minister @jmalbares met with Congressman and Honorary Chair of the @usspaincouncil @JoaquinCastrotx yeste…
  • 19 Jan @SpainMFA * RT @SpainInTheUSA: 🗣️ See Minister @jmalbares' full conversation with @CSIS' John Hamre from this morning: "The Transatlantic Relationship:…
  • 19 Jan @SpainMFA * RT @SpainInTheUSA: Last night, @SpainMFA Minister @jmalbares decorated @chefjoseandres with the Order of Civil Merit for his work with @WCK…
  • 18 Jan @SpainMFA * RT @SpainInTheUSA: Today in DC, @SpainMFA Minister @jmalbares & State Secretary @AMorenoBau met with representatives from Spanish companies…
  • 18 Jan @SpainMFA * RT @SecBlinken: Pleasure to host Spanish Foreign Minister @jmalbares in Washington. Spain is a steadfast Ally and strong partner on a range…
  • 18 Jan @SpainMFA * RT @csiserep: Join @CSIS tomorrow at 11am ET for a conversation with Spanish Foreign Minister @jmalbares to discuss the upcoming #NATO summ…
  • 18 Jan @SpainMFA * Minister @jmalbares begins his first official trip to #Washington today, which includes a meeting with his #US coun…
  • 13 Jan @SpainMFA * #Spain and #Italy will continue to work together on our bilateral relationship and for the stability in the…
  • 13 Jan @SpainMFA * The French Presidency of the #EU convenes today and tomorrow in #Brest 🇫🇷 the informal meeting of 🇪🇺 Foreign Minist…
  • 13 Jan @SpainMFA * RT @jmalbares: At #SpainInvestorsDay, a forum that brings together investors and leading Spanish companies to help internationalize our eco…
  • 11 Jan @SpainMFA * The ministers have also discussed the fight against #terrorism and the threat arising from #COVID19. @jmalbares has…


  • Inscríbete en el Registro de Viajeros
  • Recomendaciones de Viaje
  • Fichas por país
  • Inscríbete en convocatorias UE
  • Convocatorias en la UE
  • Atlas Redes Sociales
  • Embajadas y Consulados
  • Sede Electrónica
  • Página de Participación Ciudadana
  • Página Portal de Transparencia
  • Sede Palacio de Santa Cruz
    Plaza de la Provincia, 1
    28012 MADRID
    Tel: +34 91 379 97 00
  • Sede Palacio de Viana
    Duque de Rivas, 1
    28071 MADRID
    Tel: +34 91 379 97 00
  • Sede Marqués de Salamanca
    Plaza del Marqués de Salamanca, 8
    28006 MADRID
    Tel: +34 91 379 97 00
  • Sede Pechuán
    C/ Pechuán, 1
    28002 MADRID
    Tel: +34 91 379 17 00
    Avda. Reyes Católicos, 4
    28040 MADRID
    Tel: +34 91 583 81 00 / 01
    Fax: +34 91 583 83 10 / 11
Gobierno de España
©Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Unión Europea y Cooperación
Portal gestionado por la Dirección General de Comunicación, Diplomacia Pública y Redes
Premio Ciudadanía 2016
Premio Ciudadanía 2016