Guidance Note of the Secretary-General: The United Nations and Land and Conflict

Over the coming decades, competition and conflict over land is likely to intensify with the growing pressures of climate change, population growth, increased food insecurity, migration and urbanization. Due to growing evidence of the link between land, armed conflict, and human rights abuses, the United Nations (UN) system needs to be more responsive to the emerging needs of Member States and populations.

This Note has been developed to help the UN system be more fit for purpose on land and conflict issues, and is based on relevant international norms and standards, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the experiences of the UN system. The principles and framework for UN engagement are designed to achieve a sustained and strategic common approach across the peace and security, human rights and development pillars, and tailored to inform, in particular, UN system programming and advocacy interventions.

The UN Framework for Action in this Note helps to identify potential entry points to integrate land in conflict analyses, planning and assessment processes, supports engagement of UN leadership and outlines key activities to consider in areas of UN work - such as support to peace agreements and mediation, human rights, gender equality, rule of law and governance. This Note provides guidance on partnership and the use of practical tools for analysis, coordination and programming.

This Note consists of an introductory section and three parts. Section (A) presents guiding principles for UN engagement related to land and conflict; Section (B) presents a framework for action by the Organization across the three pillars; and Section (C) describes UN system arrangements.