6. Ring Ban Ki-moon.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has not been as publicly vocal on the Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute as he has been on other issues like Syria, for example. Both China and Japan would stand to gain by inviting Ban Ki-moon’s assistance to resolve the dispute – or at the very least prevent war. They need not accept his recommendations, or even publicly acknowledge his mediation efforts. But the mere presence of a third-party genuinely interested in the prevention of war as an end in itself can be immensely beneficial by creating options which the disputants may not have heretofore considered possible.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
This final proposal should not be mistaken for starry-eyed idealism in the capabilities of the world body. The UN has many flaws. But its primary purpose, and its most enduringly relevant one, as Dag Hammarskjöld made clear, was to prevent small disputes from engulfing the great powers in world war.
Daryl Morini is a Pacific Forum CSIS WSD-Handa Non-Resident Fellow. He is a PhD researcher on preventive diplomacy, Deputy Editor of e-IR, and has work experience in international institutions, including the UN. Follow him at: @DarylMorini