Views from the United Nations
Unarmed Civilian Protection: The Methodology and Its Relevance for Norwegian Church-Based Organizations and Their PartnersExecutive Summary Unarmed civilian protection (UCP) is one of the most effective responses there is to one of the greatest, consistent challenges of our time: The killing of civilians in warfare. As opposed to other approaches to reconciliation and peaceful resolution to conflict which indirectly target violence, UCP is directly aimed at stopping violence. Simply through being present, and through using their presence strategically, international civilians deter violence, protect local civilians and support the efforts of the locals to protect themselves and plan for a peaceful future. The most utilized element of UCP is accompaniment. Results from accompaniment and other UCP methods include significant drops in gender based violence, locally facilitated peace agreements or ceasefires, reduced levels of violence in camps for internally displaced people, reduced levels of humiliation of civilians at military check-points, an increase in children’s access to education, an increase in access to health care, accurate and timely information delivered to key humanitarian actors, and multinational companies pulling out of investments that cause breaches of human rights law. The main actors in the accompaniment and UCP field of work utilize a variety of means to protect civilians. The means include protective presence, monitoring and documenting, internationalizing local abuse, building relationships with all stakeholders, building and supporting local civic capacities, and facilitating dialogue. Accompaniers and protection officers create spaces where local actors themselves can find the best approaches to peace. UCP is especially relevant for the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. If the excruciating needs in conflict-affected areas are to be met, it is time to spend more energy on the women who suffer from violence... read more
Synthesis Report: Reviewing UN Peace Operations, the UN Peacebuilding Architecture and the Implementation of UNSCR 1325
This report presents the key recommendations as well as common themes across the UN Peace Operations Review, the Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture and the Review of the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 132
It is time to stop lamenting that caveats exist and try to better learn how to manage them?
I thank the President of the General Assembly for bringing us together for an especially timely debate on how best to strengthen United Nations peace operations.
In recent years, all of us have grown deeply concerned about the escalating challenges confronting UN peace operations — both peacekeeping and special political missions.
One year ago today, I appointed an eminent panel to assess our operations and suggest ways to meet these tests.
President Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste, with wide-ranging national and UN experience, was uniquely suited to lead this effort. Ms. Ameerah Haq, who served as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and also as Vice Chair of this panel, has also had extensive exposure to the realities the United Nations faces in the field. I am very pleased that both are with us today.
The task was ambitious and the time was short. Yet the Panel delivered a report that was wise and bold, and reflects the results of consultations with diverse stakeholders in every region of the world.
Remarks by the President of the General Assembly on the HIPPO-implementation report of the Secretary-General
Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
Peace operations are at the heart of UN’s global engagement. They are among the major innovations since the UN’s inception which have enabled this Organisation to better fulfil its mandate and have contributed greatly to peace and security in our world.
But peace operations, like any tool, are in constant need of refinement. Evolving challenges and threats to international peace and security make it necessary for the UN to strengthen its role, capacity and efficiency and more particularly the effectiveness of field operations.
Today’s debate is both necessary and timely. The dramatic global refugee crisis and the other humanitarian as well as security dimensions of ongoing crises, demonstrate just how complex today’s conflicts have become.
In light of these new realities, we must review our practices and instruments, how we approach policy and operational questions, and how we address budgetary and management issues.
I therefore commend the Secretary-General for having taken the initiative to launch this review. The high-level independent panel on peace operations consulted widely and their work resulted in a number of concrete recommendations. Subsequently, member states have received the Secretary General’s implementation report.
Peacebuilding is not an afterthought, but a core task for the United Nations. It will require a “significant change in mindset” to place peacebuilding at the center of the UN’s conflict responses, according to Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, United Nations Assistant Secretary General for Peacebuilding Support.
Speaking with International Peace Institute Senior Policy Analyst Andrea Ó Súilleabháin, Fernandez-Taranco reflected on the recent report of the Advisory Group of Experts for the 2015 Review of UN Peacebuilding. The report coined a new term, “sustaining peace,” to call for a coherent approach to peacebuilding and “as a reminder of the UN’s original peace and security goal,” he said.
Fernandez-Taranco highlighted the increasingly complex and protracted nature of conflict today. A key dilemma for the UN, he said, is “constantly addressing immediate and short-term responses,” even though many crises require a longer-term vision. He said that uniting the UN’s work under the concept of “sustaining peace” can help ensure a more strategic response to address these challenges. This will require that UN actors overcome fragmentation, and coordinate their responses across various departments and between headquarters and field operations.
Fernandez-Taranco believes that peacebuilding can play this uniting role: “Peacebuilding should be seen as a thread that runs through the whole conflict cycle, focusing the attention of everybody on the ultimate goal, which is sustainable peace.”