Protection of Civilians (POC) has become an important part of modern UN peacekeeping missions. In many cases, protecting civilians is critical to ensure the legitimacy and credibility of a peacekeeping mission and a necessity for building a sustainable political peace.
The Australian Civil-Military Centre is a consistent supporter of efforts to ensure better protection of civilians in peacekeeping operations by developing supporting documents and practical tools for training peacekeepers. Examples include the recent documentary Mandated to Protect, a factsheet on POC and the discussion paper by Alison Giffen, Enhancing the Protection of Civilians in Peace Operations: From Policy to Practice for the Centre’s 2011 Civil-Military Affairs Conference (CMAC).
Australia is also leading the charge in promoting POC on the world stage, recently co-hosting with Uruguay a workshop on POC and UN peacekeeping operations in New York on Thursday, 9 February 2012. The workshop, officially opened by His Excellency Mr Gary Quinlan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations and His Excellency Mr José Luis Cancela, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Uruguay to the United Nations, was the fourth of a series.
Attendees heard from experts from the field representing the political, military and police components. The second session heard from experts concerning the role of non-mission actors relating to POC. Australia has previously co-hosted three POC workshops with Uruguay in New York, to provide an ongoing forum for the peacekeeping community – particularly troop and police contributing countries – to share their experiences and lessons learned on POC and examine efforts to improve the implementation of POC mandates .
A summary of the workshop proceedings will be issued shortly.
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