Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Engaging with Communities: The next challenge for peacekeeping

Engaging with Communities: The next challenge for peacekeeping

Ratings: (0)|Views: 5 |Likes:
Published by Oxfam
Oxfam’s overall aim for the Rights in Crisis (RiC) campaign is that “all women and men in humanitarian crises will be assured both the protection and the assistance they require, regardless of who they are or how they are affected, in a manner consistent with their human rights”. Years of experience at the country level has shown that, in the contexts in which Oxfam works, United Nations peacekeeping forces are key to improving the protection of civilians. Oxfam is closely following the United Nations “New Horizon” process – which is currently assessing the major policy and strategy dilemmas that face UN peacekeeping today – to ensure that it results in a shared vision of protection of civilians as the main purpose of UN peacekeeping and establishes the effective approaches and capacities required to implement this vision on the ground. “Engaging with communities: The next challenge for peacekeeping” looks at how peacekeepers can engage with communities to better protect civilians; it identifies best practices, as well as some clear gaps in existing practice. It is being launched to coincide with a debate on the protection of civilians in the UN Security Council to be held on 22nd November. Oxfam sees this as an opportunity for the UNSC to give a clearer direction to peacekeepers to engage with communities and to address some the challenges indicated in the report.
Oxfam’s overall aim for the Rights in Crisis (RiC) campaign is that “all women and men in humanitarian crises will be assured both the protection and the assistance they require, regardless of who they are or how they are affected, in a manner consistent with their human rights”. Years of experience at the country level has shown that, in the contexts in which Oxfam works, United Nations peacekeeping forces are key to improving the protection of civilians. Oxfam is closely following the United Nations “New Horizon” process – which is currently assessing the major policy and strategy dilemmas that face UN peacekeeping today – to ensure that it results in a shared vision of protection of civilians as the main purpose of UN peacekeeping and establishes the effective approaches and capacities required to implement this vision on the ground. “Engaging with communities: The next challenge for peacekeeping” looks at how peacekeepers can engage with communities to better protect civilians; it identifies best practices, as well as some clear gaps in existing practice. It is being launched to coincide with a debate on the protection of civilians in the UN Security Council to be held on 22nd November. Oxfam sees this as an opportunity for the UNSC to give a clearer direction to peacekeepers to engage with communities and to address some the challenges indicated in the report.

More info:

Published by: Oxfam on Aug 27, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

09/13/2013

pdf

text

original

 
141 Oxfam Briefing Paper November 2010
Engaging with Communities
 The next challenge for peacekeeping
www.oxfam.org
 
Police Adviser for the African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) goeson patrol in Zam Zam Camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) near El Fasher, North Darfur,Sudan. 20 October 2010. UN Photo/Olivier Chassot.
Civilians in countries ravaged by armed conflict continue to bear the brunt of ongoing hostilities, and both governments andinternational peacekeeping operations are too often failing toprevent atrocities. Efforts made by peacekeeping missions inconflict-affected regions, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan, show that it is possible to do more,even within existing constraints. But much more needs to bedone. While there is no substitute for political will, peacekeepingmissions can save lives by engaging more effectively with thecommunities they are trying to protect.
 
Summary
The protection of civilians from the worst ravages of war is a dilemmathat international bodies have sought to address for decades.However, despite lessons learned from the atrocities of Rwanda andSrebrenica, among others, civilians are still not only adversely affectedby armed conflict; they are too often directly targeted.Ultimately, national governments must have the will and capacity toprotect their citizens, and nationally driven peace building andsecurity sector reform processes need to be supported more than ever.In the interim, international peacekeeping remains a criticallyimportant and unique tool for protecting civilians and can mean thedifference between life and death for thousands of vulnerable people.Where governments are unable or unwilling to fulfil theirresponsibility to protect civilians, peacekeeping operations may bemandated to provide direct protection to civilians under imminentthreat of physical violence. In such circumstances, communities have alegitimate expectation that the presence of peacekeepers means thatthey will be protected. Failures by governments or peacekeepers toprotect civilians, when they do occur, come at an enormous humancost.Protecting civilians is no easy task, in particular, when violence isongoing, numbers of peacekeepers and resources at their disposal arelimited, and the most vulnerable communities are located in remote,isolated areas. The absence of interpreters, including femaleinterpreters, makes it difficult to understand the concerns ofcommunities and to effectively address the specific needs of womenand children.These challenges are further compounded by the inconsistencies ininterpretation of civilian protection mandates and practices on theground across peacekeeping missions. The understanding andcommitment to protection of civilians varies widely from one senior in-country mission leadership to another. At the field level, individualbattalions vary enormously in their willingness to engage withcommunities and to take robust action, and too often civilian staff isunwilling to be based in remote or isolated communities. A lack of clearguidelines and poor training and preparation of personnel means thattoo many peacekeeping units arriving to their country of deploymentdo not know what protection of civilians means or how it is to bedelivered.Moreover, international peacekeeping is coming under increasingpressure, with barriers arising to the daily performance of missions’work and even, as in Chad, to their presence on the ground. Too often,peacekeeping missions cannot rely on systematic political backing fromthe UN Security Council to ensure that they are able to performeffectively and to access politically sensitive locations.
2
 
UN peacekeeping reform processes acknowledge many of theseproblems and are currently looking at how to ‘meet the challenges oftoday and tomorrow’,
1
 including how to ensure peacekeepingmandates translate into ‘effective efforts on the ground’.
2
 Efforts arebeing made to address the need for clear direction to peacekeepingmissions in fulfilling their mandate to protect civilians. RecentSecurity Council resolutions have stressed the protection of civiliansshould be a priority for peace keeping missions,
3
 and have focussedon specific steps towards that goal as well as assessment andimplementation of best practices.
4
 Despite these laudable initiatives, impact is slow to be felt on theground by those who need it most – be it a Congolese woman in theKivus or a Sudanese woman in Darfur. Yet, the perspective most oftenmissing from discussions on protection of civilians has been that ofthe very people the peacekeepers are mandated to protect.Communities are the most qualified to assess the impact ofpeacekeepers’ work on their own safety, have the most to gain fromthe successes, and the most to lose when missions fall short. Despitethis, affected communities are rarely involved in the design,implementation or assessments of UN peacekeeping missions.This report aims to support efforts to improve peacekeeping missions’efforts to better protect civilians. It highlights how engagement withcommunities is critical to managing expectations, to building trustbetween peacekeepers and communities and to ensuring peacekeepersare better able to understand and respond to threats to civilians in agiven location. The nexus between the international community’sefforts to protect civilians and the people who need their protection isoften in remote and isolated locations; this report therefore reviews anumber of recent initiatives undertaken by peacekeepers that showpromise in improving communication between peacekeepers andcommunities and in the protection of civilians, and identifies the keyfactors that influence their success or failure in the eyes ofcommunities.The study draws on Oxfam’s extensive protection experience andpresence in conflict-affected communities. It is supported by field-basedresearch in southern Sudan and the DRC, including interviews andfocus group discussions with women and men in affected communities.
Trying to address what communities want and need
Communities interviewed were united in their desire for more dialogueand communication with peacekeepers. Without this dialogue,peacekeeping missions miss crucial information and may lose the trustof the population. Communities, humanitarians and peacekeepers havetherefore welcomed the inclusion of Community Liaison Interpreterswho build relations with communities and help peacekeepers to betterunderstand the concerns of the local population.
3

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd