- UN Security Council Resolution 2524 (3 June 2020)
(1) Decides to establish a United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) upon the adoption of this resolution and for an initial period of 12 months;
(2) Further decides that UNITAMS, as part of an integrated and unified United Nations structure, shall, in full accordance with the principles of national ownership, have the following strategic objectives: (iii) Assist peacebuilding, civilian protection and rule of law, in particular in Darfur and the Two Areas: (b) Assist, advise and support the Government of Sudan’s capacity to extend state presence and inclusive civilian governance, in particular through …methods of unarmed civilian protection,
(15) Underscores that the modalities and timeline for the transition of responsibility to UNITAMS from UNAMID of responsibility for unarmed civilian protection activities, such as those outlined in strategic objective 2(iii), to UNITAMS from UNAMID will be determined by the UNITAMS-UNAMID transition coordination mechanism, as appropriate and in line with paragraph 14 of this resolution;
- Report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (12 March 2020)
(132) The Special Committee requests a briefing before its next substantive session on the pilot projects of leveraging unarmed practices and capabilities of local communities to support the creation of a protective environment.
- UN Security Council Resolution 2514 (12 March 2020)
p. 3 Recognizing that unarmed civilian protection can often complement efforts to build a protective environment, particularly in the deterrence of sexual and gender-based violence against civilians, and encouraging UNMISS, as appropriate and when possible, to explore how it can use civilian protection techniques, including through community engagement, and the mission communication strategy, to enhance its ability to protect civilians, and to train UNMISS staff accordingly.
- Statement by the ICRC to the United Nations General Assembly, 74th session, Fourth Committee (14 November 2019)
The ICRC recommends that PKOs resources are focused on operations, armed or unarmed, in which peacekeepers are the only ones able to, or are the best placed to deliver, such as physical protection. The ICRC recognizes the value of the full spectrum of assets available to peacekeepers, and the importance of non-military assets in protecting civilians. It welcomes PoC unarmed approaches as integral parts of PoC mandates. Those approaches should, however, not be seen as substitutes, but rather complement armed interventions by peacekeepers to protect civilians. In exploring how to enhance unarmed approaches, peacekeeping operations must improve their capacities to physically protect and deter violence on civilians. Against the backdrop of shrinking resources and in the spirit of complementarity with other protection stakeholders, we recommend that UN Missions focus on unarmed protective activities that contribute directly to protection gains and study their complementarity with the work of uniformed personnel.
- Building a Culture of Protection: 20 Years of Security Council Engagement on the Protection of Civilians (May 2019)
p. 47 While the Council has granted or endorsed extensive use-of- force mandates, it has also promoted caution in the use of force as well as unarmed civilian strategies… In South Sudan, the Council has instructed UNMISS to explore protection techniques through unarmed civilian protection to complement efforts to build a protection environment.
- UN Security Council Resolution 2459 (15 March 2019)
p. 2 Recognizing that unarmed civilian protection can often complement efforts to build a protective environment, particularly in the deterrence of sexual and gender-based violence against civilians, and encouraging UNMISS, as appropriate and when possible, to explore how it can use civilian protection techniques, including through community engagement and the mission communication strategy, to enhance its ability to protect civilians, and to train UNMISS staff accordingly…
- Report of the Secretary General on Protection of the Palestinian Civilian Population (14 August 2018)
(3c) Dedicated civilian observers: a civilian observer mission (deployed by the United Nations or a third party) could be established, with a specific mandate to report on protection and well-being issues and to provide local mediation. This would be particularly relevant in sensitive areas, such as checkpoints, the Gaza fence and areas near settlements;
(43) Although it does not involve physical protection through the potential or actual use of armed force, protection through the presence of unarmed observers (whether police or civilian, and whether deployed by the United Nations or a third party) is another option to be considered. Such a presence could, in cases where gaps are identified in existing monitoring and reporting mechanisms, be deployed provided that the situation on the ground permits. It is worth noting that, in the past, such mechanisms have been deployed by groups of like-minded Member States. An observer mission would normally be deployed to monitor a verifiable ceasefire or other agreement, as part of a transitional framework accepted by all the relevant parties.
- Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects, General Assembly Resolution A/RES/72/304 (13 July 2018)
(2) Endorses the proposals, recommendations and conclusions of the Special Committee contained in chapter V of its report; (3) Urges Member States, the Secretariat and relevant organs of the United Nations to take all steps necessary to implement the proposals, recommendations and conclusions of the Special Committee.
- Presidential summary of the Open Debate of the Security Council held on 22 May 2018 on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (Poland) (4 June 2018)
A compilation of recurring ideas is presented below in an effort to stimulate future deliberations to enhance the protection of civilians and civilian harm mitigation at all levels: Considering engaging and supporting non-military protection tools including unarmed civilian protection.
- Report of the Secretary General, Responsibility to Protect: From Early Warning to Early Action (1 June 2018)
(34) Civilian action makes an important contribution to prevention. I receive frequent reports about how civilian action, whether undertaken by formal institutions, civil society groups, the private sector or courageous individuals, has helped ease tensions and prevent violence, including atrocity crimes, in different parts of the world…In civilian action we have a massive, yet under-utilized, resource for atrocity prevention.
(39) Civil society organizations have made significant contributions to atrocity prevention… Non-governmental humanitarian organizations provide assistance that can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
- Report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations 2018 substantive session Chapter V. Proposals, recommendations and conclusions of the Special Committee (Februrary-March 2018)
(301) The Special Committee underlines the relevance of unarmed strategies to protect civilians in peacekeeping operations as political instruments that can effectively protect civilians by helping to bring an end to violent conflicts, shoring up the confidence of parties in peaceful solutions and working to advance peace processes. In this regard, and taking into account the positive contributions of unarmed civilian protection, the Special Committee stresses that peacekeeping missions should make every effort to leverage the non-violent practices and capabilities of local communities to support the creation of a protective environment.
- United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations Department of Field Support, Guidelines: The role of United Nations police in protection of civilians (12 July 2017)
Particularly given the focus on community engagement and unarmed protection approaches, UN police should develop strong relationship with the civil affairs component, which can advise on the strategic and policy framework for operations and liaison with communities, helping to ensure cohesion and consistency across local-level mission actors.
- DPKO, DFS and DPA Policy on Child Protection in United Nations Peace Operations (1 June 2017)
Unarmed civilian protection refers to a strategy for the protection of civilians, localized violence reduction and supporting local peace infrastructures, in which unarmed, trained civilians live and work with local civil society in areas of violent conflict. The High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations recommended that unarmed approaches must be at the forefront of United Nations efforts to protect civilians, including children.
- Die Bundesregierung, Prevent crises, manage conflicts, promote peace: Guidelines of the Federal Government (Berlin, Germany: 2017)
2.2.1. The Federal Government supports the further development of civilian approaches within the framework of the R2P concept and the reform of the United Nations architecture for promoting peace, as the high-level independent Panel on United Nations peace operations are required. It promotes in particular civilian peacekeeping as a tried and tested methodology to protect people from violence and serious human rights violations.
- The Report of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism (2016)
p. 4 Carry forward the HIPPO’s recommendations on peace operations: (5) putting unarmed strategies at the center of efforts to protect civilians.
- Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, The Synthesis Report: Reviewing UN Peace Operations, the UN Peacebuilding Architecture and the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 (Oslo, Norway: 2016)
p.23 The privileging of the military response to violent conflict is counter-productive. All three reports offer a critique of the current privileging of huge, military-heavy peace operations. The current financing system favours this response to crisis and conflict, and this is exaggerated by the imperative to be seen to act quickly and decisively. All three reports see the UN’s preoccupation with militarised solutions as an obstacle to lasting peace and something that needs to change. The Global Study is very explicit with regard to the fact that militarised solutions, and the resulting militarisation of society, are detrimental to women’s security. This is a claim that is based on a solid body of research.
- Security Council resolution 2327, Renewing the mandate for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, S/RES/2327 (16 December 2016)
Recognizing that unarmed civilian protection can often complement efforts to build a protective environment, particularly in the deterrence of sexual and gender-based violence against civilians, and encouraging UNMISS, as appropriate, and when possible, to explore how it can use civilian protection techniques to enhance its ability to protect civilians, in line with the UN Secretary-General’s recommendation [...]
- United Nations, Security Council, Special report of the Secretary-General on the review of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, S/2016/951 (10 November 2016)
(41) The Mission will also explore the use of unarmed civilian protection techniques to enhance its ability to protect civilians, in particular those threatened with sexual violence.
- United Nations, General Assembly, Mobilizing collective action: the next decade of the responsibility to protect: Report of the Secretary-General, A/70/999–S/2016/620 (22 July 2016)
(47) [W]e must bolster our investment in the broad range of peaceful tools available to protect populations affected by atrocity crimes.
- United Nations, General Assembly, Report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, A/70/19 (15 March 2016)
(247) The Special Committee underlines the relevance of unarmed strategies to protect civilians in peacekeeping operations [...] In this regard, and taking into account the positive contributions of unarmed civilian protection, the Special Committee stresses that peacekeeping missions should make every effort to leverage the non-violent practices and capabilities of local communities to support the creation of a protective environment.
- UN Women, Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice, Securing the Peace: A Global Study on the Implementation of UNSC 1325 (New York: United Nations, 2015)
p. 153 Focus on Unarmed civilian protection: UCP is a methodology for the direct protection of civilians and violence reduction that has grown in practice and recognition. In the last few years, it has especially proven its effectiveness to protect women and girls [...]
p. 156 Recommends that the UN in collaboration with Member States, should: Promote women’s empowerment and non-violent means of protection, and taking into account the whole range of women’s protection issues and the interventions to address them—including women’s leadership and women’s empowerment—in mission planning, implementation, and reporting, as well as in policy discussions on the protection of civilians in the context of peace operations; Scale up their support to unarmed civilian protection (UCP) in conflict-affected countries, including working alongside peace operations.
- United Nations, General Assembly, Report of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations on uniting our strengths for peace: politics, partnership and people, A/70/95-S/2015/446 (17 June 2015)
(86) Unarmed strategies must be at the forefront of United Nations efforts to protect civilians.
(105) With respect to protecting civilians, the Panel recommends that: (a) In view of the positive contributions of unarmed civilian protection actors, missions should work more closely with local communities and national and international non- governmental organizations in building a protective environment.
- General Assembly resolution 69/139, Follow-up to the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, A/RES/69/137 (21 January 2015)
Noting the initiatives of civil society, in collaboration with Governments, to strengthen civilian capacities to enhance the physical safety of vulnerable populations under threat of violence and to promote the peaceful settlement of disputes [...]