The unarmed civilian protection work carried out by Nonviolent Peaceforce and 12 other international nongovernmental organizations is now seeping into public policy.

Recognition from the United Nations

Last month, the UN Departments of Peace Keeping Operations, Field Services and Political Affairs issued their three-year Policy on Child Protection in United Nations Peace Operations. In that document, they stated that Unarmed Civilian Protection is crucial defining it in the following way:

 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. [1]

Recognition by Germany

After years of organizing by pioneering advocates including members of Nonviolent Peaceforce, the German government included a section on unarmed civilian protection in its Guidelines for Crisis Prevention and Peacebuilding:

The Federal government supports the further development of civil approaches in the framework of the R2P* concept and the reform of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture as it has been demanded by the High-Level Independent Panel on United Nations Peace Operations. Especially it supports Civilian Peacekeeping as a tested methodology to protect people from violence and serious human rights violations...

* R2P is a preventive principle that emphasizes a range of measures to stem the risk of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing or crimes against humanity before the crimes are threatened or occur.

So, what does this mean for NP?

Acknowledgments such as these advance the concept and belief in unarmed approaches and will provide great opportunities for implementation and will likely lead to further funding opportunities.

If you read German, click on the link below to read the statement:

http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/cae/servlet/contentblob/764982/publicationFile/228083/170614-Leitlinien_Krisenpraevention_Konfliktbewaeltigung_Friedensfoerderung_DL.pdf

[1] Policy on Child Protection in United Nations Peace Operations , United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Department of Field Support and Department of Political Affairs, Ref. [2017.11] June, 2017.

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