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Making an Impact at the UN


Inclusion of Unarmed Civilian Protection at the United Nations

  • UN Security Council Resolution 2594, on transition planning in peacekeeping operations, S/RES/2594 (9 Sept 2021)
    (5) Expresses the importance of a United Nations presence appropriately configured with necessary capabilities and capacities to provide support to protection of civilians efforts during transitions…..including through promoting and supporting inter-communal dialogue and community violence reduction, building trust between State authorities and local communities, supporting community policing initiatives, or other methods of unarmed civilian protection,…

  • UN Security Council Resolution 2579, on extension of the mandate of the Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), S/RES/2579 (3 June 2021)
    (3) Decides that UNITAMS, as part of an integrated and unified United Nations structure, shall, in full accordance with the principles of national ownership, continue to have the following strategic objectives: (iii) Assist peacebuilding, civilian protection and rule of law, in particular in Darfur and the Two Areas, (a) Support Sudanese-led peacebuilding, in particular conflict prevention, mitigation and reconciliation, community violence reduction with a particular arms and light weapons consistent with international standards, durable solutions for IDPs and refugees, and their safe, voluntary and dignified return, reintegration and relocation with host populations as appropriate, including through integrated peacebuilding mechanisms in line with paragraph 10 of this resolution and political engagement at the local and state level; (b) Assist, advise and support the Government of Sudan’s capacity to extend state presence and inclusive civilian governance, in particular through strengthening accountable rule of law and security sector institutions, and building trust between state authorities and local communities, including through community-policing initiatives, or other methods of unarmed civilian protection ...

  • UN General Assembly and UN Security Council, Report of the Secretary-General on Peacebuilding and sustaining peace, A/74/976–S/2020/773 (30 July 2020)
    (55) … In support of the Silencing the Guns by 2020 initiative of the African Union, the United Nations has partnered with a non-governmental organization and supported online training and mentoring in unarmed civilian protection of more than 40 African youth leaders from Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia and the Sudan.  

  • UN Security Council Resolution 2524, on establishment of the Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), S/RES/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, 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, on extension of the mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) until 15 Mar. 2020, S/RES/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… 


  • UN General Assembly, Report of the Secretary-General on Protection of the Palestinian Civilian Population, A/ES-10/794 (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.

  • UN General Assembly Resolution 72/304, Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects,  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 (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.
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