Norway, together with Austria and the International Peace Institute, hosted the seminar “Protecting Civilians in Peace Operations”. Representatives from both NATO, The African Union and the United Nations were present to exchange ideas and share from their own experiences on both challenges and improvements in protection of civilians in conflict-areas.
-The threats are many and various, and it is therefore necessary that the international community approach the protection of civilians in a multifaceted and system-wide manner, said Permanent Representative Mr. Geir O. Pedersen in his introductory remarks. The introduction was followed by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Mr. Edmond Mulet, who underscored the importance of different agencies working together to protect civilians. - Protecting civilians is not simply a military task, but it also involves the work of humanitarian actors.
Civilians are more likely to be affected by armed conflict today than ever before, and the need for better protection of civilians is gaining increased focus in the international community. Norway has a particular focus on the issues of sexual violence, the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas and the protection of health care and schools in conflict areas.
The UN Security Council addressed Protection of Civilians for the first time in 1999 after the multiple violent conflicts in Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Liberia. Since 2012 the Security Council has held biannual open debates on Protection of Civilians. Read more here