IPI HomeEventsPanel DiscussionsThe Politics and Practice of Protection

 

print print  |  share share back back

Panel Discussions - Friday, December 10, 2010

The Politics and Practice of Protection

The Security Council first addressed the issue of protection in 1999. The debate came at the end of a period in which peacekeepers were impotent witnesses to the immense suffering of civilians in violent conflict, including those in Rwanda and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The concept of robust peacekeeping emerged in response to these failures, as some charged that UN peacekeeping missions were not "robust enough" to prevent the massive violation of human rights perpetrated against civilians.

Since then, considerable attention has been devoted to the relationship between protection and robustness. While the Council has systematically included protection language in most country-specific resolutions, the concept of robust peacekeeping has been only partially implemented in some operations (Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon). Its conceptualization, however, has attracted renewed attention lately, particularly in the context of protecting civilians.

The two concepts are often conflated. The obligation--introduced in several resolutions of the Council--for troops to provide, within their capabilities and in the areas where they are deployed, protection of civilians, is often understood as the primary goal of robust peacekeeping. Peacekeepers are then expected to restore security, law, and order to the countries where they are deployed. Some see the protection of civilians and robust response to threats as key challenges to UN legitimacy and credibility.

Clarity is needed on what robust peacekeeping can and cannot achieve in the area of protection.

An IPI roundtable titled, “The Politics and Practice of Protection: From Effective Mandates to Implementation in the Field,” co-sponsored by the Policy and Strategic Affairs Department, Ministry of Defense, France, addressed the issue from two interconnected points of view. The first panel of the December 10th event focused on the political aspects of protection. The second panel addressed the challenges of implementing protection.

The panelists were as follows:

Panel 1:

Dr. Theirry Tardy, Faculty member, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)
Ambassador Herman Schaper of the Netherlands

Moderator:
Dr. Edward C. Luck, IPI Senior Vice President for Research and Programs

Panel 2:

General Patrice Sartre, Former Military Adviser, Permanent Mission of France to the UN
Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye, Military Adviser, UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations
Kirsten Hagon, Head of Office, Oxfam International

Moderator:
Dr. Alexandra Novosseloff, Senior Policy Adviser on UN Issues, Policy and Strategic Affairs Department of the French Ministry of Defense

The Global Observatory

Year in Review: Top 10 Peace and Security Reads
The International Peace Institute and its Global Observatory offered research and analysis on a range of topics in peace and security in 2014.

Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

December 15, 2014
Fathi: Iran and the Struggle Between Hardliners and Reformers
Discussing her new book The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran at IPI on December 15th, author Nazila Fathi said that 35 years after the revolution, Iran is divided between hardliners and a large moderate middle class, but admitted that it is still unclear which of the two sides will gain the upper hand.

December 12, 2014
Effective Governance Key to Africa’s Rise
Good governance is the key to Africa’s rise, but structural challenges are pulling the continent back, according to a new report launched at a December 12th IPI policy forum entitled “Effective Governance in Challenging Environments.”

December 09, 2014
Small States in a Multilateral World
Despite their size and limited resources, small states have an important and crucial role to play in the multilateral system and can leverage their power through cooperation.

View More