On June 8th, IPI together with the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN cohosted a virtual policy forum on “UN, EU, and NATO Approaches to the Protection of Civilians: Policies, Implementation, and Comparative Advantages.” The event provided an opportunity to present and discuss a recent IPI policy paper examining the conceptualization of the protection of civilians (POC) in the UN, the European Union (EU), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), with recommendations to strengthen POC efforts within and across the three organizations.
Since the early 2000s, the UN, the EU, and NATO have developed their own conceptual and operational approaches to POC. These approaches have evolved in reaction to changing dynamics in armed conflict as well as institutional and membership priorities. These have contributed, for instance, to the UN’s shift from large-scale multidimensional peacekeeping operations toward smaller special political missions and the shift from executive military operations toward training missions within the EU. More recently, the return of large-scale military conduct in Europe following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the prospect of increasing use of hybrid warfare raise questions about the capacity for regional and international organizations to effectively protect civilians.
Considering these far-reaching geostrategic shifts, this policy forum will provide the opportunity to discuss how the UN, the EU, and NATO can adapt their POC approaches to a new era of operations and pursue greater inter-organizational cooperation to revitalize POC while retaining their distinct mandates and strategic approaches.
Ambassador Mark Zellenrath, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN
Mr. Joachim A. Koops, Professor of Security Studies and Scientific Director of the Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University
Mr. Dirk Druet, Adjunct Professor McGill University and IPI Non-Resident Fellow
Ambassador Silvio Gonzato, Deputy Permanent Representative, EU Delegation to the UN
Ms. Marla B. Keenan, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Stimson Center
Ms. Eva Svoboda, Deputy Director of International Law and Policy, ICRC
Ms. Agathe Sarfati, IPI Senior Policy Analyst