IPI Activities During POC Week 2024

Calendar of Events

This year marks 25 years since the Security Council first recognized the protection of civilians (POC) as a matter of international peace and security. Since then, IPI has played a key role in providing a space to gather member states, UN officials from headquarters and field missions, and researchers to build a common understanding of POC in the context of UN peace operations and across the UN system. Through research, convening, and outreach activities, IPI’s POC project seeks to provide lessons learned from the field and support the Secretariat in analyzing the challenges facing the UN system. Read more about our work on POC here >>

During Protection of Civilians Week 2024, check back here for updates on IPI’s events during POC week, the latest articles on POC from the Global Observatory, and recommended reading.

POC Week: Events at IPI

Monday, May 20, 2024, 10:30 – 12:00 EDT
25 Years of POC and the UN Security Council: Challenges and Opportunities

The purpose of this event is to take stock of the council’s engagement with POC over the past 25 years and assess opportunities for it to further strengthen POC norms amid contemporary political and security challenges. This conversation also takes place as the international community prepares to mark the 75th anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, presenting an opportune moment for wider reflection on the fundamental principles of international humanitarian and human rights laws that underpin the POC agenda. Read more>>

Attend In-Person Attend Webinar

Friday, May 24, 2024, 10:30 – 12:00 EDT
Taking stock of 25 Years of POC in peacekeeping: Lessons learned and opportunities for future research and practice
Closed-door event by invitation only.

As the international community marks the 25th anniversary of the first POC mandate in a UN mission, the purpose of this event is to: (1) Take stock of the academic and policy research on POC over the last two and a half decades, with a specific focus on the efficacy of POC mandates within peacekeeping operations; (2) Articulate clear operational recommendations emerging from academic and policy research on the implementation of POC mandates; and (3) Begin to develop questions that can underpin the next phase of POC research.

POC Global Observatory Series

IPI’s Global Observatory has published over 500 articles that look at protection issues, some of which were part of our 2019 article series on POC.

The #POCat25 series marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first UN Security Council resolution on the protection of civilians (POC). Read the latest articles in the series here >>

IPI’s Recommended Reading

Check out IPI’s most recent publications on POC below.

Peace Operations

The Primacy of Politics and the Protection of Civilians in UN Peacekeeping
This report examines how UN peacekeeping missions’ POC and political work are understood in relation to one another in terms of planning and operations and provides an overview of entry points for better connecting their work, including in mapping and analyses, planning and strategies, negotiated agreements, the creation of enabling environments, and local-level processes.

UN, EU, and NATO Approaches to the Protection of Civilians: Policies, Implementation, and Comparative Advantages
This paper examines the conceptualization of POC in the UN, the EU, and NATO, lays out the core POC policies and approaches of the three organizations and examines their approaches to implementing these policies in the field. The paper concludes with policy recommendations for the UN, the EU, and NATO to strengthen POC efforts within and between the three organizations.

Enhancing the Protection of Civilians through Conventional Arms Control
This brief provides an analysis of the actual, and potential, contribution of conventional arms control and related activities to POC within the context of UN peace operations—both peacekeeping operations and special political missions, and identifies concrete examples of how arms control-related activities can be better leveraged by UN peace operations to ensure the more effective protection of civilians.

The UN Agenda for Protection: Policy, Strategic, and Operational Priorities
This policy paper analyzes the policy, strategic, and operational priorities for the forthcoming Agenda for Protection. It focuses on how the UN system can reform the way it addresses protection crises while remaining mindful that its role is heavily influenced by member states. It argues that without a transformative and comprehensive approach that brings together the fragmented ways the different UN entities contribute to protection, the Agenda for Protection is likely to suffer the same fate as previous unsuccessful efforts, further undermining the organization’s credibility.

New Technologies 

New Technologies and the Protection of Civilians in UN Peace Operations
This paper attempts to contribute to the ongoing reflection on the interaction between new technologies and POC, particularly in relation to early warning. The paper reviews peace operations’ use of new technologies and data, which could be further used for early warning for POC. It then discusses the limitations and risks of the use of new technologies for POC, particularly around data protection and privacy. The paper concludes by calling for a theory of change for how new technologies can contribute to POC in peacekeeping operations. 

Cybersecurity and UN Peace Operations: Evolving Risks and Opportunities
The paper provides an overview of the cyber threats facing peace operations and opportunities to leverage cybersecurity tools for mandate implementation. It also documents the operational and policy challenges that have arisen and the Secretariat’s efforts to address them. It concludes with several recommendations for the UN as peace operations seek to operate in an increasingly fraught political and cybersecurity environment.


Full, Equal, Meaningful, and Safe: Creating Enabling Environments for Women’s Participation in Libya
This paper analyzes the experiences of women in Libya and the obstacles they face when participating in peace and security and political processes. Using an ecological framework, it details the risks that women who participate encounter at six levels: individual, interpersonal, community, national institutional, societal, and global institutional. Through this analysis, the report deepens the evidence for and understanding of the critical relationship between protection and participation, broadens analysis of and provides pointers for the mainstreaming of WPS in UN mission mandates, and provides a new framework to advance the creation of safe and enabling environments for women’s participation.

UN Peacekeeping and Protection of Civilians from Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
This report examines how missions are implementing their mandates to protect civilians from SGBV, including CRSV, and assesses good practices, gaps, and opportunities for improvement. The report draws on lessons learned from the UN missions in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the DRC (MONUSCO).


Strengthening Data to Protect Healthcare in Conflict Zones
This paper examines why data on threats to and attacks on healthcare in conflict is important to protection, advocacy, and investigation and how it can be improved and harmonized. It provides an overview of existing data-collection efforts—namely, the Surveillance System for Attacks on Health Care (SSA) and the database produced by the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition (SHCC) in partnership with Insecurity Insight—and identifies challenges and gaps at both the policy and technical levels.


Toward an Environmental and Climate-Sensitive Approach to Protection in UN Peacekeeping Operations
This issue brief discusses how peacekeeping operations can better factor environmental and climate-related security risks in planning and implementing protection-related activities, and suggests that UN peacekeeping operations include environmental and climate security considerations in their assessment, planning, and implementation of mandated activities related to protection through a whole-of-mission approach and in close partnership with the UN country team and the host government.