Protection of Civilian Advisors meet to share best practices

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

New York | DPKO

Protection of Civilian Advisors from seven UN peacekeeping operations met this week to discuss issues of implementation of protection of civilians mandates.

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support (DPKO/DFS) hosted the third annual Protection of civilians (POC) advisers conference in New York this week. The conference brought together Senior POC Advisers and POC focal points to share best practices and experiences in implementing their mandates.

The protection of civilians is one of the most challenging and high-profile peacekeeping mandates and the role of the staff on the ground is crucial. POC Advisers perform advisory, coordination, monitoring and reporting tasks on a daily basis.

“The success of a POC Adviser lies in their ability to federate and mobilize all actors to manage crises in real time,” said Koffi Wogomebou, Senior POC Adviser, UN Mission in Central Africa (MINUSCA). “This conference was an opportunity to share experiences with colleagues facing similar daily challenges and come up with innovative solutions to support our missions in implementing their mandate to protect civilians.”

The conference placed this work within the strategic priorities and direction of DPKO/DFS and focused on implementing mandates, such as the improvement of situational awareness and threat assessment capacities, coordination with stakeholders and the development of context-specific POC training. Participants also identified topics to be considered in the review of DPKO-DFS Police on Protection of Civilians in UN Peacekeeping.

Although protection of civilians has been designated a priority mandate in peacekeeping, missions continue to struggle to implement the mandate within highly volatile and complex environments. The conference was an attempt to strengthen the dialogue between Headquarters and field missions.

The week concluded with a briefing provided to the Security Council Working Group on peacekeeping. POC advisers from our missions in Mali, Central Africa Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo had the opportunity to engage Member States on the efforts of their missions in protecting civilians in the challenging environments where they operate.

For more information about protection of civilians mandate, click here.