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TfP/ACCORD Collaborates with the African Union and OCHA on the Africa Region Humanitarian Civil-Military Roundtable
10 Dec 2013
The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD), together with the Humanitarian Affairs Refugees and Displaced Persons Division of the AU and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)-Liaison Office to the AU collaborated to organise the Humanitarian Civil Military Coordination Roundtable. The roundtable aimed to examine the African environment where humanitarian and military actors interact, and to engage in dialogue on pertinent humanitarian issues that were impacted by current military and conflict related events with a view to examining how best these could be managed in the context of civil-military relations.
Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Roundtable, 2 -3 December 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa

The roundtable was held in Johannesburg from 2nd to 3rdDecember 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa, which was attended by participants drawn from the humanitarian and military communities, namely, the United Nations Organisations African Union (UNOAU); National Emergency Management Agency; Ministry of Defence (MoD); National Defence College (NDC); National Disaster Operations Centre; African Union Commission (AUC); International Organization for Migration (IOM); Nigerian Army; Department of Correctional Service: Bilateral and Multilateral Relations; Rescue South Africa; National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA); Norwegian Refugee Council; Oxfam; Centre for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine (CDHAM). TfP/ACCORD was presented by Ms Seun Abiola, Coordinator Peacekeeping Unit, and Ms Barbara Mohale, Programme Officer Peacekeeping Unit. In addition, Ms Marisha Ramdeen, Programme Officer Interventions Department (ID) and Ms Harriet Byarugaba, Programme Officer Knowledge Production Unit (KPD). By definition of the Inter Agency Standing Committee, UN civil military coordination is the essential dialogue and interaction between civilian and military actors in humanitarian emergencies that is necessary to protect and promote humanitarian principles, avoid competition, minimize inconsistency and, when appropriate, pursue common goals. The end state of this essential dialogue is to ensure in emergencies where humanitarian actors and African Union (AU) deployed missions operate in the same environment, the affected populations in need can be reached on time with the appropriate relief and support necessary for their survival. These emergencies could range from disasters; natural and man-made, or those resulting from conflict situations. The roundtable focused on current operational developments, PoC and humanitarian actors in the new conflicts in Africa, the use of armed escorts for humanitarian convoys, and contributions and roles of African militaries in building disaster preparedness and response capacities in Africa, including the African Standby Force(s). The Programme represented by Ms Seun Abiola delivered a presentation on “African Militaries and their Emerging Roles in Emergencies”, which highlighted the cost and complexity of maintaining a military intervention vis-a-vis the resource limitations of developing countries, and shed light on key recommendations to support the dissemination and implementation of existing guidelines such as The Guidelines on the Use of Foreign Military and Civil Defence Assets in Disaster Relief (known as the Oslo Guidelines) and the development of improved tools, as well as the responsibility of humanitarian agencies and actors to engage more strategically with the military in order to limit the risks inherent in their involvement and maximise the potential benefits to the disaster response system and affected populations. The outcome of the event were key observations that were shared with the African Union Commission, the OCHA Civil-Military Coordination Section, humanitarian agencies and organizations in the Emergency Sub-Cluster of the UN/AU Regional Coordination Mechanism, network of civil-military coordination practitioners in Africa and disaster management agencies and professionals on the continent. This initiative was in line with the TfP Programme’s strategic goal for improved and sustainable capacity for peace operations on the continent, through ensuring that functional organizational systems are in place in the UN, AU and RECs using relevant policy frameworks mandated by the UN, AU and RECs. The Programme will continue to support the AU with the implementation of the recommendation for the development of the AU Humanitarian Policy Framework, and the Humanitarian Action and Natural Disaster Support program of the ASF, in collaboration of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), and Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD). The TfP Programme at ACCORD is an initiative funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For more information on ACCORD's work through the TfP programme, please contact Ms. Seun Abiola, Peacekeeping Unit Coordinator on Ms. Barbara Mohale, Peacekeeping Unit Programme Officer on  

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