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TfP/ACCORD participate in United Nations Protection of Civilians Course
10 Feb 2015
The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) participated in a United Nations (UN) Protection of Civilians (PoC) Course for civilian, military and police personnel who are serving, or may potentially serve in peace missions. The course helps to build the foundational knowledge and skills of participants to effectively support the PoC mandate of UN and African Union (AU) peace missions. The overall purpose of this annual course is therefore to prepare the individual participants for assignments relating to PoC in UN and other missions. The course is implemented through lectures and a series of syndicate work, where the participants are tasked to come up with solutions to mission specific case studies. The UN PoC course was organized by the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre (SWEDINT) in Sweden from 26-30 January 2015.  The course brought together 40 participants comprising of civilian, military and police personnel, modelling the contemporary multidimensional peace operations. The training course was conducted for five days, with specific modules on PoC. The practical exercises deepened the understanding of the participants, requiring participants to think and solve critical PoC issues within the mission area. At the end of each module, participants developed key techniques on how to mainstream PoC into the work of peace missions. TfP/ACCORD’s participation further strengthened the existing experience, knowledge and skills in implementing PoC related initiatives. TfP/ACCORD was represented by Ms Irene Limo, Senior Programme Officer, Peacekeeping Unit. Considering the current trend in peacekeeping operations which includes increased integrated missions, transitioning and robust operations, PoC is currently the main benchmark used by the UN and host communities to evaluate most peacekeeping operations. Missions’ experience in the field has also highlighted the need for a wide range of capacities to be brought to support the PoC mandate. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the Department of Field Support (DFS) and the eight UN peacekeeping operations with PoC mandates have placed increased emphasis on strengthening capacities for implementation of this task. The heightened engagement and expectations of the Security Council with regard to PoC in peacekeeping have also helped in enhancing the focus on these efforts. Thus, the course is designed to complement these efforts and prepare participants for assignments relating to PoC in UN and other missions. The course increased the participants’ understanding of the roles and responsibilities of military, police and civilian actors involved in protection work. The course also enhanced the understanding of the participants with regards to the integrated mission concept and the relevance of the different mission element in a multidimensional peacekeeping environment. The training led to a better comprehension of the basic documents, guidelines and principles of the peacekeeping and PoC, and the concept on Responsibility to Protect. Other issues covered by the course includes: how and why PoC has become a priority objective for UN peacekeeping; the range of protection threats facing civilians and the role of peacekeepers in protecting civilians against those threats; the various protection actors that operate alongside peacekeeping operations; the basic principles of mission PoC Strategy and how the failure to protect civilians can affect the credibility of the mission and the UN. This initiative is in line with the TfP Programme’s strategic goal for an improved sustainable capacity for peace operations on the continent, through ensuring that functional organizational systems are in place in the UN, AU and Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) using relevant policy frameworks mandated by the UN, AU and RECs/RMs to support protection of civilians. For more information on ACCORD's work through the TfP Programme, please contact Ms. Irene Limo, Senior Programme Officer, Peacekeeping Unit on

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