On 6 July, 2021, Germany’s Ministry of Defense will host a virtual high-level conference on peace operations and human rights. This event follows on from the July 2020 Security Council debate on this topic, subsequent reports by the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and an internal Germany/OHCHR brainstorming in March 2021. The principal purpose of the event is to address the issue of cooperation between human right and military components of peace operations, examining how they might work better together via greater coordination and potentially higher levels of integration. The event will specifically draw on the experiences of two peace operations (UNMISS in South Sudan and MINUSMA in Mali) to identify good practices and reflect the views of field practitioners.
UNU-CPR will to support Germany’s High-Level Conference in June 2021 by developing a short (3-5 ppg) paper on the issue of human rights/military coordination in peacekeeping. The key elements would contain:
An overview of the main challenges and issues facing human rights/military coordination (e.g. lack of common planning forums, competing priorities, different cultures, misaligned reporting lines)
Lessons learned from the UNMISS and MINUSMA experiences, in particular related to good practices, structures, common planning processes, operational practices, joint patrolling exercises, common uses of data and reporting, etc.
Recommendations and questions for conference participants.
UNU-CPR would develop this paper on the basis of a literature review of open source and some internal UN documentation. In addition, UNU-CPR would conduct interviews with the following UN officials in New York, MINUSMA, and UNMISS: (1) Force Commanders/Deputy Force Commanders; (2) heads of human rights components; (3) heads of G-5 Planning Cells; (4) Chief JOCs; (5) Protection Officers; (6) Planning Officers in Chief of Staff and JMACs; and (7) relevant staff in Integrated Operational Teams. Given the time constraints, UNU-CPR does not envisage a full consultation/clearance process with the DPO and OHCHR Headquarters, though it will offer a period for comment.