New York, 19 January 2023 (TDI): The UN Security Council has made efforts to protect civilians in modern peacekeeping. According to the Security Council, civilians are becoming the victims of armed conflicts in socially unstable countries.

Modern Peacekeeping Tools

Today, more than 95 percent of peacekeeping missions are mandated to protect civilians. Modern peacekeeping employed a number of tools to support the protection of civilians.

These include engaging political leaders with governments and other actors to prevent & mitigate conflict as well as engaging civilian experts including Child Protection Advisers, Women’s Protection Adviser & Protection of Civilians Advisers in a range of activities.

Activities include demobilizing child soldiers, persuading armed groups to stop sexual violence, and coordinating military operations to protect civilians.

Similarly, to engage military and police personnel that bring exceptional skills that provide security and stability, in the same way, engage experts in strengthening the rule of law and human rights.

In peacekeeping, peacekeepers’ major role is to support the government in protecting civilians through advice, technical and logistical support, and capacity building.

Also, peacekeeping seeks mediation and political consensus among stakeholders. As a last resort, peacekeepers are authorized to act to physically protect civilians.

This includes the protection of children and women against conflict-related sexual violence. The majority of peacekeepers today, serve in missions with mandates that authorize them the protection of civilians.

The High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations maintained that the protection of civilians is the fundamental obligation of the whole UN not only of peacekeepers.

Peacekeeping in Mid-1990s

In the mid-1990s, peacekeepers found that during missions civilians become frequent targets of violence. For example, in missions like UNAMIR (United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda) and UNPROFOR (The United Nations Protection Force), peacekeepers faced systematic attacks on civilians.

The peacekeepers were ill-prepared to address such issues. Such issues also surfaced in Somalia, Sierra Leone, and Timor-Leste.

Peacekeepers witnessed armed groups targeting civilians, which included the use of sexual violence as a tactic of war and grave violations of children’s rights.

New Resolution

Resultantly, the Security Council placed the protection of civilians on its agenda. Security Council devised new resolutions to strengthen the role of peacekeepers.

The Council also passed resolutions in order to establish frameworks to address children in armed conflict and conflict-related sexual violence.