Engaging International Actors on PoC

Though much progress has been made elevating Protection of Civilians (PoC) on the international agenda and institutionalizing these commitments in mandates, policies and practices, missions continue to struggle to protect civilians in practice.

One challenge is to connect the capabilities of a mission effectively to the protection needs of the population. This project contributes to addressing that challenge by utilizing local perspectives to inspire and hold to account relevant PoC policies and decision making.

This project connects international PoC actors constructively with  needs and capacities of civilians in conflict. The main project activities consist of advocating for civilian perspectives in training and policies and engaging constructively with UN and other international security actors or institutions on how to improve transparency, accountability, and effective practices in PoC. PAX organizes public events and expert-level round table sessions events on the sidelines of international PoC discussions.

PAX organizes annual international PoC conferences in the Netherlands as part of its partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We bring together national and international practitioners (civilians and military) and policy makers in the field of peacekeeping to discuss best PoC practices and challenges and provide a platform to learn and engage with relevant actors in PoC.

Strengthening Protection of Civilians Capacity at NATO

NATO is in the process of implementing its first PoC policy (established in 2016) through a step-wise process. NATO may not lead any UN-mandated PoC missions any time soon, but NATO’s role in setting standards for training, exercises, operational guidelines, and doctrine for its member states and Partnership for Peace states is unquestionable. In the period 2019-2022, NATO will further implement the NATO PoC Action plan and will need input from independent, non-military and non-governmental actors in the further implementation of its PoC policy and framework.

As part of the Engaging International Actors for the Protection of Civilians project PAX and Stimson Center established a partnership to offer assessments of the progress made  by NATO. Activities include research, PoC capacity reviews, round tables and convening a pool of experts.


Hans Rouw, Project Lead Engaging International Actors on PoC, rouw@paxforpeace.nl.

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