This guidance note aims to assist humanitarian actors in determining in which military events to participate. It sets out the type of events humanitarian actors are often invited to, the potential benefits and challenges of participation, and suggests criteria for assessing when and under what conditions to attend.
At the direction of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Principals, the IASC Task Team on Revitalizing Principled Humanitarian Action conducted a review of the impact of United Nations (UN) integration on humanitarian action. The review covered all applicable 18 integrated settings—defined as settings where a UN Country Team (UNCT) coexists with a UN peacekeeping operation (PKO) or special political mission (SPM).
The humanitarian community’s engagement with governments will almost always include interaction with national militaries. The level and degree of interaction will largely be dependent on the type of mission the military performs. In most natural hazard-prone countries, national militaries act as the primary arm of the government, tasked to immediately respond to the humanitarian impact of natural disasters. National militaries offer distinct capability, can rapidly mobilize and deploy, and fill capacity gaps as needed.