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.
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.
In most humanitarian emergencies (complex and natural) the UN agencies and the members of the international humanitarian community responding to the disaster will encounter armed actors. Now more than ever, there are likely to be multiple types of forces: foreign, international or multinational forces. When such actors are present there are significant coordination challenges in the realms of security, medical evacuation, logistics, transport, communications, information management, etc.
Military forces have become increasingly involved in operations other than war, including provision of relief and services to the local population. At the same time, due to the changing nature of modern complex emergencies, the humanitarian community has faced increased operational challenges as well as greater risks and threats for their workers in the field. At times this has compelled some of them to seek the support or protection by military forces on a case-by-case basis.
The guidelines provide considerations for the use of international military and civil defence personnel, equipment, supplies and services in support of the United Nations (UN) in pursuit of humanitarian objectives in complex emergencies. It provides guidance on when these resources can be used, how they should be employed, and how UN agencies should interface, organize, and coordinate with international military forces with regard to the use of military and civil defence assets.
This document is a draft guideline on the use of military and armed escorts for humanitarian convoys. The distinction between military targets and non-military targets has often been problematic. Even when there has not been a deliberate attempt to target civilians, civilians have increasingly been the victims of ‘area weapons’, including the aerial bombardment of populated areas.The paper consists of two parts:
The guidelines outline the use of military and civil defence (M/CD) assets to provide humanitarian assistance where this is requested by a humanitarian organization and where assets requested are likely to be perceived as military in nature. The Principles and Guidelines covering cooperation with the military in integrated operations under the authority of the Security Council, including those where the military are providing protection to humanitarian assistance, are set out in the Oslo Guidelines and other documentation prepared within the framework of DHA’s MCDA project.