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.
This concept paper describes when and how UN Civil-Military Coordination Officers are to be mobilized, deployed and employed in emergencies where there is likely to be a need for the humanitarian community to coordinate with military forces and to protect humanitarian space. The document contains mechanisms for triggering deployment, reporting lines and authority, the role of UN Civil-Military Coordination officers and scope of activities. These activities include structures, location and staffing, and finally transition strategy.
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. This paper serves as a non-binding reference for humanitarian practitioners, assisting them in formulating country-specific operational guidelines on civil-military relations for particular complex emergencies.
This paper consists of three parts:
1) Part one of the paper reviews, in a generic manner, the nature and character of civil-military relations in complex emergencies
2) Part two lists the fundamental humanitarian principles and concepts that must be upheld when coordinating with the military
3) Part three proposes practical considerations for humanitarian workers engaged in civil-military coordination
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:
1) Part one reviews the broader policy context. It concludes that, due to changes in the nature of conflict and in the nature of humanitarian assistance, military or armed escorts are necessary, in a limited number of cases. In these instances, they should be used sparingly, and only in accordance with clear guidelines.
2) Part two consists of two sets of non-binding guidelines: one on when escorts might be used, the other on how they might be used.
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.
The report from the Task Force on the Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets in Support of Humanitarian Operations (1995), establishes six general operating principles. These operating principles relate to the use of all military assets in support of humanitarian actions.
The six general operating principles are as follows: 1) Decisions to accept military assets must be made by humanitarian organizations 2) Military assets should be requested only where there is no comparable civilian alternative and only the use of military assets can meet a critical humanitarian need 3) A humanitarian operation using military assets must retain its civilian nature and character 4) Countries providing military personnel to support humanitarian operations should ensure that they respect the code of conduct and principles of the humanitarian organization responsible for that deployment 5) The large-scale involvement of military personnel in the direct delivery of humanitarian assistance should be avoided 6) Any use of military assets should ensure that the humanitarian operation retains its international and multilateral character