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Protection of Civilians$
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Haidi Willmot, Ralph Mamiya, Scott Sheeran, and Marc Weller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198729266

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198729266.001.0001

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The United Nations and the Protection of Civilians

The United Nations and the Protection of Civilians

(p.257) 11 The United Nations and the Protection of Civilians
Protection of Civilians

Jean-Marie Guéhenno

Oxford University Press

This chapter questions whether the UN has effectively used the range of tools at its disposal to protect civilians in conflict and considers the role that the UN, the international community, individual States, and civilian populations can and should play to protect civilians. It finds that the UN’s efforts both to provide physical protection and to build State capacity have revealed the Organization’s limitations. Noting the shallow political consensus for dealing with protection issues, it suggests that protection–of-civilians peacekeeping mandates may simply reflect Security Council recourse to a concept adopted from international humanitarian law, used to mask continuing political divisions. For the protection of civilians to truly serve people on the ground, and be more than a temporary response to an emergency, it argues that UN efforts need to go beyond the superficial and address the creation of a lasting protective environment, which ultimately empowers communities.

Keywords:   United Nations, protection of civilians, international community, physical protection, peacekeeping, Security Council, international politics, diplomacy

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