Samuli Harju is an Advisor to the United Nations Program at the Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC).

Engaging Local Populations as Partners in UN Peacekeeping

United Nations (UN) Member States have increasingly highlighted the importance of UN peacekeeping engagement with conflict-affected communities.[1]  The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated instability and exposed systemic inequalities in a number of UN peacekeeping contexts, emphasizing a new challenge of community engagement, while increasing the urgency of UN peacekeeping missions to engage vulnerable communities in safe…

Not Just a Numbers Game: Matching Peacekeeping Mandates with Adequate Resources Is Essential as the COVID-19 Pandemic Spreads

UN Member States are now on their fifth week of the yearly UN peacekeeping budget negotiations.  The budget negotiations at the UN General Assembly’s Fifth Committee (administrative and budgetary) are never easy, but this year negotiations are fraught with additional challenges caused by COVID-19. In this current environment riddled with uncertainty, Member States should demonstrate…

#Lead2Protect: 22 Civil Society Organizations Call for Urgent Action to Strengthen the Protection of Civilians in Conflict

CIVIC and 21 civil society organizations have issued a joint statement calling on members of the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary-General, and all governments to strengthen protection for civilians caught in armed conflict. The statement comes in advance of Protection of Civilians (POC) Week and the UN Security Council open debate on the protection…

Missed Deadlines, Difficult Compromises, Ongoing Divisions: Reviewing the Fifth Committee’s 2019 Session on Peacekeeping

The UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) Fifth Committee (5C) concluded its annual session on peacekeeping budgets on July 3rd, missing the fiscal-year deadline by three days. This blog post provides an overview of the key outcomes from the 5C session, such as: the overall peacekeeping budget for 2019-2020; staffing positions; the financial situation facing UN peacekeeping;…