This is the third piece in a series that CIVIC is publishing throughout 2019 to mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council taking up the protection of civilians on its agenda. Follow along here, on Facebook, and on Twitter as we mark this important anniversary year.
Today is the International Day of UN Peacekeepers and the theme for this #PKDay is “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace.” This year’s theme is fitting given 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the Security Council explicitly authorizing a United Nations peacekeeping operation with a mandate to protect civilians under Chapter VII of the UN Charter through Resolution 1270 on Sierra Leone.
Over the past twenty years, the protection of civilians has become a central and essential task of UN peacekeeping operations. Currently, more than 96% of all UN peacekeepers are deployed to missions with protection of civilians mandates. Drawing on publicly available information, this post visualizes relevant trends and statistics on the protection of civilians through UN peacekeeping operations.
The number of UN peacekeeping missions with POC mandates has increased over time. There are currently 8 UN peacekeeping missions with mandates to protect civilians: MINUJUSTH, MINUSCA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, UNAMID, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNMISS. This trend shows that POC has become one of the key priorities for UN peacekeeping operations over the past twenty years.
The majority of troop and police contributing countries (T/PCCs) to UN peacekeeping operations have endorsed the Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians. The Kigali Principles set out eighteen non-binding principles to ensure more effective protection of civilians through UN peacekeeping operations. Since 2017, more than 50% of the overall number of uniformed personnel deployed to UN peacekeeping operations come from countries that have endorsed the Kigali Principles. The heat map below shows the endorsers of the Kigali Principles relative to their total number of personnel deployed to UN peacekeeping operations.
MONUSCO is the largest UN mission with a POC mandate in terms of uniformed personnel. MONUSCO has been the largest mission with POC mandate in terms of total uniformed personnel deployed since 2014. MINUSMA, UNMISS and MINUSCA have continued to grow in terms of overall uniformed personnel deployed since 2014.
MONUSCO had the highest number of civilian personnel in 2018. MONUSCO is the largest UN mission for uniformed personnel (17,174) and civilian personnel (4,484), both in absolute numbers and in terms of the percentage of total personnel. This is important as the effective protection of civilians through UN peacekeeping relies on a comprehensive approach that coordinates and leverages the uniformed and civilian components of a mission. MINUSMA has the lowest ratio of civilian personnel to uniformed personnel compared with other UN peacekeeping missions with POC mandates.
Ethiopia currently contributes the most personnel (7,499) to UN peacekeeping missions with POC mandates. Ethiopia, Rwanda and Bangladesh are the top three contributors of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping operations with protection of civilians mandates as of April 2019.
UNMISS has the highest number of female uniformed personnel (1,050) deployed to UN peacekeeping operations with POC mandates. Many countries spoke at a recent UN Security Council Open Debate on “Women in Peacekeeping” to highlight the importance of greater inclusion and participation of women in UN peacekeeping operations.
Ethiopia provides the most female uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping operations with a POC mandate. Most female uniformed personnel are deployed from African and Asian T/PCCs, with Ethiopia (634), Rwanda (404) and Ghana (386) providing the highest numbers.