The Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) and the Permanent Missions of Belgium, Indonesia, and Switzerland to the United Nations convened the POC20 Policy Dialogue on July 9 and 10 in New York.

The POC20 Policy Dialogue brought together experts, thought leaders, and key stakeholders from a diverse group of Member States, intergovernmental organizations, the United Nations, and civil society for a focused and frank discussion on contemporary and recurring issues in protecting civilians in armed conflict.

The sessions of the POC20 Policy Dialogue focused on four key issue areas, including:

•    Prioritizing the protection of civilians at the national level;

•    Minimizing harm to civilians in the conduct of hostilities in contemporary conflict;

•    Protecting civilians through UN peacekeeping operations; and

•    Engaging with conflict-affected communities to improve protection.

The event will be followed by a policy brief published by CIVIC that will capture the major themes of the discussion and provide concrete recommendations to inform the future of the protection of civilians agenda.

The POC20 Policy Dialogue was convened as three important anniversaries are being marked in 2019, including the 20th anniversary of the Security Council placing the protection of civilians in armed conflict on its agenda, the 20th anniversary of the first protection of civilians mandate for a UN peacekeeping operation under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions.