CIVIC’s 2021-25 Strategic plan asserts that multinational bodies and member states must take bold and urgent steps to close the gap between their rhetoric and behavior regarding the protection of civilians. CIVIC’s UN Program works with UN Member States to close this gap and ensure that UN bodies and the UN Secretariat prioritize the protection of civilians in their responses to armed conflict. Drawing on CIVIC’s engagement with communities under threat and with armed actors in diverse conflict contexts where CIVIC works – such as Nigeria, the Sahel region, East Africa, Iraq, Yemen, and Ukraine — we raise awareness of protection concerns and offer recommendations to improve UN policy and practice. CIVIC advances protection solutions at the UN in country-specific situations, as a thematic agenda, and by tackling specific protection challenges, such as the devastating human toll of urban warfare and use of explosive weapons in populated areas. We accomplish this by constructively engaging and partnering with UN Member State delegations, the UN Secretariat, and international NGOs. Together with the International Rescue Committee, CIVIC also co-convenes the NGO Working Group on the Protection of Civilians in New York, which brings together major humanitarian, human rights, and peacebuilding organizations to discuss protection concerns and jointly engage with UN actors.
CIVIC’s UN Program is strengthening the protection of civilians through UN peacekeeping operations. CIVIC accomplishes this by conducting research to identify gaps, best practices, and lessons learned in providing effective protection to civilians through UN peacekeeping. This includes protecting civilians from other armed actors and to reduce harm that may result from a peacekeeping operation’s presence, activities, and operations. Based on this research, CIVIC develops policy recommendations and advocates with national and multilateral stakeholders to address gaps and institutionalize best practices. CIVIC also provides technical assistance to the UN and its partners on protection of civilians policies, practices, and tools. Our field-based researchers work closely with peacekeeping operations in Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), South Sudan, and Mali, and our New York team leads research and advocacy at the UN Secretariat and with UN Member States to advance broader UN reforms that are essential to the protection of civilians.