American Engagement Caucus briefing
The PEP invites you to a staff briefing held by the American Engagement Caucus, titled,
"Protecting Civilians in Armed Conflict: Translating NSS Aspirations into Reality"
The 2010 National Security Strategy commits the United States to build support in other countries “to contribute to sustaining global peace and stability operations, through UN peacekeeping and regional organizations and to work both multilaterally and bilaterally to mobilize diplomatic, humanitarian, financial, and-in certain instances-military means to prevent and respond to genocide and mass atrocities.”
How capable are the United Nations, regional organizations and/or single nation’s to effectively prevent and respond to widespread and systematic abuse against civilians?
The UN Security Council has explicitly instructed peacekeepers to protect civilians under imminent threat of violence in most UN peacekeeping mandates since 1999. But there is no clarity by member states as to what protection means in practice. Which circumstances require action and what level of force should be used? This has resulted in a lack of proper training, guidance and resources for peacekeepers to accomplish protection activities.
With the conflict unresolved in Darfur, strife in the DR Congo, and a looming contentious vote on South Sudan’s independence, the protection of civilians in conflict zones remains a critical issue.
To address these challenges, the U.S. will need to work together with the UN, African Union and other regional organizations to improve peacekeepers’ ability to keep people safe in times of armed conflict. For this reason, the American Engagement Caucus - a congressional caucus which highlights the importance of U.S. engagement to address the world’s global challenges - urges you attend a briefing on the protection of civilians in peacekeeping operations with two experts on the issue.
The briefing will take place on Thursday, June 17 at 3:00 pm in 2200 Rayburn.
• Alison Giffen, Deputy Director and Research Fellow, Stimson Center Future of Peace Operations Program
• Erin A. Weir, Senior Peacekeeping Advocate, Refugees International
If you have any questions about the briefing or the American Engagement Caucus, please contact Jeremy Haldeman in Congressman Russ Carnahan's office at 225.2671; firstname.lastname@example.org or Dang Nguyen in Congressman Cao’s office at 225.6636; email@example.com.
RSVP to Matt Pennington at firstname.lastname@example.org by COB Tuesday.