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Protection of civilian population in conflict situation:
A complex challenge for peacekeeping operations

Invitation to a panel discussion
11 June 10 to 12.00

at UNRIC meeting room. 8th floor, Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat, 155. Entrance block C2 (behind the Security barrack)

The Group for Research and Information on Peace and security (GRIP) and the UN Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC) are pleased to invite you to a panel discussion on the “Protection of civilian population in conflict situation: A complex challenge for peacekeeping operations”.
The increasing number and complexity of UN peacekeeping operations is the result of geopolitical changes in many areas of the world triggering a shift from interstate to intrastate conflicts and bringing in their wake a myriad of operational, legal and political challenges. These question past practices of classic peacekeeping principles – impartiality, minimal use of force, consent of the parties as well as the relevance and applicability of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of the State. The often brutal nature of intrastate conflict underscores the argument for a practical, operational approach to the growing popularity of the principle of responsibility to protect, the new international security and human rights norm to address the international community’s failure to prevent and stop genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and in general to protect civilians in and from armed conflict.
All these factors have rendered both humanitarian and peacekeeping action far more complex and dangerous for those involved.
The speakers:
- Dennis Besedic, who worked for UNMIK, ICTY, and OSCE, is currently in charge, for the UN Department of Peacekeeping, of the Peacekeeping partnerships with regional, sub-regional and other intergovernmental organizations, in particular the European Union, NATO and African Union,

- Antoine Gérard, has a long experience from the field, working for UN-OCHA (in Sudan, Burundi, Burundi and Senegal and Zimbabwe) but also for “Médecins Sans Frontières”. He is the Head of UN-OCHA liaison office in Brussels.

- Xavier Zeebroek, is a specialist of peacekeeping missions and African conflicts and is currently deputy director of GRIP. He is also the coordinator of the RAFAL, a francophone African network on small arms, conflict prevention and culture of peace.

- Colette Braeckman, is a journalist with the French-language Belgian newspaper Le Soir and is world renown for her expertise on African affairs, in particular Central Africa. She is the author of many books

The debate will be moderated by Janos Tisovszky. Former journalist and Spokesperson of the General Assembly President, he is the Deputy Director UN Regional Information Centre.

English and French, No interpretation
For more information:
Alexandra Froger
Tel. +32 (0)2 788.84.61
Jean-Luc Onckelinx
Tel. +32 (0) 476 215 485
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Update: 07/06/2010

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