Conflicts: UNDP tasks peacekeepers, security personnel on civilian protection

A cross section of participants at the inauguration ceremony of the Comprehensive Protection of Civilians Course 36/2024.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has reiterated the need to ensure adequate protection of civilian population by peacekeepers, security personnel and humanitarian workers during violent conflicts to minimise casualties.

Mr Matthew Alao, Team Lead, Governance, Peace, and Security Unit, UNDP, Nigeria, reiterated this on Tuesday in Abuja, at the inauguration ceremony of the Comprehensive Protection of Civilians Course 36/2024.

The course was organised by Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAIPKC) and sponsored by UNDP in conjunction with the Government of Japan.

Alao, represented by Mr Richard Ologunla, noted that civilians often bear the brunt of hostilities and uncertainties in conflict zones around the world, adding that there was the need to ensure their safety, uphold their rights and safeguard their dignities.

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He said the course was designed to arm the participants with the tools and strategies necessary to navigate the complexities of protecting civilians in armed conflict.

”As we inaugurate this course today, let us remember that the true measure of our success lies in the positive impact that we create in the lives of those we are committed to protect.

”The protection of civilians is not just a professional call to duty, it is a moral imperative.

”By enhancing our capabilities to protect civilians in armed conflict, we are contributing to a more just and peaceful world.

”I encourage you all to engage fully, learn from one another, and take this opportunity to build a sustainable network for your career and leadership”, he said.

Alao commended MLAILPKC for the unwavering dedication and leadership in developing national and regional capacities for peace support operations at tactical level.

He also lauded the centre for organising the course for the good and security of civilians in armed conflict.

According to him, the invaluable partnership and support of the Government of Japan has continued to strengthen their assistance to MLAILPKC and expand durable peace and security in the ECOWAS sub-region.

”Our study partnership underscores our shared commitment to fulfilling the Resolution 1265 of the United Nations on protection of civilians in armed conflict.

”This course, which will run through to July 12, is a testament to our collective commitment to the realisation of the UN Resolution 1265 on protection of civilians in armed conflicts”, he added.

Alao disclosed that the course drew participants from the military, para-military agencies, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and non-governmental organisations in six West African countries including Nigeria.

According to him, the diversity, cadre and inclusion of the group of participants underline the importance of a united but robust approach to addressing the complexities of civilian’s protection in armed conflict


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