Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Dr Ali Ahmed spoke on the Concept and the Core Obligation of the UN for PoC. He said that the threat to the civilians, both in the long and short term is influenced by various factors. PoC has three-tier approaches – Tier I: Protection through dialogue and engagement; Tier II: Provision of physical protection; and Tier III: Establishment of a protective environment. Three elements to address the entire gamut of PoC are – managing conflict or contradiction through peace-making, management of the behaviour of violence through peace operations, and attitudinal change through engagement of communities or peace-building efforts. Dr Ali however expressed his reservations on the words ‘Core Obligation.” According to him, if the PoC is considered as a Core Obligations of the UN, the host nations will absolve their responsibility to protect their own civilians.  UN may have PoC as its central concept but cannot make it its core obligation, since the protection of civilians is the main responsibility of the host government. Working of PoC mandate cannot be divorced from the global political economy, where divergent forces and stakeholders constantly put pressure and there is always a possibility of blowback.