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USI Hosts UN Forum 2023 On Humanitarian Law And Peacekeeping


The United Service Institution of India (USI), founded in 1870 as the country’s premier think-tank for national security and military affairs, is hosting the Annual UN Forum 2023 in New Delhi on November 21-22.

Theme: ‘International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Peacekeeping.’

  • In collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Centre for UN Peacekeeping Operations, the forum will focus on the pressing theme of ‘International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Peacekeeping.’
  • This timely discussion addresses the challenges posed by contemporary conflicts and the imperative to uphold IHL principles in UN peace operations.

Understanding the Context

  • With UN peacekeeping missions increasingly deployed in volatile environments marked by asymmetric warfare, the application of IHL has become crucial.
  • The complexity of modern conflicts, the involvement of non-state actors, and the blurred lines between combatants and civilians in urban battlespaces present unique challenges.

Objectives of the Forum

  • The forum aims to foster an interactive, multi-stakeholder discussion on the applicability and limitations of implementing IHL frameworks in UN peace operations.
  • It will delve into contemporary issues such as the protection of civilians, accountability for crimes against peacekeepers, the role of women in peacekeeping operations, and the integration of technology for more effective operations.

Agenda and Sessions

Session Topic Focus
1 Application of IHL Principles to Peacekeeping Discussion on challenges and strategies related to applying IHL principles in UN peacekeeping involving non-state actors and urban warfare.
2 Overcoming Constraints to Protection of Civilian Mandates Analysis of constraints in protecting civilians during peacekeeping missions and strategies to overcome them by integrating IHL norms.
3 Legal Frameworks and Accountability for Peacekeepers Examination of legal frameworks ensuring accountability when peacekeepers are targeted, with discussions on measures to enhance their protection.
4 Gender-Inclusive Peacekeeping Exploration of the importance of gender-inclusive peacekeeping and discussion of challenges faced by women peacekeepers in conflict zones.
5 Leveraging Technology for Effective Peacekeeping Discussion on utilizing technology, including data analytics, AI, and advanced surveillance, to enhance the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations.

Keynote Addresses and Participants

  • Distinguished keynote addresses will be delivered by senior officials from the Indian Armed Forces and the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • The forum will feature insights from both academicians and practitioners with first-hand experience in addressing peacekeeping challenges.

Forging a Path Forward in UN Peacekeeping Through Informed Discourse and Recommendations

  • The forum will conclude with a plenary session aimed at consolidating key takeaways for peacekeeping practitioners.
  • It will provide recommendations to further informed discourse on IHL and its integration into UN peace operations.
  • The dialogues and insights generated during the forum are expected to contribute significantly to the advancement of international humanitarian law in the context of UN peacekeeping.

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