On 7th July 2020 the United Nations Security Council held an open debate on the topic of “Peacekeeping and Human Rights”. With opening statements from Michelle Bachelet (High Commissioner for Human Rights) David Shearer (Special Representative and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan) and Senga Dismas Kitenge (president of Groupe LOTUS in the Democratic Republic of Congo) it was a rare discussion occasion of human rights being directly discussed in the Security Council in relation to peace operations.
The debate was held as part of Germany’s presidency of the UN Security Council – which identified as part of its agenda the importance of the global strengthening human rights and peacekeeping, women peace and security, global health as well as the interlinkages of climate change and security.
The debate was chaired by Germany’s Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who referred in her statementto the “Protection of Civilians in UN Peace Operations” project and study, in which GGI is a partner. The one-year projectis implemented by GGI and two partners – Leiden University’s Institute of Security and Global Affairs and the Institute of Security Policy at the University of Kiel (Germany). From GGI, Namie di Razza and Ralph Mamiya were the key researchers for the project.
Aim of the project, funded by the German Ministry of Defence, is to advice Germany and the German armed forced on how to enhance the implementation of the protection of civilians in UN peace operations – particularly in an international conflict climate of increasing violence and atrocities committed against innocent civilians worldwide. The final report is expected to be finalised in December 2020 with a variety of comprehensive and concrete national and international policy recommendations.