New Delhi | A leading defence think-tank will organise a two-day seminar in Delhi starting Tuesday to discuss the applicability and limitations of implementing international humanitarian law frameworks in UN peace operations, officials said on Monday.
The dialogues during the seminar can contribute to developing training modules and policy frameworks to make peacekeeping more effective while ensuring the rights and safety of peacekeepers and civilians, they said.
USI, the country's oldest think-tank established in 1870, is organising its annual UN Forum 2023 on November 21-22, according to an official statement.
The seminar on 'International Humanitarian Law and Peacekeeping' is being organised in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Centre for UN Peacekeeping (CUNPK).
"With contemporary UN peacekeeping missions increasingly being deployed in volatile environments characterised by asymmetric warfare, ensuring adherence to international humanitarian law (IHL) principles has become critical.
"However, applying IHL norms presents challenges arising from the complexity of modern conflicts, actions by non-state actors and blurred lines between combatants and civilians in urban battlespaces," the statement said.
Against this background, the seminar aims to discuss the applicability and limitations of implementing IHL frameworks in UN peace operations through an interactive, multi-stakeholder approach, officials said.
The IHL is a set of rules that seeks, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict, says the official website of ICRC.
The sessions will enable a deeper examination of some of the contemporary issues like the protection of civilians, accountability for crimes against peacekeepers, the role of women in peacekeeping operations, and leveraging technology for more effective operations, it said.
"Laws of war must be enmeshed into peace operations at all levels, to increase the credibility of UN Missions in various conflict areas," Major General B K Sharma, director general of USI, was quoted as saying in the statement.
At the same time, technologies can offer better surveillance and analysis to prevent human suffering and protection of civilians, leading to the "mandate accomplishment" within the ambit of international laws, he said.
The seminar will involve insightful perspectives presented by both academicians and practitioners who have first-hand experience of peacekeeping challenges.
Keynote addresses will be delivered by senior officials from the Indian armed forces and the Ministry of External Affairs, it said.
The seminar will conclude with a plenary session aimed at consolidating takeaways for peacekeeping practitioners and providing recommendations to further informed discourse on the IHL and its integration into the UN peace operations, the statement said.