Tuesday, April 08, 2008

UN Civil-Military Handbook Out

There's a new UN CIV-MIL handbook out. The focus is kind of a field manual level - the full title is "The United Nations Civil-Military Coordination (UN-CMCoord) Officer Field Handbook". The manual was funded and initiative was taken by both OCHA and the EU's 'ministry' (Directorate General, DG) for humanitarian aid:
Jointly launched by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Humanitarian Aid Department of the European Commission (DG ECHO) in Brussels on 10 March 2008. Funded in part by DG ECHO.
The preface is followed by sort of a statement of general purpose:
The essential dialogue and interaction between civilian and military actors in humanitarian emergencies that is necessary to protect and promote humanitarian principles, avoid competition, minimize inconsistency, and when appropriate pursue common goals. Basic strategies range from coexistence to cooperation. Coordination is a shared responsibility facilitated by liaison and common training.
Here's the table of contents:
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Key Concepts and Principles
Chapter 3: Key Policies and Selected Guidelines
Chapter 4: Transportation and Logistics
Chapter 5: Security, Safety and Medical Services
Chapter 6: Communications and Information Management
Chapter 7: UN Civil Military Coordination (CMCoord) Assessment
Chapter 8: Development of Country Specific Guidelines
Chapter 9: CMCoord Action Plan
Chapter 10: Establishing Liaison with Military Forces
Chapter 11: The Cluster System
Chapter 12: Deployment Considerations
Each of the substantial chapters deal with the substance from both civilian and military perspectives, and a description of standards and best practices, e.g. as "The Military Perspective; The Humanitarian Perspective; Key Military Actors; Minimum Information; Possible Tasks and Activities; Planning Considerations; Lessons Observed and Best Practices". The annexes, moreover, contain a host of practical info - like NATO acronyms, military ranks and insignia.

All of the practical elements seem straightforward and very much called for. But as the diagram of 'range of approaches' shows, the sets of roles attributed to each set of actors is still far from settled.

The publication can be found here (pdf).

No comments: