United Nations Civil Affairs Handbook

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Civil Affairs are core civilian components of United Nations peacekeeping operations, working at the local level in countries torn by conflict to support the development of social and civic conditions for durable peace. This Handbook is intended as practical guidance for Civil Affairs Officers on the ground, as well as an orientation for people preparing for - or otherwise interested in - civil affairs work. It includes key concepts, current practice, lessons learned and tips. It aims to familiarize users with the context for civil affairs work and UN Peacekeeping, it discusses the guiding principles, skills and attitudes required for civil affairs work, and it focuses on the implementation of the three core civil affairs roles.



Guiding principles for civil affairs work

This chapter looks at how the principles of consent and impartiality, introduced in chapter 1, both guide and can be reinforced by the work of civil affairs at the local level. It discusses gender and diversity issues, local ownership, “Do No Harm” and conflict-sensitive approaches in civil affairs work. The chapter also considers some of the challenges of putting these principles into operation in complex post-conflict contexts.


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