Unarmed civilian peacekeeping (UCP) is a tool to handle crises.
Operational since the 80s the concept of UCP strongly developed in the 90’s. UCP consists in sending trained civilians to conflict zones, to participate hand in hand with local organizations, to the nonviolent resolution of conflicts.
The UCP is defined as "an unarmed intervention, on the field of a local conflict, mandated by an organization, governmental or not, to implement observation, information, interposition, mediation and cooperation in order to prevent or end violence, to ensure respect for human rights, to promote the values of democracy and citizenship, and to create the conditions for a political solution to the conflict which recognizes and guarantees the fundamental rights of each of the parties and allows them to define the rules for pacific coexistence". (Jean-Marie Muller, Dictionnaire de la non-violence, Ed. du Relié, 2005, p. 185)
An UCP mission can be organized by an international organization (OSCE- European Organization for Security and Cooperation- UN), a government, a local institution (decentralized cooperation project) or a non governmental organization (NGO). The volunteers have to be qualified, trained to nonviolent techniques or conflict regulation as well as trained for the specific missions they will be engaged in. Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping takes its roots in the philosophy of nonviolence and uses strategic approaches to regulate conflicts.
Nonviolence is not the denial of violence ; it is on the contrary a way of thinking about a conflict and setting in motion actions to achieve its resolution. It isn’t a passive and submissive attitude but rather a proactive stance oriented towards the search and proposition of alternative solutions to violence.
Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping offers a range of strategies to reduce the levels of tension or violence in conflict zones. This work allows local actors to reconnect and peace actors to work in safer environments.UCP is therefore an approach where the means and the ends coincide.
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