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Seminar on protecting civilians in peacekeeping missions opens

Updated: Jun 18,2015 8:31 AM     Xinhua

A seminar on protecting civilians during United Nations peacekeeping missions, the first of its kind jointly held by China and the UN, began on June 17 in Beijing.

The three-day seminar was jointly held by the department in charge of China’s peacekeeping mission under the Ministry of National Defense, the Peacekeeping Training Center, and UN Women.

A total of 35 trainees, including 10 women, took part.

They are from the Defense Ministry, the Ministry of Public Security, and military area commands on peacekeeping missions.

The trainees will attend UN training courses and learn how to protect civilians, especially from sexual violence.

The seminar will also include lectures on inter-departmental coordination, threat study and determination, and rules of engagement.

Zhou Zhe, director of the Defense Ministry Peacekeeping Training Center, said the UN is giving greater priority in its peacekeeping mandate to civilian protection, and that the success of a mission is increasingly judged by its success in protecting civilians.

The seminar will help trainees understand more about UN peacekeeping missions, the UN’s mechanisms to protect civilians, how to employ rules of engagement, and strengthen their awareness of protecting civilians.

Julie Broussard, country program manager from UN Women China Office, said Chinese peacekeepers had achieved recognition for their professional conduct during missions.

“The professionalization is becoming more comprehensive with this courses,” Broussard said.