UN urged to draw a line between humanitarian and military work

December 19, 2011

The UN must ensure its humanitarian objectives are not tarnished by associationwith its political and military objectives, or risk more NGOs pulling out of co-ordinated activities, according to a report.

The report, UN integration and humanitarian space, published by the Overseas Development Institute and the Stimson Centre, focused on UN operations in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Central African Republic, Darfur in Sudan, and Liberia.

“Jens Oppermann, from Action Against Hunger, said: ‘It is highly likely that NGOs would drop out if the UN tried to implement a fully integrated mission in Somalia.’

“’In some parts of Somalia the UN is seen as being partial. Aid agencies would definitely risk expulsion if they aligned with the UN.’

“Opermann said it would be better for the UN and humanitarian organisations to work side-by-side in partnership rather than trying to become one body.”