On 10-11 November, OCHA’s Emergency Services Branch (ESB) participated in and briefed the Military and Police Advisors Committee Induction Course in New York. The course comprises military attaches who joined the Permanent Mission in the last 12 months.

On 10-12 November, ESB participated in and briefed NATO Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre Conference in Lisbon. NATO military and civilian personnel discussed lessons learned from NATO previous and current engagements, including Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and Ebola, as well as military exercises and interaction with civilian and humanitarian actors at the strategic and operational level.

ESB participated in the STAIT (Senior Inter-Agency Transformative Agenda Implementation Team) support mission to Central African Republic on 13-21 November.  The mission was requested by the DSRSG/RC/HC. The inter-agency group looked at issues of access, decentralisation and protection and a related action plan to support the HC.

On 20 November in The Hague, Netherlands, ESB, together with some 80 training and learning experts, took part in discussions on interoperability and how it relates to European Union civilian and police training initiatives.

ESB participated in a NATO workshop on civil-military interaction (CMI) on 23-25 November in The Hague, Netherlands. The event, that brought together some 100 senior NATO military officers and a dozen civilians, focused on the future NATO doctrine on the subject. This was an excellent opportunity for ESB to help shape the development of doctrine on the CMI.

ESB was a guest speaker at the ‘Conférence-Table Ronde: Centrafrique: Comment poursuivre l’action humanitaire dans le contexte actuel?’  on 30 November-1 December in Paris, France. ESB presented on OCHA’s role in CMCoord and access in CAR and supported the OCHA CAR in advocating with NGOs for a consistent and coherent approach by the humanitarian community to access negotiations and principled response, including the use of CMCoord mechanisms for awareness of existing policies and coordination/liaison approaches.

ESB participated in the first EUNAVOR-MED meeting on Shared Awareness and De-Confliction (SHADE) in the Mediterranean, on 25-27 November in Rome, Italy. EUNAVOR-MED expects the UNSC to endorse a new resolution to extend the mission’s authority to operate in Libya’s territorial waters. ESB’s participation allowed for a better understanding and a clearer basis on how to sustain our engagements with the military and ECHO counterparts on this matter. ESB and UNHCR also took the opportunity to clarify IHL-related matters and the distinction between the status of refugees and asylum seekers.

ESB conducted the UN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (CMCoord) Course in Entebbe, Uganda from 29 Nov-04 Dec 2015. The course catered to 20 participants from UN Peace Operations Missions, UN agencies, NGOs, Red Cross and militaries in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, DRC and CAR.

ESB was a guest speaker and panellist at the 16th Annual Conference on Military Airlift and Rapid Reaction Operations, on 1-2 December in Seville, Spain. The commercially organized conference dedicated half a day to disaster relief and humanitarian operations. ESB’s presentation on the humanitarian system and humanitarian-military interaction generated hug interest and helped clarify numerous questions.

ESB deployed a support mission to Cameroon upon the request of the Cameroon Humanitarian Advisory Team (HAT). The mission involved an assessment of the civil-military environment and challenges in the country, particularly in the north and east where challenges are posing significant hurdles to effective and efficient humanitarian activities.