On April 28, 2017 the Peace Studies Institute hosted Dr. Walt Kilroy’s (Associate Director of Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction, School of Law and Government of the Dublin City University) public lecture – "Attempting the impossible? Protection of civilians by UN peacekeepers".
The lecture was attended by the Peace Studies Module students from the Caucasus University, Tbilisi State University, Ilia State University and Sokhumi State University. Notably, under the ERASMUS+ project “Creation of the Graduate Curricula in Peace Studies in Georgia” (PESTUGE) these Georgia higher education institutions have introduced four new courses on peace studies in their respective programs’ curricula for the academic year 2017-2018.
Guest lecture outlined the historic evolution of the UN Peacekeeping operations, gave an overview of the evolution of the peacekeeping mandates and emphasized that since the 2000’s protection of civilians in the face of imminent threat of physical destruction has become a part of the mandates of almost all of the peacekeeping operations. However, due to certain restrictions reaching this goal has not been easy and practical results have been rather mixed.
Prof. Kilroy shared the results of his research trip to South Sudan in 2017 and highlighted the history and challenges of zones of protection of civilians in South Sudan. The invited speaker emphasized that even though the practice of Protection of Civilians (PoC) within peacekeeping operations is an important development, it is only a temporary solution to the problem. In order to find a long-term solution there has to be a greater awareness of the problem at hand and the corresponding mandates should have lesser caveats attached.
The public lecture was followed by question and answers. Notably, the Peace Studies module students had a networking possibility on the sidelines.