Peace and humanitarian operations are affected by internal conflicts, possibly in a higher level than other type of organizations, due to its natural hazardous settings and the expected stress situations that its members sign for when joining. Occasionally, these conflicts escalate to unsuspecting grades and, eventually, disrupt the operations to unwanted degrees. To transform intra-organizational conflicts, this book proposes a methodological set of recommendations at every level to be implemented by security departments in peace and humanitarian operations. Its optimal execution would not only avoid the “misuse of security” by senior officials but fully integrate them into operations' mandates, achieve better intra-organizational conflict transformation expertise, and moreover, reach ultimate operational goals in peacebuilding and humanitarian aid. Additionally, the methodology proposed could be conveniently extrapolated to different public and private sector organizational spheres, where internal conflict plays a substantive role.
Chapter 1, Introduction:
Security is defined as ‘the state of being free from danger or threat.’ Maslow refers to the human need for safety away from threat and danger, from the early stages of infant life (1943: 376), placing it on the second lowest level of his famous hierarchy of needs pyramid, where security is considered only less prevalent than physiological needs like breathing, eating, drinking, or sleeping. Parallel to security, Oxford dictionary as well defines risk as ‘a situation involving exposure to danger,’ and management is ‘the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.’ Having defined separately these terms, organizational security and risk management refers to the institutional ability to control and alleviate the potential losses it will lay it selves open to while operating in hostile environments or simply suffering from unfavourable activities (MacAdams 2004) . When these organizational structures are placed in peacebuilding contexts, the risk to different threats exposure increases and internal security departments become protagonists in ensuring safety for staff, assets, and programmes. Finally, peacebuilding organizational structures are generally placed in post-conflict, natural disaster, or emergency relief required areas, and their commitment refers to preventing, resolving and transforming violent conflicts into stable peace (CPRS 2011) . As Keohane and Wallander discuss, a combination of the defined terms bring down to the actors of this book: peacebuilding organizational operations’ security management departments or institutions (2002: 89) and its regulations, and the staff, assets, and programmes affected by the actions and the regulations of the first actors.
There are a significant number of occasions when staff members deployed in peace and humanitarian operations omit security regulations, affecting their professional and, in cases, personal daily routines. The avoidance to follow rules is conscious in some cases and unconscious in other situations, but the final result affects the exposure to threats of staff members, operation's assets and programmes, separately or simultaneously, increasing its vulnerability to significant higher risk level and impact, should an incident happen (Young 2010: 47).
The reasons for mission personnel to exclude security regulations can be as varied as the psyche of human beings. But for the purpose of this book and to limit its scope, I chose to disregard negative factors that would lead staff members to avoid following security regulations and focused on positive methodologies who would reinforce attitudes and channel staff members towards common objectives, while working on operational and personal security.
As a nineteen years experienced practitioner in organizations like the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the European Union, the Spanish national public service, and diplomatic missions, I witnessed in considerable number of situations and locations recurring phrases like: ‘security [department] is too strict, and won’t let this mission work’ or ‘security regulations are too tight, we can’t do our job.’ These sentences are mainly thrown out in times of personnel discontent, either in field operations or headquarters and have double connotation when used: from one side they carry complaints towards the strictness of regulations and its enforcement; on the other side bear a subtle message of criticism towards the department in charge of producing and enforcing them. The result of this criticism is likely to bring forth a professional confrontation, if not an interdepartmental one.
This publication aims at effectively propose methodologies for security departments to apply in their activities in peace and humanitarian operation personnel through different levels: operational, perceptual, and relational. At the operational level, the book will develop into training and personnel participation techniques; at the perceptual level, it will focus on change of image and inclusion of humour into daily activities; at the relational level, it will concentrate on approachability through outreach techniques. Although there might be a general perception and, perhaps, misconception in the peacebuilding arena that security regulations become barriers for operational aspects in peace and humanitarian operations, this book does not aim to contradict this statement, but to provide a forum for positive and interactive methodologies ground that would conceptualize contending elements towards unified operations, perceptions, and relations in peace and humanitarian professionals.
However, I do acknowledge that high risk field operations like Afghanistan, Iraq, or Sudan’s security regulations (in part or totally) do affect the pace of programmes’ implementation, and cause disruption to operations (UN 2012) . Therefore, the aim targets those operations where risk and threat levels range from level one (precautionary) to level two (restricted movement) , as these levels permit to develop higher sustainability in peace or humanitarian mission activities (WFP 2002: 307). A focus on high risk operations would be ineffective for the purpose of this study.
The final aim of this book is to combine the previously described methodologies and set up a common ground between security departments' personnel and the rest of peace or humanitarian operation's personnel, where the objective is to respect mandates in safe working environments, and provide ideas for establishing domains where staff members can develop their professional and personal tasks with the safety required. The implementation of the methodology in an interactive manner would be responsibility of security departments with the acquiescence and voluntary participation of all parties involved. In fact, it is not an aim of this book to prove wrong the before mentioned accusations against security departments of ‘not letting them perform effectively due to high security regulations.’
The study, particularly at the analytical level will be supported by the professional experience throughout my career with the United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Mission in Kosovo (OMIK), the European Union Election Observation Mission in Mexico (EU-EOM), and the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM).
I considered this topic relevant to the overall topic of peacebuilding, being security a key element involved in the elaboration of policies, deployment of peace and humanitarian missions to post-conflict areas, and the constant concern for states and institutions involved in stabilization and normalization processes. On the more technical term of security and risk management, it is the technical department in charge of dealing with internal security policies, risk and threat assessments, security plans, the enforcement of all, and in summary, the care and precaution for the well being of staff members, assets, and programmes. It is a combination of all these aspects that made the subject of this study of ample importance for me, as it constitutes part of my professional experience and scholar interest. Since I joined the UNMIK in the Civilian Police component in August 1999, I held diverse positions in different post-conflict and non-post-conflict areas as security manager and law enforcement liaison officer, shaping my career and developing understanding for staff members integration into the role of security in peace and humanitarian operations. I found that participation is crucial for the success of security departments, as it engages all staff members in tasks and routines that are specifically developed for their own well being. But as well, it is of enormous benefit for the peacebuilding process as it provides higher efficiency to all departments and offices if security regulations are properly followed. It professionalises mission personnel as security is a daily subject that concerns to all staff members and not only security professionals. Moreover, security could be the common link to bring together mission members from different departments, who otherwise may not communicate, through trainings, rehearsals, common security projects like warden structures, and drills.
The application of all these methodologies and techniques in an interactive and coordinated manner would only benefit peace and humanitarian missions, their operations, their staff security and, in principle, their self knowledge and internal communications and relations.
Finally, a correct implementation of the suggestions provided in this book, would hopefully lead to peace and humanitarian operations internal conflict-free environments and enhanced peacebuilding effectiveness, which would permit deeper focus on mission mandates and overall objectives.
Roberto Santamarta Perez is an experienced practitioner, having worked for the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the European Union in different field operations and capacities related to security and law enforcement. He represented the Ministry of Interior at the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC, where he liaised with corresponding Department of Justice's agencies in the USA. As a scholar, he was educated in colleges and universities of USA and UK, obtaining his graduate degree from the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies at Coventry University. Currently, he enjoys the life of a Peace and Security consultant and avid travel blogger
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- Artikel-Nr.: SW9783954896844
- Artikelnummer SW9783954896844
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- Verlag Anchor Academic Publishing
- Seitenzahl 50
- Veröffentlichung 01.02.2014
- ISBN 9783954896844