Humanitarian // Military Dialogue
Civil-Military Coordination Service
OCHA Civil Military Coordination Service (CMCS) is the designated focal point in the UN system for humanitarian civil-military coordination (UN-CMCoord). It supports relevant field and headquarter-level activities through the development of institutional strategies to enhance the capacity and preparedness of national and international partners and in the process, improve principled humanitarian action. As custodian of UN-CMCoord related guidelines and policy, CMCS helps humanitarian actors develop context-specific guidelines tailored to a particular situation.
Three key CMCS activities are: provide support to the field, guide development of civil-military coordination policy, and capacity building to ensure expertise in the field. CMCS provides support the field both remotely, as well as, at the request of OCHA Regional and Country Offices in-person CMCS expertise to assist in a response to humanitarian and disaster relief assistance. CMCS expertise is provided by maintaining and promoting UN-CMCoord handbooks, training courses, workshops, conferences, simulation exercises, in addition to developing needs-based policy and guidance. CMCS activities also include numerous speaking engagements and training opportunities with academic, governmental and intergovernmental institutions, and militaries.
The training programme aims to equip humanitarian and military actors with the skills and knowledge necessary to communicate and, where appropriate, effectively interact and coordinate with each other. In addition, CMCS prepares and deploys personnel to the field to act as dedicated UN-CMCoord experts.
Please find the Civil Military Coordination Service organigramme here.
Key Advocacy Messages on UN-CMCoord Support to Access & Protection
Please find here a list of key advocacy messages on UN-CMCoord support to access and protection in the context of the COVID-19 response. The list will continuously be updated as the situation evolves.
A global MCDA Request was issued by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on behalf of the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization. This initial request is to support the logistics and medevac efforts in the global COVID-19 pandemic response. Please find the document here.
What is UN-CMCoord?
"The essential dialogue and interaction between civilian and military actors in humanitarian emergencies that is necessary to protect and promote humanitarian principles, avoid competition, minimize inconsistency, and when appropriate, pursue common goals. Basic strategies range from co-existence to cooperation. Coordination is a shared responsibility facilitated by liaison and common training."
In other terms, UN-CMCoord is a framework that enhances a broad understanding of humanitarian action and guides political and military actors on how best to support that action. It helps to develop context-specific policy based on internationally agreed guidelines, and it establishes humanitarian civil-military coordination structures, ensuring staff members are trained to make that coordination work.
UN-CMCoord is particularly essential in complex emergencies / high-risk environments in order to facilitate humanitarian access, the protection of civilians, and the security of humanitarian aid workers.