Thematic Areas: UN Integration

The principle of UN integration applies in all conflict and post-conflict situations where the UN has a Country Team and a multi-dimensional peacekeeping operation or political mission/office with the objective of maximizing the individual and collective impact of UN efforts in support of peace consolidation. As such, humanitarian activities are understood to fall largely outside the scope of integration.

The UN system in such a context is referred to as an ‘Integrated UN Presence’, whether or not the presence is structurally integrated, i.e. whether or not the RC/HC is part of the Mission’s leadership structure (DSRSG/RC/HC). The structural configuration of the UN presence should in all cases reflect the specific contextual requirements and circumstances and can therefore take different forms. Integration policy emphasizes the importance of a strategic partnership between the Mission and the UNCT, the need to develop a joint vision for peace consolidation and identify the UN’s core strategic objectives in support of that vision. Where a Mission and UNCT co-exist, they must work together and integrate their efforts in a way that is appropriate and tailored to the specific context. Coordination mechanisms must be set up to that effect, consisting at minimum of a senior leadership forum and a shared analytical and planning capacity.

Implementation of UN integration is guided the UN policy on Integrated Assessment and Planning (IAP). According to the IAP Policy, when the deployment of a UN peacekeeping or political mission is being considered, the UN system, led either by DPA or DPKO on behalf of the system, must conduct an integrated assessment. The assessment aims to bring the UN political, security, development, humanitarian and human rights entities together to analyse the situation and propose options for UN engagement for peace consolidation on the basis of a shared assessment of risks and opportunities. The IAP calls on the UN system to (a) develop a common understanding of the situation, (b) agree, jointly, on when, where, and how to respond, and (c) establish coordination mechanisms in the field and at HQ at the senior and working levels to achieve the above and, once consensus is reached, (d) monitor and report jointly on progress toward the joint vision. The Policy governs requirements for integrated assessment and planning at the strategic level, and is not aimed at entity-specific operational and budgetary planning processes.

UN Integration and Humanitarian Operations

The Secretary-General’s 2008 decision on Integration (2008/24 Integration) states that Integration arrangements should take full account of humanitarian principles, protect humanitarian space and facilitate effective humanitarian coordination with all humanitarian actors. The IAP states that while humanitarian action can support peace consolidation, its main purpose remains to address life-saving needs and alleviating suffering. Accordingly, most humanitarian interventions are likely to remain outside the scope of integration.

While humanitarian operations are mostly outside the scope of integration, UN humanitarian actors are part of an integrated UN strategic approach. UN humanitarians must be represented in all assessment and planning processes where there are, or where there is a potential for, significant humanitarian needs. This is to ensure that the analysis that informs planning is as comprehensive as possible, that humanitarian issues and concerns are fully reflected and considered and, where required, to minimize potential negative consequences and mitigate risks to humanitarian operations. Humanitarians need to be at the table for all strategic and operational discussions on a systematic basis. While most humanitarian operations are not part of the integrated strategy, they are undertaken in a shared environment over which UN political and security interventions have significant influence. Furthermore, depending on the context, certain activities related to the protection of civilians, return and reintegration and early recovery may be included in the UN’s integrated strategic approach.
  

Resources
UN Integration and Humanitarian Space - an Independent Study commissioned by UN Integration Steering Group, Dec 2011
UN Policy on Integrated Assessment and Planning (IAP)
Integrated Assessment and Planning Handbook