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  • Employ Security Guards: Each party participant should have at least one security guard assigned. One security guard should be stationed at the door. Clear guidance must be given to each security guard. The JMC Secretary would be the best person to direct guards as it would enhance his overall authority as facilitator of the meeting. This would not distract the Chairman's ability to direct the security guards.

  • Develop a Security SOP. This permits the organizers to know what has to be done, and the personnel that are involved know precisely what is expected of them. It may also be helpful to have the parties moved to separate rooms upon arrival and escorted into the commission only when both parties have arrived and the session is ready to begin. This not only provides greater security control, but also allows the commission to control the entrance of parties. It also avoids the problem of the Chairman having to wait for parties that arrive late.

  • Cultivate Relations with the Press: The press should be kept some distance from the commission location. If not, the flow of information to the press cannot be managed. Preferably a room should be made available where the press resides. Following the session, the press can then be given access to the participants. This would also prevent the press from having the ability to see into the commission room. Coordination should be made with the Public Affairs Office (PAO), Joint Information Bureau (JIB), or Combined Press Information Center (CPIC) to facilitate support of press actions.

  • Plan the Physical Layout of the Meeting Facility: The layout of the JMC meeting room should facilitate an environment for relaxed discussion. Coffee, water, food, and cigarettes should be available. Ash trays should be on the main table.

  • Plan the Entrance of the Parties: A problem may arise when the parties have to leave the meeting room because a decision must be made on who leaves first. Be sensitive to protocol; don't show favoritism or greet/farewell the same factional leaders ahead of the others each time you meet with them.

  • Commander Leads the Meeting: Unlike UNPROFOR JMCs where a JMC secretariat facilitated meetings, IFOR JMC commanders led JMC meetings. In peace enforcement, Bn, Bde, Div and Corps commanders are recognized as appropriate authority figures. Therefore, they chaired all meetings. Facilitators organized, assimilated and presented information briefings, but never mediated discussion.

  • Consistent Messages Among JMCs: All JMCs below the division level should disseminate the same policies from higher headquarters. If not, different messages may hinder the peace process or even be used against the Implementation Force as examples of variance and room for peace treaty or local agreement interpretation.

  • Communication with Parties:One individual must be responsible for contacting the parties. A communication line between parties must be established. Postal delivery, electronic mail, and courier delivery of documents can supplement telephonic or radio contact. Wherever possible, factions should receive identical, simultaneous notice of policies, procedures and demands.

  • Issues to be Discussed: Providing issues to parties prior to the meeting will reduce uncertainties. Both the issues of the chairman and the parties should be provided. Resolutions to the issues may be resolved prior to the meeting.

  • Security of the JMC Facility: All possible threats to the JMC must be addressed in the S2's IPB of the JMC. These threats include ground attacks, mortar or artillery attacks, and possibly air attacks.

NOTE: Ground attacks may be a single terrorist with a briefcase bomb, a sniper, or an organized dismounted or mounted attack. Regardless, forces must be arrayed to defend the JMC facility and the participants of the meeting. The close-in security may be accomplished with a tank or infantry platoon augmented with Military Police. However, units should consider the employment of forces to patrol likely avenues of approach and sniper locations to interdict attacks against the JMC.

Aviation assets may be employed to detect enemy movements. In addition, close air support (attack helicopters and USAF TACAir) can be employed as a show of force to deter attacks.

Mortar and artillery attacks are the most difficult to deter, because of the difficulty of identifying potentially belligerent artillery/mortar locations prior to an attack. Reliance on the Q36 is not the answer because the attack would have already had to occur for the system to be identified. As a result, the S2 must template the locations of artillery/mortar positions. Courses of action should be developed to locate and disarm the positions and personnel. If time permits, the JMC facility may be dug in or hardened to protect the participants from an artillery/mortar attack.

JMC MEETING TIPS: General Do's and Don'ts of the JMC

  • Avoid actions which might be perceived as favoring one party.

  • Train in depth. All JMC staff officers, or staff designated to support JMC efforts, should be knowledgeable of overall JMC operations, policies, and plans.

  • Always have the appropriate subject matter experts at meetings.

  • "Stove-pipe" JMC information (up and down the theater, division, brigade, battalion JMCs).

  • Speak with one voice, especially with regard to high priority issues (such as protecting the force and freedom of movement).

  • Do not leave translation of documents to other parties.

  • When using interpreters and translators, rehearsals are critical.

Before a Meeting

  • Know the desired outcome of every meeting.

  • Prepare for each meeting as though you were preparing for battle: IPB=IPJMC.

  • Prioritize your interests on all issues; learn interests of other parties.

  • Coordinate the agenda informally; avoid surprises. Have translators and meeting presenters read through prepared scripts, and rehearse audio-visual/multimedia presentations.

  • Identify easy issues for agreement.

  • Anticipate how to deal with surprise issues: WARGAME!

  • Anticipate how to handle deal-breakers: WARGAME!

  • Anticipate how to defuse tension: WARGAME!

  • Be cautious about giving any guarantees.

During a Meeting

  • Make small talk before the meeting starts.

  • First order of business at the JMC is to present the agenda, provide copies of key, referenced documents, and set and maintain control of the meeting.

  • Identify easy issues for agreement at every meeting -- a good stage-setter.

  • Do not focus on what is said. Find out why it is said. Get past positions to identify interests.

  • Remember that what is said at the negotiating table is hard to retract; be deliberate.

  • Always use a competent, attentive recorder.

  • Always use a process observer; use the same one every time.

  • Joint press releases are serious business. Watch for traps; draft early.

  • Know when to take a break and interject small talk to break rising tension. Keep in mind that small talk can be dangerous; choose topics carefully.

  • Do not minimize someone else's interest.

  • Be culturally correct and smart.

  • Know when to end a meeting. If you cannot make the meeting productive or you are surprised and do not know how to continue, simply agree on the next meeting and close.

  • Restate the agreed issues, expectations, and remaining points of contention which require resolution.

  • The last order of business should be the agreement on when to hold the next meeting.

After a Meeting

  • All parties speak as one voice to the press (Joint press release).

  • Provide major items (maps, mine detection equipment, etc.) to parties in full view of press;. show the media that words are coupled with deeds.

  • Hot-wash each meeting and share results up and down the JMC chain.

  • Prepare meeting notes or after-action. Send follow-up letters or documents that address concerns addressed at the JMC.

  • Closely guide and monitor staff working groups.

  • Begin preparation for the next meeting.

Appendix B: Techniques and Procedures for Preparing JMC Meeting Sites and Agendas
Appendix D: Techniques and Procedures for Bilateral Meetings

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