Inside the UN Security Council: The Situation in the Middle East

By Colleen Bromberger, UN Security Council Monitor

Wide view of the Security Council as Nickolay Mladenov (on screen), UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, briefs the Security Council meeting on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question (Photo: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas)

On 24 July 2018, the United Nations Security Council convened an open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Speakers highlighted the importance of ending the violent conflict in Israel and Palestine, particularly increasing violence the Gaza strip; ceasing construction of Israeli settlements and destruction of Palestinian homes; and upholding the two-state solution for securing peace and stability in the region. With only one substantive reference made by the representative of Sweden about the importance of integrating women in the peace process, speakers generally failed to address the importance of the gender issues in peace and security in the Middle East.

To fill in the gaps, WILPF has been working with the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC) to highlight the gendered impact of the Israeli prolonged military occupation on Palestinian women. Together, we have called for the active participation of women in the peace process and brought attention to the grave number of women who have been disproportionately impacted by the violence, including as the result of excessive and disproportionate use of force by the Israeli occupation forces against peaceful Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza.

In order for the peace process to begin in a holistic manner, solutions in the Council must similarly include the voices of women and civil society organisations, including by incorporating women’s experiences and perspectives into the peace process and enhancing the capacity of women and civil society to equally participate in peace negotiations. Integrating gender analysis also has the potential to create new space for discussion, which could break the historical stalemate at the Council. Innovative leadership is needed to move the discussion forward.

Read WILPF’s Analysis of the UNSC Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question here>>

Find WILPF-WCLAC Joint Submission to the UPR of Israel here>>

Find WILPF Statement on the UPR of Israel here>>

Read WILPF’s Analysis of the UNSC Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict here>>