Women, Peace and Security Agenda
The Security Council has adopted 10 resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (WPS): Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2008), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013), 2242 (2015), 2467 (2019), and 2493 (2019). Together they form the international policy framework on WPS and were adopted in response to persistent advocacy from civil society. The obligations in the resolutions extend from the international to the national level. They guide work to promote and protect the rights of women in conflict and post-conflict situations. Additionally, as binding Security Council resolutions, they should be implemented by all Member States and relevant actors, including UN system entities and parties to conflict.
It is clear from the Security Council’s political recognition of the WPS Agenda that gender is indeed central to international peace and security. However, accountability, implementation and action remain seriously lacking. There are many gaps, ranging from increasing the number of women at the highest levels of decision-making to ending impunity for gender-based violence. For each resolution and presidential statement, negotiations were conducted by the 15 members of the Security Council. The language was agreed upon and adopted as the official text.
TABLE ♀ UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace & Security ♀
Adopted on 31 October;
The first time the Security Council addressed the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women;
Recognises the under-valued and under-utilised contributions women make to conflict prevention, peacekeeping, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding;
Stresses the importance of women's equal and full participation as active agents in peace and security.
Adopted 19 June 2008;
Recognises sexual violence as a weapon and tactic of war;
Notes that rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute a war crime, crime against humanity, or a constitutive act with respect to genocide;
Calls for the provision of specific training of troops on preventing and responding to sexual violence.
Calls for more deployment of women in peace operations.
Adopted 30 September 2009;
Reiterates that sexual violence exacerbates armed conflict and impedes international peace and security;
Calls for leadership to address conflict-related sexual violence;
Calls for deployment of Team of Experts where cases of sexual violence occurs.
Adopted 5 October 2009;
Focuses on post-conflict peacebuilding and on women’s participation in all stages of peace processes;
Calls for the development of indicators to measure the implementation of UNSCR 1325 (2000).
Adopted 16 December 2010;
Reiterates the call for an end to sexual violence in armed conflict;
Sets up “naming and shaming” listing mechanism, sending a direct political message that there are consequences for sexual violence including: listing in Secretary-General’s annual reports, referrals to UN Sanctions Committees and to the ICC, international condemnation, and reparations.
Adopted 24 June 2013;
Focuses on operationalising current obligations rather than on creating new structures/initiatives;
Includes language on women’s participation in combating sexual violence;
Supports recourse to avenues of justice.
Adopted 18 October 2013;
Explicitly affirms an “integrated approach” to sustainable peace;
Sets out concrete methods for combating women's participation deficit;
Recognises the need to address root causes of armed conflict and security risks faced by women;
Calls for the provision of multisectoral services to women affected by conflict;
Links disarmament and gender equality by mentioning Arms Trade Treaty twice.
Adopted 13 October 2015;
Urges Member States to assess strategies and resourcing around the implementation of the WPS Agenda;
Takes up the gender recommendations of a just-completed Global Study;
Recognises the role of the WPS in countering violent extremism and terrorism;
Calls for the broadening of women's access to justice and “swift and thorough” investigations of the cases of sexual and gender-based violence.
Adopted 23 April 2019;
UNSCR 2467 recognizes that sexual violence in conflict occurs on a continuum of violence against women and girls;
Recognizes national ownership and responsibility in addressing root causes of sexual violence, and names structural gender inequality and discrimination as a root cause;
Recognizes the need for a survivor-centered approach; it further encourages member states to ensure that prevention and response are non-discriminatory and specific, and respect the rights and prioritize the needs of survivors, including vulnerable or targeted groups;
Affirms that services should include provisions for women with children born as a result of sexual violence in conflict as well as men and boys, and urges member states to strengthen policies that offer appropriate responses and challenge cultural assumptions about male invulnerability;
Urges member states to strengthen access to justice for victims including via reparations and strengthened criminal law, including removing procedural impediments to justice.
Adopted 29 October 2019;
Calls on Member States to promote all the rights of women, including civil, political and economic rights, urges them to increase their funding on women, peace and security including through more aid in conflict and post-conflict situations for programmes that further gender equality and women’s economic empowerment and security, as well as through support to civil society;
Strongly encourages Member States to create safe and enabling environments for civil society, including formal and informal community women leaders, women peacebuilders, political actors, and those who protect and promote human rights, to carry out their work independently and without undue interference, including in situations of armed conflict, and to address threats, harassment, violence and hate speech against them.
The list of other key milestones in the action of the Security Council on WPS, including open debates and Secretary-General reports, can be found here>>
Women, Peace and Security Presidential Statements
- S/PRST/2016/9 (15 June 2016) encouraged Member States to increase their WPS funding including through more aid in conflict and post-conflict situations for programmes that further gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as through support to civil society.
- S/PRST/2015/25 (16 December 2015) called upon Member States to hold accountable those who engage in trafficking in persons in situations of armed conflict especially their government employees and officials, as well as any contractors and subcontractors, and urged Member States to take all appropriate steps to mitigate the risk that their public procurement and supply chains may contribute to trafficking in persons in situations of armed conflict.
- S/PRST/2014/21 (28 October 2014) highlighted the importance of women’s empowerment, gender equality, and the implementation of the WPS Agenda, as a cross-cutting subject throughout all UN thematic areas, as well as throughout national, regional and local levels––importantly including civil society.
- S/PRST/2012/23 (31 October 2012) reaffirmed Security Council's commitments to full implementation of all five WPS resolutions, and emphasised the important role of civil society organisations in increasing women's participation in all peace efforts.
- S/PRST/2012/3 (23 February 2012) reaffirmed the Security Council’s commitment to WPS resolutions, and reiterated its intention to fight impunity and uphold accountability for serious crimes against women and girls.
- S/PRST/2012/3 (23 January 2012) stressed that sexual violence challenges sustainable peace processes. It also notes the continuing under-representation of women in formal peace processes.
- S/PRST/2011/20 (28 October 2011) reiterated aspects of UNSCR 1325 (2000) and welcomed the role of UN Women in the implementation of WPS resolutions.
- S/PRST/2010/22 (26 October 2010) aimed to reiterate the importance of the WPS Agenda in light of the 10th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 (2000).
- S/PRST/2010/8 (27 April 2010) requested the Secretary-General to undertake more consultation on the global indicators to implement UNSCR 1325 (2000).
- S/PRST/2008/39 (29 October 2008) followed the open debate on WPS and reinforced aspects of UNSCR 1325 (2000).
- S/PRST/2007/40 (24 October 2007) sought a report in 2010 on the implementation of the 2008-2009 UN System Action Plan to implement UNSCR 1325 (2000).
- S/PRST/2007/5 (7 March 2007) supported the importance of the WPS Agenda in light of the International Women’s Day.
- S/PRST/2006/42 (26 October 2006) reiterated aspects of UNSCR 1325 (2000) and asked the Secretary-General to report in 12 months on the implementation of his Action Plan to implement UNSCR 1325 (2000).
- S/PRST/2005/52 (27 October 2005) reiterated aspects of UNSCR 1325 (2000) on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the resolution.
- S/PRST/2004/40 (28 October 2004) welcomed the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 (2000) by the UN system and reiterated aspects of UNSCR 1325 (2000).
- S/PRST/2002/32 (31 October 2002) responded to the first Secretary-General’s report on the impact of conflict on women and girls.
Good examples of WPS integration in the UNSC work include:
- S/RES/2451 (2018) on the situation in Yemen: The resolution underlines the importance of the full participation of women and the meaningful engagement of youth in the political process.
- S/RES/2431 (2018) on the situation in Somalia: The resolution urges AMISOM to ensure the meaningful participation of women across its operations and to integrate a gender perspective throughout delivery of its mandate;
- S/RES/2429 (2018) on the situaiton in South Sudan: The resolution requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every 90 days following adoption of this resolution on UNAMID, including the developments regarding UNAMID’s support for local conflict resolution mechanisms, including progress regarding the full and effective participation of women
- S/RES/2426 (2018) on the situation in the Middle East: The resolution requests the Secretary-General seek to increase the number of women in UNDOF, as well as to ensure the meaningful participation of women in all aspects of operations.
- S/RES/2409 (2018) on the situation in the DRC: The resolution acknowledges the crucial role of United Nations Women Protection Advisers deployed in MONUSCO and underscores the need to do everything possible to ensure that the elections on 23 December 2018 are organized with the requisite conditions of transparency, credibility and inclusivity and security, including full and effective participation of women at all stages.
- S/RES/2404 (2018) on the situation in Guinea-Bissau: The resolution encourages UNIOGBIS to operate in a more effective and efficient manner, providing support to the Government of Guinea-Bissau to incorporate a gender perspective into peacebuilding, in line with Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008) and 2242 (2015); as well as implementation of the National Action Plan on Gender in order to ensure the involvement, representation and participation of women at all levels through inter alia the provision of gender advisers.
- S/RES/2395 (2017) on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: This resolution encourages CTED to hold consultations with women and women’s organizations to inform its work, and urges CTED in collaboration with UN Women to conduct and gather gender-sensitive research and data collection on the drivers of radicalization to terrorism for women, and the impacts of counterterrorism strategies on women’s human rights and women’s organizations;
- S/RES/2391 (2017) on peace and security in Africa: This resolution calls upon G5 Sahel States to ensure women’s full and equal participation in institutions and mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflicts, as well as to include a gender perspective in the development of comprehensive strategies to counter the threat posed by terrorism and organized crime (including trafficking in persons, arms, drugs and natural resources, and the smuggling of migrants) in the Sahel region;
- S/RES/2387/ (2017) on peace and security in Africa: This resolution recalls the crucial role of civil society in the peace and reconciliation process to ensure that the comprehensive political agreement addresses the root causes of the conflict and further encourages the full and effective participation of women in this process.
- S/RES/2358 (2017) on the situation in Somalia: This resolution welcomes the Secretary-General’s efforts to strengthen strategic integration and decision-making across the UN system within respective mandates, including with consideration of the role of women and youth.
- S/RES/2395 (2017) on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: This resolution urges CTED in collaboration with UN Women to conduct and gather gender-sensitive research and data collection on the drivers of radicalisation to terrorism for women, and the impacts of counterterrorism strategies on women’s human rights and women’s organisations.
- S/RES/2331 (2016) on maintenance of international peace and security: This resolution encourages Member States to build strong partnerships with the private sector and civil society, including local women organisations.
UN Presidential Statements:
- S/PRST/2018/18 on the manintenance of international peace and security: The statement disucsses in-depth the specific protection concerns arising from Security Council discussions on women, peace and security
- S/RPST2018/2 on Afghanistan: The statement stresses the need to strengthen policies and mechanisms in Afghanistan to empower women politically and economically, to increase the number of women in the security forces in an environment conducive to women’s safety and development, and to mitigate violence against women by supporting the provision of services for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
- S/RPST/2018/1 on the manitenance of international peace and security: The statement reaffirms notes the substantial link between women’s full and meaningful involvement in efforts to prevent, resolve and rebuild from conflict and those efforts’ effectiveness and long-term sustainability.
- S/PRST/2017/7 on the situaiton in Yemen: The statement calls upon the parties to ensure at least 30 percent representation of women in peace negotiations, and calls upon the UN to regularly report on consultations with women leaders and women’s organisations in line with resolution 2122 (2013).
- S/PRST/2017/11 on the situation in Liberia: The statement calls upon all stakeholders to ensure that the elections in October will be free, fair, credible, and transparent, including through the full participation of women, and that any dispute will be resolved peacefully through established mechanisms in accordance with the law.
- S/PRST/2016/12 on sustaining peace: The statement encourages those who drive the efforts on peacebuilding to take the necessary steps to ensure that women are equally engaged in the process of peacebuilding.
- S/PRST/2016/8 on UN cooperation: The statement reaffirms the vital role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian response, and post-conflict reconstruction, and stresses the need for the United Nations and the African Union to work to ensure that women and gender perspectives are fully integrated into all peace and security efforts undertaken by the two organizations, including by building the necessary capacity.