Security Council Open Debate on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security, April 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

On Monday, 28 April 2014, the United Nations Security Council held an open debate on maintenance of international peace and security. The focus of the debate, under the presidency of Nigeria, was on the challenges and opportunities of the security sector reform (SSR). Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, briefed and over 50 member states addressed the Council, some of which mentioned the gender dimension of SSR.

The Security Council unanimously adopted the first-ever stand-alone resolution on SSR (S/RES/2151). Resolution 2151, recalling resolutions on women, peace and security, underscored “the importance of women's equal and effective participation and full involvement in all stages of the security sector reform process” (para. 19).

General Analysis

Most speakers highlighted the national ownership and responsibility for the SSR processes. The Council Members agreed that SSR must be lead by governments while the role of the international community, and especially of the United Nations, should be supportive. Nevertheless, the SSR efforts were recognized as the core area of the UN work. The Council Members recognized the important links between SSR and justice. As they claimed, in order to be accountable and result in long-term stability, SSR must respect the rule of law. The access to national justice on the one hand, and to the International Criminal Court on the other, is crucial. The importance of cooperation with regional organizations (such as the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU)) on the effective SSR processes was yet another issue mentioned by most speakers.

Gender Analysis

Many speakers, including Chile, Australia and UK, highlighted that SSR processes must be inclusive. Cooperation with civil society organizations and in particular with women's organizations was underlined as the mean to achieve effective SSR. Also resolution 2151 underscored that women must be included on equal footing in the whole process of SSR (para. 19).

Argentina and Lithuania echoed the preamble of resolution 2151, saying that SSR must address and effectively protect the population from sexual and gender-based violence. Argentina specifically wished the SSR processes to include gender-based guidance.


Member States who spoke at the debate included representatives of : Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chad, Chile, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, France, Guatemala, Japan, Jordan, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The representative of the European Union also delivered statement.

*States and representatives who referenced gender are in bold.