On Wednesday, 11 June 2014 the Security Council held an open debate on UN peacekeeping with special focus on new trends. The debate addressed various topics including: challenges to peacekeeping, financial and security issues regarding future peacekeeping operations, and the increased use of modern technology in peacekeeping operations. The debate featured a total of fifty statements. A total of fourteen speakers addressed the necessity of integrating a gender perspective in peacekeeping operations.
It is essential to include women in peace processes both to uphold their human rights and to build the foundations for lasting peace and stability. Despite the fact that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addressed the importance of women's participation in the last open debate on peacekeeping (held 21 January 2013), issues pertaining to gender were not prioritized on the agenda for this debate. A few speakers emphasized the need for a gender balance in peacekeeping missions, addressing gender-based violence, addressing rape as a tool of war and gender-sensitivity training. Three speakers, the representative of Sweden, Thailand and Chile, made note of resolution 1325 and the effort to mainstream a gender perspective. The representative of Sweden, specifically noted the importance of 1325 in the training of peacekeeping officers, so that issues of “women and peace and security are reflected in all activities relating to peacekeeping.” However, most speakers failed to mention gender entirely. Although there was substantial discussion of arms and the military in other ways, no connections were made between the effects of increased militarization on women.
The focus of this debate was on new trends in peacekeeping. Three main trends that were addressed in the debate were: current challenges in peacekeeping, the rising peacekeeping budget and the use of modern technology in peacekeeping operations- including UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles or drones. All members endorsed the importance of applying a multidimensional approach and strengthening multidisciplinary cooperation in all peacekeeping efforts. In addition, all members mentioned the need for intermission cooperation and six representatives stressed an effective use of resources and sixteen noted concerns about the budget. The need to keep peacekeepers safe, to abide by the UN charter and to have clear, robust mandates was also addressed. This being said, eight representatives emphasized that peacekeeping missions must respect state sovereignty and not set precedents that risk disrespecting this sovereignty. There were also forty-four mentions of the importance of peacebuilding efforts within the context of peacekeeping, however there was no consideration of a lack of women's participation in these areas.
A record of the meeting is available here.
States represented at the debate included: Australia, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Chad, Chile, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of The Congo, Guatemala, Egypt, Ethiopia, the European Union, France, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vietnam.
Speakers who made gender references are in bold.