Monitoring the United Nations Security Council: Year in Review

By Sarah Tunnell

Rita Lopidia, Executive Director and Co-founder of EVE Organisation for Women Development, South Sudan delivers remarks at the UN Security Council WPS Open Debate (UN Women/Ryan Brown)

This year was a mixed year for the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda.

On one hand, 2016 was a year of firsts. It marked the first term of the Informal Expert Group (IEG 2242) established by UNSC Resolution 2242, which provides a key platform for the UNSC to integrate the WPS Agenda into country-specific action. 2016 also introduced a number of new initiatives to fund and support the Agenda, including the a pilot year for the Global Acceleration Instrument (GAI) and launch of the National Focal Point Network.

On the other hand, despite strong commitments in 2015, continued gaps on institutions and financing as well as increasing militarisation mean the Agenda has not yet been realised at the implementation level. In 2016, 53 percent of the states that made commitments to the WPS Agenda in 2015 failed to act on their promises. Furthermore, the percentage of the WPS-sensitive language in UNSC resolutions decreased by 28 percent from 2015.

2016 was also marked by endorsements of militarised counter-terrorism, women’s participation in peacekeeping and security forces, and chronically lacking disarmament language. This is a narrowing and militarisation of the agenda and poses substantial challenges for effective conflict prevention.

To unpack and challenge these developments, in 2016 WILPF/PeaceWomen monitored and analysed 23 open debates, more than 60 resolutions, and over 50 reportssubmitted by the UN Secretary-General to the Council. In October, we also launched the WPS Security Council Scorecard project to highlight discrepancies between the verbal commitments and implementation efforts of the permanent Security Council members.

There is still much work to be done! Join PeaceWomen in 2017 to continue to strive for a feminist Security Council.

Find the Analysis of the WPS Commitments made at the 2016 Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security here.
Find the Overview of the 2016 Secretary-General Report on Women, Peace and Security here.
Find the Summary of the Arria Formula Meeting on the Synergies between WPS Resolutions and the CEDAW Convention here.