Last month's Open Debate, on the Protection of Civilians (PoC) in Armed Conflict took place on May 10th 2011.

During the Debate, Member States took the opportunity to express their views on the Council's controversial decision in SCR 1973 (2011) to authorize States to “take all necessary measures” to protect civilians in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including the recent NATO bombings. States acknowledged that “both conceptually and practically new ground has been broken” (Turkey) in the Council's treatment of the Protection of Civilians agenda. Statements reflected country-specific concerns about impeded access to humanitarian assistance, and violations of human rights and international law in conflicts on the Council's agenda: Afghanistan, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Occupied Palestinian Territories/Gaza, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Somalia, and South Sudan; as well as during recent violence and unrest in: Bahrain, Burma, Colombia, Syria, and Yemen. The debate featured 51 statements including: 3 UN officials, the permanent and nonpermanent members of the Council, and 33 other delegations. Consistent with the previous Council debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 33 of these statements, 65%, addressed the gender dimension of the protection of civilians and issues of women, peace and security. Most of these gender references were focused on protecting women from sexual violence in conflict, representing a narrowing trend of addressing women, peace and security within the Council. Attention was also given to the latest WPS resolution, SCR 1960 (2010), which includes a monitoring mechanism for sexual violence. For a full analysis on the Debate please see here.

This month's Open Debate, on The Impact of HIV/AIDS on International Peace and Security took place on June 7th 2011.

The Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1983 (2011) building on the Council's first HIV/AIDS Resolution 1308, which was adopted in 2000. The Council highlighted the key role of peacekeeping troops in educating civilian populations about contracting HIV/AIDS and various means for prevention. Specifically, a number of Council members noted that peacekeeping troops must be trained to effectively respond to cases of sexual violence against women. Sexual exploitation and abuse of women in conflict is highly prevalent and continues to serve as a catalyst for the spreading of HIV/AIDS. The disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on women was reiterated by the majority of speakers, as was emphasizing the significant role women have in the peace-building process and the need to eradicate sexual violence against women as a tactic of war. For a full analysis on the Debate please see here.


Under Security Council Monitor, we have created a new sub-section "About Women, Peace and Security agenda in the Security Council" to provide some further background information.