Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK)
Code: S/2014/558 (2014)
Date: 1 August 2014
Period of time and topic: Mission in Kosovo; Reporting on the implementation of the mandate of UNMIK for the period from 16 April to 15 July 2014
This report made very limited references to women, peace and security, noting that sexual violence during conflict is an issue of concern and that victims of this violence would be provided with reparations. Additionally, combatting impunity and ensuring accountability for crimes was noted as an important tool to promote reconciliation and societal healing in a post-conflict environment. UNMIK’s original mandate makes no mention of the WPS agenda so these are minor improvements compared to the original mandate.
References in need of improvement
While combatting impunity and seeking accountability for criminals is essential to promote post-conflict societal healing, reiterating that amnesty will not be provided for individuals who have committed crimes against humanity, including sexual violence, strengthens the commitment to WPS; unfortunately, this document was lacking that commitment. All too often, impunity is indirectly provided for these individuals and, consequently, justice is rarely served. While the document mentioned sexual violence numerous times, it failed to mention that this violent disproportionately affects women. Furthermore, by focusing on this one aspect of the WPS agenda, its scope was far too narrow and the other WPS pillars were left out of the discussion.
There were numerous missed opportunities in this document. Women’s participation in society was not mentioned at all, although the document should have discussed the participation of women in the numerously mentioned community dialogues elections, post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding, conflict prevention mechanisms, elections, etc. The participation of women’s organizations or CSOs was another opportunity for improvement. Women’s protection was overlooked, despite the continued mention of SViC, making it clear that sexual violence is widespread. A vibrant discussion about the importance of disarmament in ensuring the protection of all civilians, including women, would have been an ideal transition into SSR, ROL and justice. While ROL was mentioned, its gendered lens was narrowing focused on SV; similarly, justice via combatting impunity and seeking accountability for all crimes during the conflict was noted but the gendered aspect (combatting impunity for SV perpetrators) was implied rather than explicitly stated. Furthermore, the crisis of displacement and importance of humanitarian assistance was noted but lacked a gendered lens.
Ideal asks for WPS transformation
The document (S/RES/2198) should be improved with an explicit reference to all genders, emphasizing diverse masculinities and feminities, including the dynamics between and amongst genders as well as the power relations and hierarchies at play and the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, class and age across all political peace and security processes. Implementation of the numerous missed opportunities would strengthen this document as a concrete commitment to the full participation of women at all levels of society, ultimately committing to a sustainable form of gender equality. While the original mandate was gender-blind, all subsequent documents have the opportunity to be gender-inclusive and utilize their population to its fullest extent by mobilizing all citizens for a peaceful, prosperous future. Through strengthening the existing WPS mentions and identifying the need to include the various other aspects of WPS, Kosovo can achieve a mandate that ensures citizen-wide protection and participation.