The Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council resolution 1244 (1999), covers the activities of UNMIK and developments in Kosovo from 16 July to 15 October 2013. The report is divided into the following sections, Introduction and Mission priorities; Key political developments; Northern Kosovo; Security; Rule of law; Returns and communities; Cultural and religious heritage; human rights; Observations; and an annex. UNMIK continues to promote security, stability and respect for human rights, and works closely with the governments of Kosovo and Serbia, communities in Kosovo as well as regional and international actors to continue constructive to continue dialogue and cooperation between Kosovar Albanians and Kosovar Serbs. Particularly, UNMIK continues to monitor the upcoming municipal election process and judicial activities, engage with civil society members regarding, and assist in the return of refugees. The implementation of the First agreement on the “Principles Governing the normalization of relations” between Belgrade and Pristina of 19 April 2003 continued to move forward. Preparations for upcoming municipal elections continue, and although there continues to be political tension and uncertainty in North Kosovo, the general security situation remained calm. Notably, a new draft law on gender equality is on the agenda of the legislature and Kosovo’s 1325 Action Plan was finalized.
Women, peace and security are mentioned on two occasions. First, a new draft law on gender equality is on the agenda of the legislature. The draft law aims to improve and harmonize current legislation regarding gender equality with the draft law on the ombudsperson and draft law on anti discrimination. Second, Kosovo authorities have finalized a 1325 Action Plan. In the annex of the report, a judge imposed detention for one month against two suspects of war crimes, including rape and mistreatment of two Kosovo Albanian during the Kosovo conflict.
There are numerous missed opportunities to reference women, peace and security in regards to the protection and promotion of women human rights and women’s inclusion and participation politics, peace and security processes, and in the mission of UNMIK. First, in discussion of refugee returns there is no mention of the specific needs and rights of female refugees, nor is there mention of UNMIK employing a gender perspective in its assistance with returns. When discussing rule of law, there is no mention of continued impunity for crimes of gender-based, sexual violence from the Kosovo conflict. The rights of women survivors of sexual violence, particularly service provision and access to health and social services are absent from the report. Women’s political participation is absent from the discussion of preparation for elections and in regards to UNMIK’s monitoring of the election process.
In relation to the recommendations put forth in the April 2013 MAP, the report’s record is inadequate. The MAP calls for numerous point regarding the advancement of women’s human rights, including women’s right to political participation; for the prosecution of war crimes and protections for witnesses, particularly of sexual violence; and for the promotion and protection of women human rights defenders’ rights as outlined in the Law on Witness Protection. There is no explicit mention of any human rights concerns mentioned in the MAP. Particularly, the human rights protection and promotion of women human rights defenders is completely absent from the report. However encouragingly, the draft law on gender equality and the finalized 1325 Action Plan are positive developments in institutionalizing women’s human rights promotion and protection.
The limited mention of women, peace and security issues in the SG report of 28 October 2013 (S/2013/631) is on par with the previous SG report of 26 July 2013 (S/2013/444). The current report only mentions issues of women, peace and security when discussing the draft law on gender equality, currently on the legislature’s agenda and in regards to the finalization of Kosovo’s 1325 Action Plan. On protection and human rights concerns, the previous report discussed UNMIK’s efforts in encouraging Kosovo authorities to address the needs of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, however discussion of the needs of survivors of sexual violence is absent from the current report. The current report makes no specific acknowledgment of combating impunity for crimes of gender-based, sexual violence or addressing women survivors’ needs and rights.