Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) of 30 January 2014 (S/2014/68), pursuant to Security Council resolution 1244 (1999), covers the activities of UNMIK and related developments from 16 October 2013 to 20 January 2014. 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.
The report mentions issues of women, peace and security on four occasions centering on women’s protection concerns. The report highlights, activities aimed at promoting women’s rights in conjunction with the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, with a focus on addressing gender-based violence, and the continued implementation of the Kosovo Programme against Domestic Violence and Action 2011-2014 by domestic authorities. In the annex of the report, charges of war crimes, including rape against four men were handed down by the Mitrovica Basic Court. Further, the annex reports that a man accused of war crimes, including rape was arrested and is under investigation.
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.