Member States convened on 29 April 2014 (S/PV.7163) to adopt unanimously resolution 2153 to renew sanctions and the mandate of the United Nations Group of Experts in Côte d’Ivoire. Only the United States and Côte d’Ivoire spoke during the meeting. Their statements focused on the embargoes on the arms and diamond trade.
No references were made to the Women, Peace, and Security agenda.
Neither the United States nor Côte d’Ivoire referenced the promotion and inclusion of women in the Côte d’Ivoire’s security forces. Nor did the Member States speak on the role of women on the regulation of both the diamond trade and small arms and ammunition.
Resolution 2153 (2014) was adopted by the Security Council at its 7163rd meeting on 29 April 2014. The resolution addressed the diamond and arms embargoes and the renewal of the mandate of the Group of Experts assisting the Sanctions Committee. Additionally, the resolution welcomed the announcement of the presidential election in October 2015 but it also expressed concern about the delays in the implementation of the security sector reform and the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants and it reiterated the Security Council’s firm condemnation of all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Finally, the resolution decided to extend the mandate of the Group of Experts for a period of 13 months until 30 May 2015 and requested them to submit a midterm and final report to the Committee.
Women, peace and security issues are referenced on three occasions in the resolution. Two of the mentions are located on the preambular paragraphs. On the first one, the Council recalls all the women, peace and security resolutions: 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013) and 2122 (2013) (PP.15). On the second mention, the Security Council condemns all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Côte d’Ivoire and all violence committed against civilians, including women (PP. 16). Additionally, on the operative paragraphs, the Council requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence to continue sharing relevant information with the Committee in accordance with paragraph 7 of resolution 1960 (2010) and paragraph 9 of resolution 1998 (2011) (OP. 35).
Despite these notable mentions, particularly when it comes to a resolution that deals with embargoes and sanctions, the Council focuses its attention on the protection of women from violence and misses several significant opportunities to incorporate a gender lens and address the impact on women’s lives and their participation regarding issues such as the illicit transfer of small arms and light weapons in Côte d’Ivoire, the diamond trade including illegal smuggling, the instability on the border area of western Côte d’Ivoire including DDR, SSR and illegal taxation networks.
In comparison to the recommendations put forth in the May 2014 MAP, the resolution’s record is inadequate. The MAP calls for the provision of comprehensive information on ongoing impunity, in particular for sexual and gender-based violence, and on barriers to women’s full participation in justice and reconciliation processes, as per SCR 2106 (OP 16c); it also calls for women’s participation in DDR programs as mandated by SCR 2112 (OP 6c), including the socio-economic factors affecting female ex-combatants and associates of ex-combatants, as detailed in SCR 2106 (Ops 16a , b); finally, the MAP calls for the promotion of women’s full participation and protection in security sector and judicial sector reform, as well as land reform, per SCR 2122 (OP 4). In relation to the MAP, the Council fails to consider women’s participation whenever it discusses DDR, justice and reconciliation processes as well as SSR. However, the resolution did address the issue of providing comprehensive information about impunity and sexual and gender-based violence.
This resolution is on par with the previous resolution S/RES/2101 of 25 April 2013. Both resolutions include the same three mentions of the women, peace and security agenda: recalling all the WPS SC resolutions; violence against women; and information sharing with regards to sexual violence in conflict. The only noticeable change is the of the two newest WPS SC resolutions 2106 (2013) and 2122 (2013) are mentioned in this resolution.
The final report of the Group of Experts on Côte d’Ivoire dated 14 April 2014 pursuant to paragraph 19 of Security Council resolution 2101 (2013) provides information regarding its investigations on Côte d’Ivoire’s implementation of the sanctions regime laid out in Security Council resolution 1572 (2004) dated 15 November 2004. The report is divided into the following eleven sections with an addition of fifty-nine annexes: Introduction; Investigation methodology; Compliance with the Group’s request for information; Sanctions-related regional issues; Cooperation with relevant entities; Arms; Finance; Customs and transport; Diamonds; Individual sanctions; and Recommendations. The report highlights the progress made by the Ivorian administration with regard to the implementation of the sanctions regime. However, the report also highlights the limited progress made in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), security sector reform (SSR), national reconciliation and the fight against impunity.
Women, peace and security issues are not referenced in the report.
The report misses numerous opportunities to incorporate a gender lens into its reporting on compliance and implementation on sanctions regime in special regards to DDR, SSR, national reconciliation and the fight against impunity. It further misses the opportunity to report and include individuals within the targeted sanctions regime found responsible for serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Côte d’Ivoire in relation to acts of sexual and gender-based violence. Overall, the report fails to address the lack of impunity toward gender-based violence.
In relation to the recommendations put forth in the January 2014 MAP, the report’s record is inadequate. The MAP calls for information to be provided on ongoing impunity, in particular for sexual and gender-based violence, and on barriers to women’s full participation in justice and reconciliation processes as well as the inclusion of women within DDR programs, SSR and judicial sector reform. Women and gender in the report are completely absent. The report could be improved by adopting a gender lens in its investigations on the compliance of Côte d’Ivoire’s sanctions regime.
The absence of women, peace and security in the Final report of the Group of Experts on Côte d’Ivoire of 14 April 2014 (S/2014/266) is on par with the previous Midterm report of the Group of Experts on Côte d’Ivoire of 14 October 2013 (S/2013/605). Neither report acknowledges the impact of the indiscriminate use of SALW on women including when used to perpetrate SGBV.