The Report of the SecretaryGeneral on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region (S/2014/153) was submitted to the Council on 5 March 2014. This report on the implementation of the commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region (signed on 24 February 2013) covers the period after the SG report from 23 December 2013 including new developments and initiatives. The report is composed of the following sections: Introductions, Recent developments, Implementation of the commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region, Activities of my Special Envoy and Observations and recommendations. Among other things, this report discussed the rising tension among countries in the region as well as the national dialogue process in the DRC and the series of armed attacks perpetrated in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Kindu on 30 December. This report contained several noteworthy mention of the women, peace and security agenda in regards to women’s empowerment and protection. Further, the report discussed the development of a regional Great Lakes women’s health and empowerment project to provide among other things, holistic services for survivors of sexual and genderbased violence. It also referenced the Women’s Platform for the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework which would support not only women’s groups and organizations but also the establishment of a regional training facility on sexual and genderbased violence and would take concrete actions to ensure that girls and women are at the centre of efforts to bring peace and security. Furthermore, the report also recalled RES 1325 (2000) and the involvement of women including their voices and aspirations effectively communicated across the region. This report also included several references to civil society and human rights.
The report could have provided genderdisaggregated data and it could have provided a better gender analysis of the current situation in terms of politics and security.The report of the Secretary General pursuant to paragraph 34 of Security Council resolution 2098 (2013), covers major developments in the DRC since the previous report of 17 December 2013 (S/2013/757). The report highlights the implementation of national commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework as well as progress made by MONUSCO in implementing its mandate. Despite the defeat of the M23, political and security challenges continue, notably, delays in the government reshuffle and the implementation of key reforms. Significantly, inline with the Kampala Dialogue, an Amnesty law between the government and M23 was adopted by the parliament regarding acts of insurrection, war and political offences between committed between 18 February 2006 and 20 December 2013. This Amnesty law excludes crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and gross violations of human rights – treasonable offences. Serious security incidents continue, exacerbating the fragile political and security environment in the country. Minimal process in regards to the implementation of national commitments under the PSC Framework Agreement. Further, planning of reconciliation efforts continu
Women, peace and security issues are referenced on several occasions throughout the report, reflecting only women’s protection concerns. MONUSCO continues to assist in the investigation and prosecution of crimes of sexual violence. Significantly, MONUSCO supported mobile court hearing in Beni-Butembo, in which 18 cases of sexual violence were prosecuted, with the support of 400 victims and witnesses (Para. 60). The report also discusses the role of MONUSCO in sexual and gender-based violence prevention work (Para. 61). Finally, the report acknowledges that crimes of sexual violence are perpetrated by all armed groups and State agents, and provides sex-disaggregated data in regards to sex violence committed on one occasion and also reports on additional acts of sexual violence.
Missed Opportunities to incorporate a gender lens include in regards to, security sector reform (SSR); political reforms; reconciliation planning efforts by National Dialogue Follow-up Committee; election preparation processes; in humanitarian access and delivery, including for IDPs and refugees. The report details MONUSCO’s efforts to support DDR processes, reconciliation effort, credible provincial and local elections processes, training support for armed forces, support for prison authorities, however no gender perspective is included in any of these efforts. Efforts to revive electoral processes by Independent National Electoral Commission are underway, with representatives from 320 political parties and a new code of conduct, however there is no mention of women’s involvement in these processes. Related, civil society is mentioned as one group responsible for monitoring the implementation of the National Dialogue Follow-up Committee’s work, yet this could have been greatly improved by an specific call for women and women’s groups inclusion in these critical political processes. The report misses a crucial opportunity to incorporate gender in humanitarian delivery and access, especially given an increase in the IDP population, and also an influx of refugees from CAR.
Specifically, gender-specific service provision for female IDPs and refugees, including survivors of sexual violence is noteworthy missed opportunity. Finally, reporting of sex-disaggregated data in regards to civilian casualties is only mentioned on one causation. The report could be greatly improved by the inclusion of sex-disaggregated data throughout the discussion of civilian causalities and use of sexual violence
When considering the mandate renewal of MONUSCO, the Council must support women’s participation and empowerment throughout core elements of the mission and in all political, peace and security processes, language absent from the previous mandate, SCR 2098 (2013). While MONUSCO is working to transfer a number of tasks to the country team, including key functions regarding women’s political participation and human rights, it is essential that there is explicit support for the broad range of women, peace and security concerns in the core functions of the MONUSCO mandate, e.g. ongoing support for the PSC Framework; security sector reform; DDR and DDRRR; Stabilization and Reconstruction plan for Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (STAREC); and the International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy (ISSSS). This should include explicit support in the mandate for senior gender advisers. The Council should support women’s access to basic health and psychosocial services, in addition to continuing its strong support for women’s protection concerns, particularly protection against sexual and gender-based violence, in the mandate renewal.
In comparison to the points expressed in the March 2014 MAP, the reports record is inadequate. The MAP calls for support women’s participation and empowerment throughout core elements of the mission and in all political, peace and security processes, including support for the PSC Framework; SSR; DDR and DDRR; Stabilization and Reconstruction plan for Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (STAREC); and the International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy (ISSSS); support for senior gender advisers; women’s access to basic health and psychosocial services, strong support for women protection concerns, against SGBV. A gender lens is only incorporated in regards to women’s protection concerns, however even in regards to these concerns, the report fails to call for senior gender advisers nor does the report explicitly call for women’s access to basic health and psychosocial services. The report is devoid of women’s participation in the key processes mentioned above.
This resolution ,adopted by the Security Council at its 7150th meeting, on 28 March 2014, extends the mandate of MONUSCO in the DRC, including its Intervention Brigade, until 31 March 2015. The Resolution focuses on the reduction of the threat posed by armed groups of violence against civilians, stabilization through the establishment of functional, professional and accountable state institutions and strengthening democratic practices that reduce the risk of instability including adequate political space, promotion and protection of human rights and a credible electoral process. In this resolution, the Council also noted that any future changes on the Mission should be done depending on the situation on the ground and the progress attained in regards to its three priorities: civilian protection, country stabilization, and support for the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region.
Women, Peace and Security was referenced on 20 occasions throughout this Resolution, with mostly a focus on women’s protection concerns specifically in regards to sexual violence. The Resolution includes 9 references to the WPS agenda in the preambular paragraphs and 11 in the operative section, all of which make reference to either a general gender perspective, women’s participation and/or women’s protection. In regards to general gender considerations, the Council recalls all its resolutions on women, peace and security (P.P. 19); requests MONUSCO to ensure that gender concerns are integrated into all operations and strategic aspects of MONUSCO’s work including the provision of gender advisers (O.P. 4 (a) (iii), 27)) and requests that benchmarks, indicators and follow-up measures of the plan of implementation for the PSC Framework are gender-sensitive (O.P. 29). Regarding women’s protection, the Council calls for special attention to the women among M23 combatants while ensuring that they are permanently demobilized (P.P 16, O.P. 22); addresses widespread sexual and gender-based violence and efforts to prevent and report it as well as provide survivors with all necessary services, including the deployment of Women Protection Advisers and the appointment of a Presidential Adviser on Sexual Violence and the Recruitment of Children (P.P. 18, 20, 21,22, 23, 24 and O.P. 3 (a), 17, 4 (a) (iii), 26, 29, 35, 40); it also requests the SG to ensure full compliance of MONUSCO with the UN zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuses (O.P. 32).
Finally, the Council’s references centering on women’s participation discussed women’s full participation in the PSC Framework peace process (P.P. 20); women’s participation in electoral processes (O.P. 11); assistance for the Government of the DRC in ensuring the participation, involvement and representation of women at all levels, including in stabilization activities, security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes, as well as in the national political dialogue and electoral processes, through inter alia, the provision of gender advisers, and further requests enhanced reporting by MONUSCO to the Council on this issue (O.P. 27); it also calls for equal and full inclusion of women in the PSC Framework and at all stages of conflict resolution, reconstruction and the promotion of peace(O.P. 29).
The Security Council missed the opportunity to include the protection of human rights defenders, especially women’s human rights defenders in this Resolution. It furthermore did not provide gender-disaggregated data on internally displaced persons, and the composition of the Mission and the state institutions. The Security Council did take into consideration most of the suggestions that were included in the MAP from March 2014, including: taking account of the call of the 11 July 2013 Bujumbura Declaration for ensuring that benchmarks, indicators and follow-up measures of the plan of implementation for the PSC Framework are gender-sensitive; the equal and full inclusion of women at all stages of conflict resolution, reconstruction and the promotion of peace; support women’s participation and empowerment throughout core elements of the mission and in all political, peace and security processes; support in the mandate for senior gender advisers; and support women’s access to basic health and psychosocial services, in addition to continuing its strong support for women’s protection concerns, particularly protection against sexual and gender-based violence. However, the Security Council failed to focus more on targeted attacks of any nature on women, including women human rights defenders; the impact of the humanitarian situation on women and girls; and consultation with women’s human rights organizations in all stabilization and peace consolidation efforts; also, in this Resolution, women’s access to services seems to be limited only to survivors of sexual violence.
This current Resolution in comparison with the one from 28 March 2013 (S/RES/2098), improves by offering a more balanced approach to women’s participation and protection issues. The previous Resolution depicted women mostly as victims of sexual and gender-based violence and the current one offers a more comprehensive approach by discussing their full and equal participation in all the different arenas of the conflict. This Resolution also improved by taking into consideration the aspects that were considered missed opportunities in the previous one.
During this meeting, the Security Council addressed the situation on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and discussed the following two reports: the Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region (S/2014/153) and the Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (S/2014/157). During this meeting, the Council heard from: Mr. Gata Mavita wa Lufuta, the representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Mr. Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Mrs. Mary Robinson, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region; and Ms. Gasana, the Representative from Rwanda.
Women, peace and security concerns were discussed by all the speakers during this meeting, however the remarks provided were heavily focused on the protection needs of women. Mr. Kobler discussed how sexual violence against young girls and women has continued to be a problem and the mission maintains zero tolerance for sexual terrorism. He also noted that MONUSCO with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will publish a thematic report on the fight against impunity for sexual violence. Mrs. Robinson provided a more balanced approach to women’s concerns, discussing achievements with the establishment of the Women’s platform for the Framework which she helped launch on 28 January in Addis Ababa during the AU summit. She also mentioned that the ICGLR opened the regional training facility on sexual and gender-based violence in Kampala for the training of security personnel in the region. However, she highlighted that the security and humanitarian situation in the eastern part of the DRC remains unacceptable, it is not the security needed by women and their families in particular. Finally, she similarly stated that she will work increasingly with civil society, including women’s groups. Mr. Gasana mentioned that negative forces are still on rampage, killing and maiming, raping young girls and women hence discussing women and girls as victims of sexual violence in the same way as Mr. Gata Mavita wa Lufuta did when he appealed to countries in the region to combat conflict-related sexual violence and other gross violations of human rights and noted that Congolese women are being raped by FDLR.
Despite the previously mentioned references to women, peace and security, the speakers who participated during this meeting failed to provide a more balanced notion of women’s protection and participation concerns, with the exception of Mrs. Robinson, the rest of the speakers only made reference to women as victims of sexual violence and in need of protection so it can be concluded that the meeting could have addressed women’s participation concerns in a more detailed manner.
Further, the issues that were mentioned but lacked a gender perspective include: women’s participation in the implementation of the PSC framework including the required reforms in DDR, elections, SSR and stabilization; women’s participation in the implementation of the National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Plan; the delivery of full basic public services in relation to women’s specific needs; women’s access to natural resources; women’s participation in the private sector investment conference for the region. Finally, the speakers did not provide any gender disaggregated data on people who have been displaced, civilians who were killed during armed attacks, victims of rape and other human rights violations, children who have been removed from the ranks of armed groups and the repatriation of former combatants.
In relation to the recommendations put forth in the March 2014 MAP, this meeting’s record is inadequate as it failed to discuss the suggested issues, including: the equal and full inclusion of women at all stages of conflict resolution, reconstruction and the promotion of peace; ensuring that benchmarks, indicators and follow-up measures of the plan of implementation for the PSC Framework are gender-sensitive; inquire into specific information on: targeted attacks of any nature on women, including women human rights defenders; the impact of the humanitarian situation on women and girls; consultation with women’s human rights organizations in all stabilization and peace consolidation efforts; explicit support for senior gender advisers; ongoing support for the PSC Framework; security sector reform; DDR and DDRRR; Stabilization and Reconstruction plan for Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (STAREC); and the International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy (ISSSS); should support women’s access to basic health and psychosocial services, in addition to continuing its strong support for women’s protection concerns, particularly protection against sexual and gender-based violence.
This meeting is on par with the previous one S/PV.7034 from 13 January 2014, they both missed practically the same opportunities to provide a gender perspective on issues such as DDR, SSR, elections and access to natural resources. However, as a small note, Mrs. Robinson referenced SCR 1325 in the previous meeting and talked about national action plans but failed to do so in this current meeting. In the previous meeting, Mr. Kobler focused more on the protection dimension of women’s concerns while Mrs. Robinson focused on the participation side.