Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant-Secretary General for Political Affairs, briefed the Council on the situation in the Middle East, focusing particularly on the
impasse in Israeli/Palestinian negotiations, as well as the upcoming presidential elections in Lebanon, the new Lebanese government’s efforts to improve their
security situation, and the volatile situation in the Golan that threatens the fragile ceasefire between Israel and Syria (Mr. Fernandez-Taranco also acknowledged that
the Council had recently been briefed by the Joint Special Representative Mr. Brahimi on the situation in Syria, and therefore did not directly address Syria in this
There was no attention given to women, peace and security concerns.
Yet again, the briefing on the situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian question offers no reference to women, peace and security. The Assistant
Secretary-General therefore misses many opportunities to emphasize women’s critical role in conflict resolution, mediation and peacebuilding processes, especially in
the context of Israel/Palestine peace talks. There is also no mention of women’s political involvement more broadly. The USG further neglects to highlight the
protection needs of women in each of these volatile situations, especially those displaced as a result of the Syria crisis.
With no attention to women, peace and security in this briefing, there is little alignment with the most recent MAP on the situation in the Middle East including the
Palestinian question (February 2014). Accordingly, there is no reference given to the role of women in conflict resolution and peacebuilding efforts, nor to ending
violence targeting women and girls, including through the demolition of homes, and the denial of adequate access to education and healthcare through restrictions
on building schools, clinics, and roads in “Area C” of the West Bank.
The previous meeting on the situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian question, S/PV.7164, was an open debate with approximately 50 speakers, and
therefore included the occasional reference to women, peace and security. However, even these few mentions were less a promotion of women’s rights in and of
themselves than they were attacks on other countries allegedly poor records on women’s rights. Then the previous briefing on the situation in the Middle East
including the Palestinian question prior to the open debate, S/PV.7140, was equally silent on women, peace and security concerns.