The Security Council met to discuss the Report of the Secretary-General on The African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (S/2014/279) on 24 April 2014 (S/PV.7159). The Under-Secretary for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Ladsous, spoke on UNAMID’s mandate and streamlining process in the midst of a resurgence of violence. The representative of the Sudan, Mr. Alnor, made a statement on Sudan’s perspective on its role in the peace process and violence prevention.
Women, peace and security issues were largely absent during the meeting. Mr. Ladsous only mentioned protecting women once and, unfortunately, listed gender as an area in which reductions would be made. He also referenced S/2014/279 which does include WPS as it relates to protecting women from sexual and gender-based violence. Mr. Alnor’s only reference to WPS was secondary through the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.
The meeting record could have been stronger in WPS content if it included a broader range of issues, such as including women in the peace process. Mr. Ladsous missed the opportunity to report on women when he spoke about the humanitarian conditions in Darfur, especially as they relate to displacement. While he did mention protecting women in his discussion of UNAMID’s role in Darfur, he was unsuccessful in incorporating women in the peace process past mentioning the Doha Document. Mr. Ladsous actually took a step back from WPS concerns by announcing that gender was one area that would be reduced as part of UNAMID’s streamlining. Mr. Alnor missed the opportunity to include women in his discussion of armed groups, either as victims or participants in reconciliation agreements, and in his larger discussion of the peace negotiations.
In comparison to the most recent MAP that made recommendations for Darfur from February 2014, the meeting report was inadequate. The MAP called for sex-disaggregated data, reports on progress made in combating SGBV, support for gender advisors, and all parties to the conflict to protect women and girls. Although the MAP was not specifically targeting this type of meeting, the issues it raised were still relevant to any discussion on peacekeeping in Darfur. This meeting was not responsive to any of the MAP’s requests except in one reference to the protection of women. Mr. Ladsous actually went backwards by rescinding support for gender advisors by announcing reductions in gender capacities as part of the streamlining process.
In comparison to Security Council meeting S/PV.7100 (Jan 23 2014), this meeting was only a slight improvement. Mr. Ladsous did mention protecting women once, and the representative of the Sudan mentioned the Doha Document, which he did not do in the previous meeting. The cutbacks in the area of gender did, however, call that slight improvement into question.