The Security Council met on 17 June 2014 (S/PV.7199) to hear a briefing by Prosecutor Bensouda of the ICC and further discuss the situation in Sudan-Darfur. The prosecutor spoke on the need for arrests of those people for whom warrants were issued in order to dispense justice, the importance of UN personnel avoiding contact with those persons, Sudan’s lack of compliance with the ICC, as well as continuing obstructions to humanitarian aid and new attacks on civilians. The representatives from all the Security Council States also made statements. Common themes were: the need for arrests, Sudan’s inaction therefore requiring SC action, the need for investigation into UNAMID’s reporting and their interactions with Sudanese personnel, and the deteriorating humanitarian situation. The representatives from Rwanda, Chad, and Russia expressed concern that the peace process was too important not to talk with President Al-Bashir.
Women, peace and security issues were primarily discussed in this meeting in the context of sexual and gender based violence. Prosecutor Bensouda reported on the increase of gang rapes of women in her reference to her policy paper on sexual and gender-based crimes. The Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Lithuania, France, and Australia spoke on the need to bring those people who have committed SGBV to justice. Luxembourg, Argentina, Chile, Australia, the UK, Chad, and the US also spoke on SGBV in the context of the deteriorating humanitarian situation. France further mentioned the WPS agenda when they highlighted the importance of communication on SGBV, having a results-based approach, the importance of sexual violence concerns being reflected in future SCRs. Australia also talked about women IDPs more broadly.
Women, peace and security was generally not a part of the meeting in the larger context of civilian and humanitarian concerns. Prosecutor Bensouda missed the opportunity to brief the council specifically on women in her discussion on the increased violence against and displacement of civilians, given the length of her testimony she did have time to report on other aspects of WPS. Chile missed the opportunity to incorporate gender-based crimes into their discussion on the Rome Statute. Lithuania missed its opportunity to report on women IDPs at the beginning of its statement. The UK missed the opportunity to expand its condemnation of the Government Rapid Support Forces and its call for monitoring to include women. Chad could have made their call to protect civilians and find a political solution stronger by including women. The US made only one reference to rape and should have included WPS more broadly in their address to the Council. China, Nigeria, Jordan, and Russia missed the opportunity to incorporate any WPS concerns into their statements, especially in their sections on civilians and humanitarian concerns. Throughout the meeting record, there was no mention of women in reporting abuses, including SGBV, as well as women’s participation in protection efforts.
In regards to the most recent MAP with recommendations on Darfur from February 2014, the meeting record was inadequate. The February MAP called for sex-disaggregated data, benchmarks on law and human rights including SGBV, support for gender advisors, protection of civilians (including progress being made on a strategy to protect women and girls from SGBV), and incorporating a gender lens when assisting IDPs. Although the MAP recommendations were not specifically directed to the prosecutor, the same issues are relevant and warrant discussion. Aside from numerous mentions of SGBV in the context of protection, the meeting record did not cover the MAP recommendations. One mention on a system to prevent GBV and one mention of women IDPs, did not address a strategy to protect women and girls or a gender lens when assisting IDPs.
In comparison to the last Security Council meeting on Darfur of 24 April 2014 (S/PV.7159), this meeting’s record was an improvement in WPS content. Protection, specifically in regards to SGBV, was mentioned by all but three SC members, a substantial improvement over the last meeting which mentioned protection of women once. In comparison to the last briefing by the ICC prosecutor from 11 December 2013 (S/PV.7080), this meeting’s record is a slight improvement in the WPS mentions, although both were limited to protection concerns, without reference to women’s role in designing and implementing those protection efforts.