The letter is to the President of the Security Council from the Chair of the Security Council Committee, which was established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) regarding Liberia. As is required by resolution 2128 paragraph 5 (b), the Panel of Experts on Liberia must submit a midterm report to provide updates periodically about the post-conflict progress of the state of Liberia. This letter is divided into six sections: Introduction; Methodology; Current measures relating to arms pursuant to resolution 1903 (2009) and modified pursuant to resolution 2128 (2013); Cross-border security concerns and the arms embargo; Illicit trafficking as a possible source of funding for arms; and Recommendations.
The report contains no references to women, peace and security in the context of efforts of the Security Council Committee.
There were numerous missed opportunities to discuss women, peace and security in this letter. Most notably, the high levels of rape and sexual violence against women post-conflict were not addressed, despite the fact that rape has been “the highest reported serious crime in Liberia” since 2007. Protection of women- from sexual violence, from economic insecurity, from human rights abuses, etc- was not mentioned. Furthermore, electoral security concerns were briefly touched upon but there was no mention of heightened security to ensure women’s participation in electoral processes as voters and candidates. Prevention mechanisms to ensure that the country does not relapse into conflict, which would likely disproportionately effect women, were not mentioned. Similarly, the post-conflict relief and recovery efforts that are specifically designed to address the needs of women and girls was not mentioned. In sum, the letter could have addressed sexual and gender based violence, women’s participation in decision-making processes, women’s protection at multiple levels, and measures taken to address the specific needs of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations.
In relation to the recommendations put forth in the September 2013 MAP, the document is inadequate. The MAP calls for continued development of capacities for institutions’ to respond appropriately to issues of gender, sexual exploitation, and sexual and gender-based violence. It also calls on the government to strengthen women’s participation in consulting on the constitution to ensure that the post-conflict reconstruction progress continues after the mission leaves. Furthermore, the highlights the urgent need for supporting the education and vocational training of women and girls, ensuring their full access to post-conflict relief and recovery programs- specifically to survivors of gender-based violence, and prioritizing the full participation of women in post-conflict reconstruction efforts, especially with regards to constitution-drafting and reforms in the police, judiciary, and electoral systems. This document does not mention any of those things, as it has no references to women, peace and security.
The document of 23 May 2014 (S/2014/363) is on par with the previous sanctions committee document of 25 November 2013 (S/2013/683). That document also did not mention gender.