Report of the Secretary-General on South Sudan (covering the period from 18 November 2014 - 10 February 2015)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
S. Sudan
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Security Council Agenda Geographical Topic: 
South Sudan
Document PDF: 

Report of the Secretary-General on South Sudan (covering the period from 18 November 2014 - 10 February 2015)

Code: S/2015/118 [1] 

Period of Time and Topic: Implementation of UNMISS’s mandate from 18 November 2014 to 10 February 2015

Women, Peace and Security

The report’s inclusion of information related to women, peace and security agenda is largely focused on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The report includes some information on specific acts of SGBV in and around UNMISS protection of civilian sites, including reports of rape and sexual violence perpetrated by men in uniform; women’s health concerns related to terminating unwanted pregnancies; and the confiscation of small arms and other weapons to improve the security situation.[1] UNMISS is providing support to the police by providing sensitization training, including on SGBV, and supporting an Emergency Call Center which takes calls on SGBV  to promote public security.[2] The report also covers work by UN-Women in South Sudan reviewing the priorities of a 2012 peace forum in support of the WPS resolutions, including the high rate of SGBV and the insufficient justice for survivors coupled with low prosecution rates.[3] The review, additionally, welcomes South Sudan’s National Action Plan launched on International Women’s Day, 8 March.[4] UNMISS did some awareness raising on SGBV in December for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, targeting internally displaced persons, local communities, media, and civil society.[5]

There is also some sex-disaggregated data on civilians killed, inmates released from prison and violations against children, and information on reports of sexual violence in the Human rights monitoring and reporting section.[6] The report briefly covers UNMISS’s awareness raising and risk assessment work on zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse[7].

References in Need of Improvement

Although the report does include some information on the protection of women and prevention of SGBV, including broader information on gender in the context of the situation in South Sudan, UNMISS’s specific strategy and work on protecting both women and men in the security situation section would make the report much stronger.[8] The report’s mentions of UN-Women, South Sudan’s NAP, and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence could be stronger if they were split into separate paragraphs to provide more detail.[9] The report should include which local counterparts of UN-Women have completed the review, how they include local women leaders and women’s civil society, and why the review only discusses SGBV instead of taking into consideration the entire WPS agenda and resolutions to ensure that local women’s voices are integrated into the review and the review addresses their comprehensive concerns.[10] More information as to how the National Action Plan incorporates women’s participation and input into its design to help ensure it meets the needs of women in South Sudan and can be effectively implemented should be included.[11] More details should be provided on how UNMISS includes women and women’s concerns in the design and implementation of their awareness raising on SGBV, and which groups of internally displaced persons and civil society are targeted to be certain UNMISS’s activities address the needs and concerns of women in regards to the prevention of and response to SGBV.[12] Furthermore, if UNMISS, UN-Women, and the National Action Plan do not take these concerns into account, the report should detail next steps for how they plan to move forward.[13] The report could also be stronger overall if it referred to survivors of SGBV instead of victims and provided information on the gaps and challenges UNMISS faces preventing and responding to sexual violence and the next steps for follow through throughout the report.[14]

Missed Opportunities

The report misses numerous opportunities to fulfill UNMISS’s mandate, especially with regard to women’s participation.[15] The report covers the ongoing negotiations between IGAD, the government, SPLM/A in Opposition, and SPLM; but does not mention the inclusion of women in either the formal talks or the national dialogue.[16] The report does not detail how/if UNMISS supports women’s inclusion in these talks and if any women or women’s civil society organizations are involved to ensure women’s human rights concerns are part of any peace agreement.[17] The report discusses accountability measures, however, there is no reference to SGBV as one key area where accountability is essential, nor does it detail what UNMISS does to improve and accelerate monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on violations against women to better respond to SGBV in South Sudan.[18] There is also no reporting on the increased participation of women in UNMISS in the mission staffing section to allow the mission to more easily interact with women and reflect their rights and concerns implementing their mandate.[19]

In regards to women’s protection, the report fails to reference the findings of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict of rampant sexual violence during her visit during the last reporting period and the implementation of time-bound commitments to address SGBV as per resolution 1960 (2010) and resolution 2106 (2013).[20]

Ideal Asks for WPS Transformation

The report should be improved with an explicit reference to and analysis of all genders, emphasizing diverse masculinities and femininities, including the dynamics between and among genders as well as the power relations and hierarchies at play, and the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, class, and age across all political, peace, and security processes.


[1] S/2015/118, paras. 31, 32, 35

[2] S/2015/118, paras. 36, 37

[3] S/2015/118, para. 40

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] S/2015/118, paras. 42, 44, 45, 49

[7] S/2015/118, para. 59

[8] S/2015/118, paras. 32, 35, 36, 42, 44

[9] S/2015/118, para. 40

[10] S/2015/118, para. 40

[11] S/2015/118, para. 40

[12] S/2015/118, para. 40

[13] S/2015/118, para. 40

[14] S/2015/118, paras. 32, 35, 36, 37, 40, 42,

[15] Unlike previous reports, please see analysis on S/2014/821 and S/2014/708.

[16] Resolution 2187 (2014), OPs 2, 22

[17] Resolution 2187 (2014), OPs 2, 22

[18] Resolution 2187 (2014), OP 4(b)(ii)

[19] Resolution 2187 (2014), OP 22

[20] Resolution 2187 (2014), OP 20