Meetings pertaining to the maintenance of international peace and security organised by the United Nations Security Council are often geographically centred and focused on regions or countries experiencing ongoing conflict. While certain geographic regions or countries have peacekeeping missions (the mandates of which are periodically reviewed for renewal by the Security Council), others are discussed and debated by the Security Council when conflicts arise. The Security Council adopts resolutions and other normative documents to summarize, clarify, and codify into international law the results of these discussions.
WILPF monitors these discussions, analysing the agenda to determine the extent of inclusion of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) concerns, identifying opportunities for strengthened WPS integration, and demanding accountability for the violation of international law. WILPF’s analysis is grounded in its understanding of the overarching problem with the international community’s approach to security, the critical issues begotten by this approach, and the solution: a WPS agenda. WILPF then summarizes and translates its findings into its advocacy work across different areas of action.
The situation in Sudan has been on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda since 2003. The Security Council, by its resolution 1990 of 27 June 2011, responded to the urgent situation in Sudan’s Abyei region by establishing the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). The Security Council was deeply concerned by the violence, escalating tensions and population displacement. Today, the Council should ensure UNISFA’s human rights monitoring mandate is gender-sensitive by expanding the existing mandate (SCR 2287 (2016), OP 25) to include provisions which require UNISFA to specifically monitor for violations targeting women. Additionally, the Council should broaden its commitment to women’s participation, mentioned in the mandate’s preambular paragraphs, by providing concrete measures to promote the empowerment of women, including building women’s participation in decision-making processes, and addressing barriers to the implementation of the women, peace and security resolutions. The Council should also include gender training for security forces, and call for comprehensive implementation of the United Nations zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuses in accordance with SCRs 1990 (2011) and 2272 (2016).
Syria has been on the Security Council’s agenda since 2011, when a significant intensification of Syrian repression and demonstrations occurred, including by military forces with armored units- followed by the lifting of Syrian emergency laws in place since 1963. The United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), was established by United Nations Security Council resolution 2043 (2012), initially for a 90-day period, to monitor a cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties and to monitor and support the full implementation of the Joint Special Envoy’s Six-Point Proposal to end the conflict in Syria. On 15 June 2012, UNSMIS suspended its activities owing to an intensification of armed violence across the country. This suspension was to be reviewed on a daily basis. Security Council resolution 2059 (2012), adopted on 20 July, extended the mandate of UNSMIS for a final period of 30 days. Although the mission was suspended in mid-June, as of June 2012, the size and composition of the mission was estimated at 278 military observers, including three female Military Experts. The mandate was concluded in mid-August of 2012. Today, the Council should call for meaningful participation of Syrian women, girls, civil society, including women’s organisations, and human rights defenders in the design and implementation of gender-sensitive humanitarian aid strategies both inside Syria and in neighboring countries (SCRs 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015)). The Council should also ensure that women’s particular needs, such as secure access to sanitation facilities and hygiene, and health assistance including reproductive health, family planning, and maternal health services, are adequately addressed. Reporting should reflect the gender specific consequences of attacks against humanitarian convoys delivering medical supplies, and against medical workers and facilities, which have increased in Syria since the adoption of SCR 2286 (2016). The Council must also ensure Syrian women’s meaningful participation in the UN-facilitated political process (SCR 2254 (2015)), and in the design and implementation of ceasefire monitoring mechanisms. All mechanisms established to facilitate civil society participation should be fully resourced, supported, accessible and transparent, including engagement with diverse perspectives of civil society. The Council should inquire into any lack of reporting on concrete steps to be taken to ensure women’s full and meaningful inclusion in the peace process to ensure its effectiveness and sustainability, particularly in light of recent developments threatening its success. Reporting should also reflect local civil society, including women’s groups, efforts to ensure agreements are gender-sensitive and grounded in the experiences of local populations.
Timor-Leste has been on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda from 1975 until 2012.
South Sudan first appeared on the Security Council’s agenda on 13 July 2011, following its independence from the Republic of Sudan four days earlier on 9 July 2011. The current peacekeeping mission, UNMISS, took up many of the duties of UNMIS, and was established via Security Council Resolution 1996 (2011) on 8 July 2011 to consolidate peace and security and to help establish the conditions for development with a view to strengthen the capacity of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to govern effectively and democratically and establish good relations with its neighbors. This mandate has been consistently renewed since July of 2011. The mandate includes language on the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, but many other Women, Peace and Security concerns are not mentioned. In its consideration of report on the UN Mission to the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) in the context of its force level increase and the recently mandated Regional Protection Force (RPF), the Council must ensure it incorporates a gender perspective throughout its discussion, including prioritisation of women’s empowerment and promoting gender equity. Past mandates have contained strong language on women’s participation in the implementation of the peace agreement and women’s protection concerns, although the most recent mandate took a step back from these commitments. The Council should ensure that future reporting on UNMISS and the situation in South Sudan remains strong by inquiring into any lack of such reporting, especially in the activities of the RPF. Given the severe security and humanitarian situation, the Council should also ensure that UNMISS continues to protect civilians and call on the mission to hold regular consultations with local women’s civil society organisations to ensure protection strategies are responsive to women’s security concerns (SCR 2252 (2015), OP 8(a)(i), (v), (vi); (b)(i)(ii), (iii)) and humanitarian aid and reintegration assistance to returnees is gender-sensitive.
Somalia has been on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda since 1991, following the outbreak of civil war and the failure of the opposing clans to unite around a replacement leader after the President was driven from the country. There are two key international peacekeeping and political missions in Somalia: The United Nations Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The United Nations Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS) was established in 1995. As per Security Council Resolution 1863 (2009), its mandate is to advance the cause of peace and reconciliation, to monitor the situation in Somalia, and keep the Council informed about developments in the country. However, armed violence in southern Somalia has continued, particularly between militias vying for power, with the worsening security situation posing a serious threat to civilians and refugees, and thousands of civilians killed and injured as a result of the armed conflict.AMISOM was established in February 2007 with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1744 (2007) and is the peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations. The mandate and tasks of the mission include supporting reconciliation, protecting Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIS), helping to implement the National Security Stabilisation Programme (NSSP), supporting disarmament and stabilisation, monitoring the security situation, facilitating humanitarian operations and working with refugees and internally displaced peoples (IDPs), and protecting AMISOM equipment and personnel. Women, Peace and Security concerns include women’s participation in political and peace processes and protection from sexual and gender-based violence. The most recent mandate includes language on the protection of women and on women’s participation in peace and reconciliation processes. As the Council continues to consider the situation in Somalia and discusses the latest Secretary General’s reports on the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Council should promote women’s full participation in all efforts to maintain peace and security in Somalia, as well as inquire into efforts by the Federal Government of Somalia and Interim Regional Administrations, with assistance from UNSOM and AMISOM, to continue to promote increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in Somali institutions. The Council should also ensure there is progress made in implementing UNSOM’s mandate (SCR 2158 (2014), OP 1 (d)(i), (d)(iii) and (d)(iv) and OP 1 (e)(iii)) to help prevent, monitor, investigate and report on abuses and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including through the full deployment of Gender Advisers. The report should also include efforts by AMISOM and troop-contributing countries, as specified in SCR 2275 (2016). Further, the Council should also request information on Somali authorities and AMISOM efforts to ensure women, girls, boys and other non-combatant males are protected and provide safe passage to civilians, during military offensives to recapture towns under Al-Shabaab control. As a recent Secretary-General report has evidenced ISIL / Da’esh increasing influence in Somalia (S/2016/830), the Council should request information and analysis on the differential impact on the human rights of women and girls of terrorism and violent extremism in Somalia, as well as efforts by the missions to ensure the participation and leadership of women and women’s organisations in developing strategies to counter terrorism and violent extremism (SCR 2242 (2015), PP 14, OP 13).
The last Security Council briefing on Myanmar was held on 17 April 2014. The “briefing focused on the situation in Rakhine, in particular the recent rise in inter-communal tensions there, the disruption of humanitarian aid and the controversy surrounding the census.” (Security Council Report: Myanmar). Ongoing violence, including human rights abuses, between the Myanmar government and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) has resulted in the displacement of approximately 75,000 Kachin since June 2011. Given this situation, Council members should press all actors, including the Myanmar government and the KIA, to act in accordance with relevant international legal obligations, particularly with respect to humanitarian access. As part of that effort, international mechanisms should be utilised to investigate human rights abuses, including by ensuring that the UN country team expands support for local organisations, and conducts regular and systematic reporting on the human rights situation in Myanmar and its ethnic conflict areas, including the rights of women. The Council should address human rights concerns in the region- including those of women, and take into consideration the need for the protection of women from such violence.
Nepal has been on the Security Council Agenda previously (before 2012).
Sierra Leone was on the Security Council’s agenda from 1995 to 2014. At this time of transition, the Council should encourage Sierra Leone and UN entities to continue efforts to support the full and equal participation of women in political, economic and social spheres. It is vital in this regard that women continue to receive political and financial resources to ensure their meaningful engagement in Sierra Leone’s future, particularly regarding support for women-led civil society organisations. As it did in OP 11, SCR 2005 (2011), the Council should send a strong message that the gains for women must be consolidated in the transition to the UNCT, and that Member States must support this consolidation, including financially.
Ukraine has been on the Security Council agenda since February of 2014. In March 2014, The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights deployed a Human Rights Monitoring Mission to Ukraine in order to support the Ukrainian government in protecting human rights. There is also the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. The Mission gathers information and report on the security situation, establish and report facts in response to specific incidents, including those concerning alleged violations of fundamental OSCE principles. OHCHR has documented a pattern of SGBV against women detainees and the female relatives of men suspected of membership or affiliation with the armed groups. Cases of arbitrary detention, rape, and torture have also been well documented. WILPF believes that the specific Ukrainian context should shape the specific Ukrainian response. This response should also build upon the expertise, knowledge, and networks of Ukrainian civil society, in particular, women’s organisations and international Women, Peace and Security experience. Finally, the political and financial support of the Government of Ukraine is crucial.
The situation in West Africa has been discussed by the Security Council since 2001, following an effort by the United Nations to increase sub-regional cooperation and support for capacity building and peace consolidation in conflict-affected areas. As part of this effort, the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) was established by the Security Council on 29 November 2001 through an exchange of letters between the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council. UNOWA’s mandate was focused on a number of priorities: encouraging recovery efforts in countries affected by crisis, consolidating good governance and the rule of law, promoting human rights and gender mainstreaming, and raising awareness of the imperative need for economic growth and the fair distribution of wealth. The mandate of UNOWA has consistently been renewed for three-year periods at a time. The current UN Mission based in West Africa that UNOWA works in cooperation with include Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI), Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), and Liberia (UNMIL). UNOWA also has been responsible for leading the UN response to the recent instability in Guinea and Mali. The UNOWA mandate does not include Women, Peace and Security language. In terms of WPS considerations, the Security Council should expand upon UNOWAS’ strong women, peace and security mandate, which calls for gender and WPS to be considered throughout its work and request reporting and analysis on the regional implementation of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda. UNOWAS’ WPS strategy and collaboration with ECOWAS on a sub-regional plan of action for implementing SCR 1325 (2000) serve as good practice examples that should be maintained and strengthened at the regional level. The renewed mandate should also ensure regional efforts have political and financial support to build the capacity of women leaders and civil society organisations in urban and rural areas in order to fully participate in peace and security discussions on a regular basis
The situation in Western Sahara has been on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda since 1976, following the withdrawal of Spain in 1976 and the ensuing conflict over the territory between Morocco and the Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el-Hamra y de Río de Oro (Frente polisario), supported by Algeria. In the intervening years, the situation has become entrenched. The current peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), was established on 29 April 1991 pursuant to Security Council Resolution 690 (1991) in accordance with the settlement agreed to on 30 August 1988 by Morocco and the Frente polisario. MINURSO has been mandated to monitor the ceasefire, verify the reduction of Moroccan troops, implement a repatriation program for refugees, identify and register qualified voters, and organise and ensure a free and fair referendum on Western Sahara’s independence from Morocco. The mandate does not include any Women, Peace and Security language. As the Security Council discusses the situation in Western Sahara, including the expulsion of international civilian staff and the closure of the Dkhla liaison office to the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), human rights and gender should be key considerations. The mandate for MINURSO should be renewed with a a human rights monitoring and reporting presence which – unlike most other missions established under the authority of the Council – it currently lacks. The Council must also reaffirm the role and the mandate of MINURSO, ensuring it can fulfill the standard functions of peacekeeping, which include monitoring, evaluation, and reporting on local developments, by appointing personnel responsible for civil affairs to work systematically and directly with concerned communities.
Yemen has been on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda since 2011, when a wave of anti-government social protests started in the country. There is no current peacekeeping mission. In its S/PRST/2016/5 personal statement, the Security Council reiterates that resuming Yemen’s peaceful political transition to a democratically-governed State, in line with the GCC initiative, should be guided by a new constitution and the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections, and conducted in an inclusive manner involving the full participation of all of Yemen’s diverse communities, including all regions of the country, youth, and the full and effective participation of women. In February 2016, the UNSC adopted S/RES/2266, which extended the asset freeze and travel ban against “those threatening stability in Yemen” for one year, and extended the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the committee overseeing these sanctions. This resolution has no gender-sensitive provisions. In its expected discussion of the situation in Yemen, the Council should inquire about participation by women and women’s civil society organisations in conflict resolution and conflict management processes, as well as efforts to protect women, including women human rights defenders and civil society. The Council should also specifically request the UN Special Envoy to meet with women civil society representatives that reflect the diversity of Yemen’s population, including ethnic, geographical and political affiliation, and more broadly, all stakeholders, including the Arab coalition, must ensure women’s full participation in discussion, design and implementation of peace and security strategies, including those which aim to counter violent extremism (SCR 2122 (2013), OP 13 and SCR 2242 (2015), OP 13). The protection and promotion of women’s rights must be prioritised, and in this context, the Council should call for investigations of human rights violations, including increasing rates of SGBV, and ensure accountability for all perpetrators. Finally, all efforts to address the humanitarian situation must be gender sensitive and responsive to women’s differentiated experiences, including as heads of households, and must ensure that such assistance includes provision for the full-range of medical, including access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services, legal psychosocial and livelihood services, and the need for access during conflict and post-conflict situations (SCR 2122 (2013)).
The situation in Mali appeared on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda in 2012 following the forcible seizure of power from the democratically-elected government by some elements of the Malian armed forces. Currently there is no peacekeeping mission serving in Mali. However, the UN has welcomed efforts by the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and international partners to monitor the situation in Mali. Violence in the north of the country has been combined with ongoing political upheaval in the capital, resulting in physical insecurity for women with a simultaneous closing of political space for their voices to be heard. Key Women, Peace and Security concerns include the specific rights and protection concerns of women, in particular the rape and abduction of women and girls by armed groups in the north, and the full engagement of women in ongoing efforts for peaceful resolution. As the Security Council considers a report on the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the Council must ensure that the mission is mainstreaming gender as a cross-cutting issue, including by supporting government efforts to promote women’s participation at all levels, particularly in implementing the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation (SCR 2295 (2016), OP 26) and efforts to counter violent extremism (SCR 2242 (2015), OP 13). In addition, the Council should ensure the mission is fully equipped with its intended gender capacity and expertise, including through the full deployment of WPAs (SCR 2295 (2016), OP 19(c)(iii)), strengthening the presence of women deployed in all security-related capacities as well as in civilian personnel deployment, and consulting with women’s civil society organisations on a consistent basis (SCR 2295 (2016), OP 9(a)(v)). The Council should inquire as to the mission’s efforts to increase the participation of women in human rights and conflict-related sexual violence training provided to Malian forces, police, gendarmerie and legal authorities, as well as the mission’s efforts to provide women associated with armed groups full access to disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR) programs, through consultation with women’s organisations (SCR 2295 (2016), OP 19 (v)).
The Security Council discusses the LRA-affected Regions in various discussions.),(
Côte d’Ivoire is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). The situation in Côte d’Ivoire has been a focus of the Council’s attention since 2002, with internal fighting, mass killings, and serious violations of human rights erupted as a result of the disputed 2000 presidential elections. The mandate encompasses support for Disarmament, Demobilisation, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement (DDRRR) programs, monitoring the cessation of hostilities, support for security sector and political reform, the rule of law, and the protection of human rights. The primary challenges for Côte d’Ivoire include containing the emerging security threats in the western region of the country and ensuring that the perpetrators of the attacks on United Nations peacekeepers are identified and held responsible. Women, Peace and Security challenges include impunity for sexual and gender-based violence and barriers to women’s full participation in justice and reconciliation processes. In addition, weak Disarmament, Demobilisation, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement programs are under resourced and fail to encompass reintegration of women. The mandate includes references to Women, Peace and Security in terms of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration and well as in terms of women as victims of human rights violations. The reports to Security Council are mixed on the inclusion of language and analysis on gender. The Council should follow-up and include stronger references to gender and women in its work on Côte d’Ivoire.
The situation in Cyprus is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) established in 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. Following the hostilities of 1974, the Security Council mandated that UNFICYP perform certain additional functions, including the supervision of ceasefire lines, maintaining a buffer zone and undertaking humanitarian activities. Women, Peace and Security challenges include the continued marginalisation of women within the peace process, which has an impact on women’s overall role in broader efforts to strengthen Cyprus’ economy and governance institutions. The mandate includes concern for the inclusion of women’s groups and for women’s participation in peace processes. The Council should recognise the critical role women continue to play in the Cyprian peace process and support efforts to ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in the on-going negotiations in the operative paragraphs of the UNFICYP mandate. Furthermore, references to the participation of civil society in the peace process must be strengthened (S/RES/2263, OP 3(d)) and include direct provisions for women’s organisations. Additionally, all relevant UN offices in Cyprus should support the inclusion of women as full participants and integrate a gender perspective throughout the peace process to ensure gender concerns are addressed in any eventual outcomes.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is on the Security Council’s agenda in some form with the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). MONUSCO is authorised to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate relating, inter alia, to the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence, and to support the Government of the DRC in its stabilisation and peace consolidation efforts. Previously, there was the United Nations Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). Women, Peace and Security challenges include violations of women’s human rights and protection from sexual and gender-based violence, amongst many other peace and security concerns. The mandate includes references to women and gender- including the noted importance of women in peacebuilding efforts. It is critical that the mission prioritises the implementation of all WPS provisions of its mandate (SCR 2277 (2016), OPs 8, 38, 50(i)), and all stakeholders should ensure that gender is mainstreamed across the implementation of MONUSCO and the Intervention Brigade’s mandates. Security Council members should also follow-up and inquire as to efforts by MONUSCO and other relevant UN entities on: measures which ensure women’s full and equal participation, including engaging with women’s civil society organizations, in the strategic dialogue on MONUSCO’s progressive withdrawal, as well as all disarmament, justice, and security sector reform efforts; and strategies which aim to protect women, men, girls, and boys from SGBV, including coordinated monitoring and analysis arrangements to track SGBV, availability of comprehensive, multi-sectoral services for survivors (SCR 2106 (2013) and SCR 2122 (2013)), and deployment of women’s protection advisers (WPAs) (SCR 1888 (2009), OP 12). Furthermore, it is imperative that human rights violations, including SGBV, continue to be monitored, through consultation with civil society, including women leaders, human rights defenders during field visits (SCR 2122 (2013), OP 6), and perpetrators are identified, arrested and prosecuted.
The Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2261 (2016), on 25 January 2016, to establish a political mission of unarmed international observers to monitor and verify the laying down of arms, and be part of the tripartite mechanism that will monitor and verify the definitive bilateral ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, following the signing of a peace agreement. Further, the 2016 proposed peace agreement between the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC), despite eventually being rejected by the referendum on 2nd October, includes a historic recognition of women’s rights and also recognises sexual and gender-based violence as a crime against humanity. It furthermore provided no amnesty for sexual and gender-based violence. Finally, an agreement was signed on 24th November and later ratified by Congress on 30th November. So far, deployment of observers stands at 280 of the 450 needed for the full monitoring and verification of the ceasefire and laying down of arms. Of the observers currently deployed, 43 (15 per cent) are women. The arrival of the remaining observers is planned in stages, with full deployment scheduled to be attained by February 2017. A special effort has been made to engage with women’s groups to include their perspective, views and recommendations on the Mission’s activities and to establish the confidence necessary to receive information regarding potential gender-based violence. The Mission also maintains regular contact with United Nations agencies, funds and programmes as well as with women’s associations at the national and local levels in order to provide information on United Nations zero-tolerance policy and on preventive measures taken by the Mission. The Mission has also requested support to establish an effective reporting mechanism for potential incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse and to facilitate assistance to victims.
The Central African Republic (CAR) is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA). As the situation in the country remained volatile, the Security Council remained involved in peacebuilding efforts in the country, establishing the United Nations Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA) in 2000. An increase in violence precipitated the establishment of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) in 2007, pursuant to Security Council resolution 1778 (2007). MINURCAT was focused in eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic, and completed its mandate on 31 December 2010. In January 2010, the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), succeeded BONUCA to ensure the coherence of peace-building support activities by the various United Nations entities present in CAR, particularly given the drawdown of MINURCAT. Women, Peace and Security challenges include the ongoing and widespread human rights abuses targeting women, including sexual and gender-based violence, for which there is little protection, and for which there is minimal access to services or justice for survivors. Further, women face significant barriers to their participation in political and electoral processes, as well as in broader peacebuilding efforts. In its consideration of the report on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) the Security Council should consider gender as a cross-cutting issue across all of MINUSCA’s work (SCR 2301 (2016), OP 45) and ensure the report highlights efforts to ensure women’s protection and support women’s participation (SCR 2301 (2016), OP 33 (a)(ii) and (b)(ii) and OP 34 (a)(i), (a)(ii)). The report should also highlight MINUSCA efforts to consider and integrate the concerns of women, when developing and implementing its protection strategy through increased community engagement; recruiting additional Community Liaison Assistants (CLAs), with a particular emphasis on recruiting women and ensuring CLAs have a strong voice within the mission; and enhancing mechanisms to safely and confidentially report protection concerns and receive a timely response with effective accountability mechanisms. The Security Council, in the meantime, should ensure that MINUSCA has the capacity to support women’s participation in reconciliation efforts. There should be a specific call for the mission to regularly engage with civil society organisations, including women’s organisations, and women cabinet members to ensure inclusion at all levels of political and security processes.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is on the agenda of Security Council’s agenda with mandated European Military Force in Bosnia Herzegovina (EUROFOR). The Council supported the efforts of the European Community to end the fighting in Yugoslavia through the establishment of a peacekeeping mission through the European Union (EU). The current mission, the European Military Force in Bosnia Herzegovina, (EUROFOR) Althea, was established as part of the Common Security and Defense Policy pursuant to Security Council resolution 1575 (2004) as a legal successor to SFOR, the previous NATO-led operation, and the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH). Key Women, Peace and Security concerns include issues related to the lack of prosecutions of those responsible for torture during the war, particularly sexual and gender-based violence, and continued impunity within justice institutions. Additionally, women’s roles in the reform of the political, economic and security sectors as well as within legal and media institutions are marginalized and receive little attention. The mandate resolutions of the Security Council on Bosnia do not include strong language on women, peace and security. The mandate missed significant opportunities to reference gender and implement the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. The reports to the Security Council also lack strong and integrated gender analysis. The Council should include references, request and follow-up on numerous areas of concern including the return of refugees and displaced persons; the composition and deployment of European Union Force ALTHEA and the NATO presence; women’s participation in decision-making, including peace dialogue and agreements; women’s participation in implementation, including meetings of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC); training on gender-related issues and sexual and gender-based violence.
Burundi is on the Security Council agenda with the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB), established through Security Council resolution 1959 (2010), succeeding the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB). BNUB has a scaled-down structure and mandate aimed at supporting democracy and institution-building efforts, strengthening justice and reconciliation mechanisms, and the reintegration of conflict-affected populations. The situation in Burundi continues to be characterised by extrajudicial killings, assassinations, arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment, attacks by armed individuals and persistent allegations of sexual and gender-based violence. OCHA estimates that one tenth of the population has been confronted by physical or psychological threats, intimidation or other abuses since April 2015. Against a backdrop of seeming unwillingness of the government of Burundi to embark on a process of genuinely inclusive dialogue, immediate measures need to be taken to enhance the protection of civilians and decrease human rights abuses. SCR 2279 (2016) opens the way for a police option that should be primarily aimed at the urgent need to protect the Burundian population. Any international police component should be independent and have the necessary means to deploy in places where the protection needs are greatest based on weekly assessments made by the police component in coordination with OHCHR, AU observers and other key actors. The component should be robust and comprised of women and men who are trained in both international human rights and humanitarian law and have gender expertise, including on how to respond when there are allegations of sexual and gender-based violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse. Further, it is essential that they should be able to liaise with the population, including women, in a safe and respectful manner, as well as with the UN political team, OHCHR, the African Union human rights observers, ICRC and other relevant humanitarian and protection actors. Further, as the Security Council continues to monitor and discuss the human rights situation, as part of the broader crisis, the Council should call for the creation of an independent, international commission of inquiry to establish the truth about the grave abuses in Burundi in the past year and support the efforts of the UN Special Rapporteurs.
The situation in the Golan Heights is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) mandated to maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria, oversee the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces, and supervise the areas of separation and limitation, as provided in the May 1974 Agreement on Disengagement. Since 1973, the Council has considered the situation in the context of the conflict between Egyptian and Israeli forces in the Suez Canal area, and the Sinai and Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights. Recent mandate renewals have included gender-specific language, inter alia: in support for civilian populations, including women affected by the current crisis; engagement of women in political solutions to the violence; gender-specific humanitarian responses; and mandatory comprehensive gender training for troops. The Council should support efforts to ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in ongoing negotiations and by strengthening references to the participation of civil society in the peace process.
The Security Council addresses the Great Lakes Region in various discussions. In March 2016, the United Nations Regional Strategic Framework for the Great Lakes Region was launched, which seeks to better align the work of the United Nations in the Great Lakes region with the objectives of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework. The Strategic Framework has six pillars, namely, sustainable natural-resource management, economic integration, cross-border trade and food nutrition security, mobility, youth and adolescents, gender and sexual and gender-based violence, and justice and conflict prevention. Progress in implementing the strategic framework will greatly contribute to sustainable peace and development in the region. The Women’s Platform for the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework also continues to remain a catalytic instrument for women’s empowerment in the region.
Kosovo is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK). Since 1998, when violence increased between the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), the Council has discussed the situation. This increase of violence demanded full independence for both Kosovo and the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). UNMIK works alongside the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), which was also established via resolution 1244 (1999), and initially comprised of 50,000 troops, but stood at around 5,600 in 2012. Following the Declaration of Independence by the Kosovo authorities and the entry into force of a new constitution on 15 June 2008, the tasks of UNMIK were modified and its configuration changed. Women, Peace and Security challenges include women’s rights to political participation, and the prosecution of war crimes, including crimes of sexual violence, as well as the need for protection of witnesses. The mandate has not included Women, Peace and Security concerns. In this vein, Council members must support women’s full participation in post-conflict peacebuilding, decision-making processes and projects to advance women’s human rights. This includes full implementation of the NAP on Women, Peace and Security, strengthening Kosovo’s civil society capacity to monitor and advise on governmental commitments to women, peace and security and providing protective services to survivors of domestic violence. Though Kosovo’s legal framework and mechanisms for gender equality are relatively comprehensive, implementation is uneven, and de facto discrimination against women and girls persists. The Council must address women’s unequal access to economic resources, education, public services, and post-conflict peacebuilding programs. Women and women’s organisations must be given the opportunity to participate in the prevention and countering of violent extremism. Post-conflict recovery in Kosovo is dependent on inter-ethnic cooperation. The Council must, therefore, support measures that ensure equitable access to justice and human rights for marginalised groups from all intersectional backgrounds, including ethnic minority women from the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities, LGBTI persons and the disabled.
Liberia is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) which is currently in transition. The Council has discussed the situation since 1989, when the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) entered Liberia, led by former President, Charles Taylor, and the country dissolved into civil war. The Women, Peace and Security concerns include women’s participation, sexual and gender-based violence, capacity of Liberian institutions with regard to issues of gender and reconciliation efforts. The mandate does not include Women, Peace and Security language. To fully implement its WPS obligations, UNMIL should ensure women’s representation and participation are prioritised in electoral and political processes, justice and security sector reform, and efforts to strengthen the rule of law. Further, the Council should also ensure that gender is actively mainstreamed across all reintegration, post-conflict recovery, and peacebuilding processes, including through promoting education and vocational training for women and girls associated with armed groups in reintegration efforts. Survivors must be given full access to post-conflict relief and recovery programs, including access to comprehensive reproductive health and psychosocial services (SCR 2106 (2013)). Finally, it is imperative that, over the course of the transition, mission responsibilities related to WPS are upheld, and any entities which take on transferred responsibilities have the necessary capacity and resources to continue all activities. As part of its implementation of the WPS agenda and in order to strengthen the information and analysis it is receiving on the gender dimensions of the situation, the Council should invite women civil society representatives and the Executive Director of UN-Women to brief the Council (SCR 2122 (2013), OP 1(a)(c)).
Libya is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), a political mission led by the Department of Political Affairs that was established in 2009. Since 1992, the Security Council has imposed sanctions on Libya following the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Nine years later, the Security Council adopted resolution 1973 (2011), enforced by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), which condemned the violations of human rights carried out by Muammar al-Gaddafi’s regime, demanded the protection of civilians, established a ‘no-fly zone’ over Libya except for humanitarian aircraft, enforced an arms embargo, decided to freeze assets of the Gaddafi network, designated travel bans for certain members of government, and established a panel of experts to assess the situation in Libya and make recommendations to the Council. Following the fall of the Gaddafi regime, Security Council Resolution 2016 (27 October 2011) terminated the provisions of resolution 1973, allowing the use of force to protect civilians and ensuring the no-fly zone, effectively ending the authorisation for the NATO military operation in Libya on 31 October 2011. With the deteriorating security situation and the threat posed by armed groups and illicit arms proliferation, active female public figures, including human rights defenders, civil society leaders, activists, journalists, and politicians, continue to be targets of assassinations, abductions, and SGBV. The Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). The Council should call for gender to be considered as a cross-cutting issue across the work of the mission (SCR 2122 (2013), OP 4) and reverse the trend of decreasing references to the women, peace and security agenda in past mandate renewals.
The situation in Israel and Palestine has been on the agenda of the Security Council since 1947, when hostilities erupted between the newly established State of Israel and its Arab neighbors. The Security Council called for cessation of violence and subsequently established the first peacekeeping mission to monitor the negotiated armistice, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), with the adoption of resolution 50 (1948). The Security Council receives monthly briefings and holds periodic open debates on the situation in Palestine and Israel. There is often no mention of Women, Peace and Security in the discussions and mandate. Therefore there are significant missed opportunities to discuss the gender dimension of the conflict, occupation, to promote the role of women in the Israel and Palestine and regional peace processes, and to call for the end to violations that target women and girls. Given the situation in Palestine and Gaza, the Council should ensure that it considers the gender dimensions of the situation in its discussions. The Council should call for gender-sensitive humanitarian access, aid and services, and an end to indiscriminate attacks harming civilians in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories, and ensure that the gender dimensions of the situation are considered throughout discussion of the situation. The Council, and all Member States must call for and support concrete measures towards justice and accountability mechanisms for all violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The Council must call for accountability for all human rights violations. Further, the Council should call for the meaningful inclusion of women, and ensure a focus on women’s rights as well as an inclusion of a gender perspective in all aspects of current and ongoing peace and security processes.
Iraq is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) established via Security Council resolution 1500 (2003) to coordinate UN and international agencies engaged in humanitarian assistance and reconstruction activities in Iraq. It also helps to advance efforts to restore and establish national and local institutions. The mission’s mandate was expanded under Security Council resolution 1546 (2004) to assist in the formation of institutions for a representative government. Women, Peace and Security challenges include displacement, discriminatory laws, prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, addressing family violence including so-called “honor killings,” and the provision of services and justice for survivors. Female leaders and activists continue to receive threats, which impact their physical safety and the ability of women to participate equally in public life. The conflict between the ISIL/Da’esh and Government forces, with assistance from allied militias, continues to dominate discussions on the human rights situation in Iraq. In its consideration of a report on the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the Security Council must urge accountability for serious human rights violations by all sides, including SGBV, sexual slavery, abduction and human trafficking by ISIL and reports of beatings and unlawful detention by Government forces and allied militias during military offensives. The Council should thus ensure that UNAMI is regularly engaging with women’s organisations and taking concrete steps to support women’s participation in all peace and security processes.
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Guinea-Bissau is on the agenda of the Security Council with UN Integrated Peace-Building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) with a mandate to support efforts to consolidate constitutional rule, further political dialogue and national reconciliation, assist with security sector reform efforts, and promote respect for human rights and the rule of law. Women, Peace and Security challenges include the support for women’s participation in conflict prevention, political processes, and peacebuilding efforts, as well as women’s role in security sector reform. The mandate includes language highlighting the importance of women’s role in the peace processes, and well as their protection in the conflict itself. should ensure UNIOGBIS, as a priority, addresses concerns surrounding Guinea-Bissau’s judicial system, which, if left unchecked, will allow impunity and corruption to grow. Increased attention on legal reform must coincide with efforts to ensure women’s participation and the protection of women’s rights. The Council should call for consultations with women and women’s civil society organisations (per SCR 2122 (2013), OP 2(c)). Furthermore, women should be included as leaders and stakeholders in ongoing security sector reform, national reconciliation processes, institution building and addressing the root causes of instability. Finally, the Council must acknowledge the role drug trafficking has on undermining rule of law and stabilisation reforms, take measures to address the differentiated impact drug trafficking has on women and acknowledge and encourage women’s role in addressing drug trafficking.
Haiti is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) mandated to establish a secure and stable environment, to facilitate the protection of human rights, and to facilitate a transparent and fair political process. This mandate has been consistently renewed since June of 2004. Women, Peace and Security challenges include ensuring women’s full and equal engagement in Haiti’s future as well as addressing the increase of threats and harassment toward women-led civil society organisations, in particular toward those calling for justice for sexual and gender-based violence. The mandate includes language on women’s protection, especially from sexual violence, and on women’s participation in political processes. In its forthcoming mandate renewal for the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), it is vital for the Council to call for women’s full and equal participation and engagement in building Haiti’s future. This is particularly important in view of threats and harassment against women-led civil society organisations, including those calling for justice for sexual and gender-based violence.
Afghanistan is on the agenda of the Security Council with two key Council mandated international peacekeeping and political missions: the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) (managed by NATO) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) (managed by the UN Department of Political Affairs). The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was established in March 2002 through the adoption of Security Council resolution 1401 (2002) and is charged with managing all humanitarian, relief, recovery and reconstruction activities, in coordination with the Government. Women, Peace and Security challenges include participation of women in public and political life and all Afghan peace processes, consultation with women in reconciliation efforts and justice and implementation of laws. There are multiple references to Women, Peace and Security in the mandate of UNAMA focusing on participation, protection of women’s rights and empowerment. Notably, the mandate resolution encourages increased involvement of civil society engagement in the peace process. However there are opportunities to strengthen implementation. In terms of Secretary-General Reports on UNAMA, there is information on Women, Peace and Security including references to engagement with civil society, sexual and gender-based violence, including response mechanisms; sex-disaggregated data on civilian casualties; systematic monitoring and reporting on gender commitments; political participation and representation; and judicial sector reform. Benchmark reporting includes information on the women’s committee of the High Peace Council and workshops held on women’s roles in peace and security; women’s political participation constitutional guarantees of gender equality; legal and policy measures to combat violence against women and girls; women’s participation in peace processes; as well as the implementation of 1325. Some improvement can be made to reporting, including references to the gendered dimension of humanitarian situations, including the displacement and the development of durable solutions; humanitarian assistance and delivery; as well as counter-narcotics efforts.