On Monday, 28 July 2014, the Security Council held an open debate on UN Peacekeeping, with a special focus on the importance of regional partnerships and its evolution. The debate highlighted the idea that international, regional and subregional organizations must create partnerships that enable the international community to respond more quickly and efficiently to violent conflict. In line with this focus, the debate led to the unanimous adoption of a resolution (SCR 2167) affirming the critical role of regional cooperation in international peacekeeping.
The debate addressed a variety of topics including strengthening and maximizing the effectiveness of the United Nation's relationships with both the African Union and the European Union. The debate featured forty-four statements. A total of eight speakers addressed the necessity of integrating a gender perspective in peacekeeping operations.
It is essential to include women in peace processes both in terms of the protection of their human rights and in order to build stronger foundations for lasting peace and stability. Similar to previous open debate on peacekeeping, held on 11 June 2014, issues pertaining to gender were not prioritized on the agenda. Around thirteen of the speakers emphasized the importance of protecting women in peacekeeping efforts, addressing gender-based violence, implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda and gender-sensitivity training. Although only two speakers, the representatives of Sweden and Chile, specifically made note of resolution 1325, a number of others placed emphasis on the necessity of an effort to mainstream a gender perspective in peacekeeping. The representative from Australia, for instance, stated, “We reiterate that the role of women in peace and security must be fully mainstreamed in all mandates. Without the engagement of, and awareness of the effects of conflict on, women and girls, there simply can be no lasting solution to conflict.”
Despite the few number of speakers who were gender sensitive in their statements, SCR 2167 did address the protection of women, preventing sexual gender-based violence, the role of women in conflict prevention, the integration of gender perspectives in regional partnerships such as the African Union and the development of policy, guidance and training in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. One particular instance of gender sensitivity was the SCR 2167 affirmation that the Security Council “supports the critical role that women play in all peace and security efforts, including those to prevent and resolve conflict and mitigate its impact.” Such assertions, however slight, show a positive acknowledgment of the affects of militarization on women in conflict.
The focus of this debate and SCR 2167 was the importance of regional partnerships and how to improve such partnerships in the future. The debate emphasized the importance of UN cooperation with its regional partners, especially the African Union and the European Union. In discussing the importance of these partnerships, political operational and financial aspects of these relationships were highlighted in SCR 2167. Along these lines, many speakers underlined the significance of the rapid deployment of peacekeeping forces. Such a rapid deployment requires strong regional and subregional partnerships, as well as financial support for such actions. Regional and In addition, the international security system was noted as being a collective effort, especially when it comes to understanding the root causes of violent conflicts and with regards to peaceful settlement of violent conflicts. Local partners naturally have a more intimate knowledge of their respective regions, and can have an invaluable role in protecting civilians and building long-term peace.