When considering the report on the situation in Chad and the Central African Republic, the Council is urged to review the barriers faced by the report’s contributors in gathering information, including on the status of women, essential to inform the Council’s decisions on further engagement in Chad and CAR. The Council should remain seized of the situation in these countries, and put in place a mechanism to effectively monitor the Chadian government’s implementation of its protection commitments. To this end, the Council is urged to ensure that the international human rights presence in the country is increased.
In implementing SCR 1975 regarding Cote d’Ivoire, the Council is urged to give particular consideration to the rights of women, and ensuring peacekeeping forces prioritize their protection. This includes women who are targeted for violence for their political actions, and the refugee and internally displaced women who have been subjected to gender-specific violence. The Council should:
- Ensure there is no impunity for the crimes under international law committed as a result of the current political conflict;
- Consider sanctions against new individuals who might be responsible for human rights violations or might be inciting the commission of those violations;
- Ensure the strict implementation of the protection of civilians mandate of the Mission, the enforcement of the arms embargo;
- Support the International Commission of Inquiry created by the HRC and link these investigations with the work of the ICC Prosecutor, with jurisdiction to investigate crimes under international law committed in Cote d’Ivoire;
- Ensure UN agencies work with the government to strengthen protection and GBV coordination mechanisms;
- Ensure women are actively included in discussions around promoting stability and resolving the current crisis.
The forthcoming report for the UN Hybrid Operation Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) should follow up on the multi-dimensional strategy that encourages civil society engagement in the peace process. Unfortunately, no mention of women’s involvement was detailed in the previous report (S/2011/22). The report should also evaluate and provide recommendations on the efforts to combat sexual and gender based violence, in addition to other security concerns.
Neither the previous reports on Kosovo (S/2010/562 and S/2011/43), nor the last report on the international security presence in Kosovo (S/2011/105) assessed the protection and promotion of women’s human rights, as required by the Security Council (SCR 1244 OP11j and SCR 1889, OP5). In discussing the Kosovo report expected in April, the Council should insist such information be provided, including on progress made in women’s political participation, and the prosecution of war crimes, including crimes of sexual violence and the protection of witnesses. The Council should support the opening of an immediate investigation by the international mission in Kosovo into the alleged complicity of Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi in crimes committed in the aftermath of the Kosovo conflict, including the abduction of women exploited for sex.
Following the adoption of SCR 1973, the Council should urge all forces acting under its authority to put the protection of civilians above any other considerations. Any civilians fleeing Libya should be allowed safe passage, and be allowed immediate access to whichever country they are able to reach, without discrimination. Attention should be given to the specific concerns of displaced women, including an increased risk of sexual violence. Since mid-February 2011, many people have been forcibly “disappeared” by forces loyal to Colonel al-Gaddafi, and are now at grave risk of torture and other serious human rights abuses. The Council should call on the Libyan authorities to, inter alia: ensure the families and lawyers of those detained are informed immediately of the place of detention and of specific allegations; allow immediate independent access to these places of detention in order to ensure the safety of those detained; and immediately release all those detained solely on account of their opinions or peaceful activities.
In all discussions related to the upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa, the Council should urge state authorities to: respect human rights, particularly the rights of women now demanding change; bring to justice perpetrators suspected of crimes; and demonstrate that necessary measures are being taken to secure the participation of women in political and electoral processes. In Egypt, efforts have already been taken to deny women a role in the creation of a new country, including being completely excluded from a new national committee formed to write the new Egyptian constitution.
The UN Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts, appointed to advise him on accountability issues relating to alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law during the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka, is now expected to report in April. The Council is urged to request a briefing from the Secretary-General on the findings of the report and support the implementation of recommendations to ensure accountability.
Abyei / South Sudan / Sudan
In April, the Council is due to receive a report on Sudan by the Secretary-General. It should include detailed information on the remaining barriers to the implementation of the UNMIS mandate, particularly regarding the protection of civilians and the specific concerns of women. Given that previous reports have not sufficiently analyzed nor made recommendations on the continuing obstacles to women’s participation in political processes, the Council should inquire about this in its discussions on Sudan. The Council is also expected to extend the UNMIS mandate until June 2011. Given the deterioration of the situation in areas such as Abyei, Jonglei and Upper Nile, and the potential for intensification of conflict including sexual violence, the mission’s protection of civilians activities should be strengthened.The Security Council should ensure that UNMIS is granted access to any part of the country where protection of civilians issues are identified, particularly as the number of returnees continues to grow, straining the capacity of the Government of Southern Sudan to provide basic services, and as the situation for unaccompanied women and women-headed households as they return to the south is a concern.
Particularly in light of the November 2010 attack on the El-Ayoun refugee camp and the continued detention of human rights’ defenders, the forthcoming mandate renewal and report for the UN mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO) should include a human rights monitoring mandate, which – unlike most other missions established under the authority of the Council – it currently does not have. The inclusion of such a human rights component to MINURSO would be a positive response to the concern expressed by Council members about the human rights situation in Western Sahara, and the Secretary-General’s reiteration of the UN commitment to human rights standards in Western Sahara (S/2009/200). The general deterioration of the human rights situation in Western Sahara has included the targeting of women’s human rights defenders, and a failure to include the full and equal participation of women in any efforts to achieve a peace agreement. Another issue of concern is denial of rights to women political prisoners, which is counter to international human rights and humanitarian law.
UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet and Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Margot Wallström are expected to brief the Council in April, providing a welcome opportunity for the Council to hear from UN experts on gender-specific international peace and security concerns. Particular emphasis should be placed on how the Council could replicate previous successes, and address the remaining gaps in implementation of Women, Peace and Security obligations, in particular relating to women’s empowerment and participation in peace talks. In addition, the Council should ensure that all country reports and mandate renewals evaluate the level of protection and promotion of women’s human rights, as per SCRs 1325, 1820 (OP 9), 1888 (OP 11), 1889 (OP 5) 1960 (OP 6, 13). Member States should inquire about any lack of such reporting. Regarding the new monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on sexual violence in conflict required by SCR 1960, the Council should ensure that full consideration is given to the health, safety and dignity of survivors; the presumption of innocence of alleged perpetrators; and coordination with national and international justice mechanisms.