The Security Council will review the mandate of the Group of Experts (GoE) on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is imperative that human rights violations, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), continue to be monitored and perpetrators are identified and listed in sanctions regime, as well as arrested and prosecuted at the local level. In the mandate of the GoE, the Security Council should:
- Call for the collection and analysis of information on violations of human rights, including SGBV by FARDC soldiers, Congolese National Police (PNC) and other armed groups, through consultation with civil society, including women leaders, human rights defenders and women’s rights organizations, during field visits (SCR 2122 (2013), OP 6).
- Call for briefings by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict & UN-Women (SCR 1960 (2010), OP 7), and include gender expertise in the GoE (SCR 2242 (2015), OP 6).
- Incorporate gender considerations as a cross-cutting issue in the mandate of the GoE, including by recognizing and calling for analysis on the link between SGBV and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and mineral extraction (SCR 2117 (2013)).
- Call for the inclusion of information on the situation for women, targeted attacks on women, sex and age disaggregated analysis of data collection, and gender analysis throughout all interim and annual reports.
As the Security Council considers a report on the UN Stabilization 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 given threats and harassment against women-led civil society organizations, including those calling for justice for SGBV. Options for consolidation of MINUSTAH must include gender mainstreaming and women’s participation and protection at the core of the mission’s mandate. The Council should call on MINUSTAH to:
- Ensure women’s full and effective participation in electoral processes, and coordinate with the Haitian National Police to develop and implement an integrated, gender-sensitive security plan for the elections.
- Ensure substantive legal and sensitivity training on adequate investigation and prosecution of SGBV crimes including violence motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity, and proper treatment of survivors for police, prosecutors, judges, new legislators and other Government officials who may interact with survivors.
- Provide technical assistance to support Haiti’s ability to pass and implement legislation addressing gender-based violence, including the Penal Code Revision Draft Law.
- Ensure gender-sensitive services for survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by UN peacekeepers, and establish transparent, survivor-centered and readily accessible mechanisms to hear claims for remedies.
Provide logistical and technical expertise for the establishment of protection and relocation mechanisms for women human rights defenders, and expand relocation funds to include family members and dependents of those at risk.
In its renewal of the mandate of the UN mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the Council must ensure that gender issues are integrated into all response activities. Specific attention must be paid to women’s participation in all security-related matters, including disarming non-state armed groups, and gender-sensitive needs assessments to effectively coordinate humanitarian assistance. The Council should:
- Strengthen UNIFIL’s mandate, which includes provisions for humanitarian support, to ensure that gender considerations are integrated across humanitarian support activities, particularly when providing physical security to displaced persons, in order to ensure access to the “full range of medical, legal and psychosocial and livelihood services without discrimination” (SCR 2242 (2015), OP 16).
- Call on UNIFIL to ensure that all staff, both military and civilian, receive comprehensive training, including on SEA, and, further, take steps to ensure that displaced persons, including women, are protected from any form of abuse or exploitation. All provisions of SCR 2272 (2016) should be implemented.
- Consider women’s protection concerns in UNIFIL’s protection of civilians mandate and, as such, any activities should be gender-sensitive, including when providing physical protection.
- Include specific provisions ensuring there is ongoing and regular consultation with diverse civil society organizations, including women’s groups (SCRs 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015)), as UNIFIL’s relationship with local communities is essential to its success as a mission.
The Security Council is expected to consider a report on piracy and armed robbery. The Council should discuss gender dynamics of piracy, including adverse economic impacts on women, gendered impacts of trafficking and proliferation of small arms and light weapons, roles women play in piracy, and efforts to ensure women and girls’ protection, particularly from SEA (SCR 2246 (2015), OP 25). The Council should also inquire about civil society participation, including women’s organizations, in counter-piracy activities, particularly in land-based initiatives. The Council must also ensure that any counter-piracy activities carried out by Member States, including international and regional naval coalitions, protect and promote women’s rights, ensure women’s participation, and integrate gender perspectives in design, implementation, and monitoring. The Council should call on Somali authorities to investigate violations of women’s human rights, including SEA, in pirate-controlled areas, and ensure accountability for all perpetrators and access to judicial and medical services, including psychosocial and reproductive health services, for survivors.
In its consideration of the report on the humanitarian situation, the Council should call for meaningful participation of Syrian women, girls, civil society, including women’s organizations, and human rights defenders in the design and implementation of gender-sensitive humanitarian aid strategies (SCRs 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015)). The Council should also ensure women’s 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 local civil society, including women’s groups, efforts to ensure agreements are gender-sensitive and grounded in the experiences of local populations. The Council must ensure Syrian women’s meaningful participation in the UN-facilitated political process, through ongoing and regular consultations with the women’s advisory board (SCR 2254 (2015)), and in the design and implementation of ceasefire monitoring mechanisms. The Council should also establish and support a transparent and consultative process between the women’s advisory board and the larger Syrian women’s movement to ensure that input into the peace talks accurately reflects the diverse perspectives of civil society. All mechanisms established to facilitate civil society participation should be fully resourced, supported and accessible. Corresponding verbal and written reports of the UN Secretary-General should outline concrete steps to be taken to ensure women’s full inclusion in the process to ensure its effectiveness and sustainability.
The Security Council is expected to consider the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Yemen. The Council should inquire about women’s participation in conflict resolution processes, as well as efforts to protect women, including women human rights defenders and civil society leaders. The Council must ensure that all peace and security processes are inclusive of civil society, including women’s groups. The Council should also specifically request the UN Special Envoy meet with women civil society representatives that reflect the diversity of Yemen’s population, including ethnic, geographical and political affiliation, in all efforts to forge a political resolution to the crisis and establish inclusive institutions and peacebuilding processes. Any efforts to resolve the Yemen crisis, including those by the Arab coalition, must also protect and promote women’s rights, ensure women’s full participation, and integrate a gender perspective in its process and outcome. The Council should also call for investigations on violations of human rights, including increasing rates of SGBV, and ensure accountability for all perpetrators. In addition, all efforts to address the humanitarian situation must be gender sensitive and responsive to women’s differentiated experiences, including as heads of households, during conflict and post-conflict situations.