The Council is due to receive reports on the UN mission in Afghanistan and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). In the past year, there has been no evident progress in the proportion of women participating in political life, and women and defenders of their rights have continued to be targeted with impunity. Members of the Afghan government and insurgent groups must not be granted impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Council’s discussion should include assessment of efforts to include Afghan women and their security concerns in reintegration and reconciliation discussions, and support to more women seeking to become High Peace Council members. The report should include gender-disaggregated data and analysis in its assessment of transition of security responsibility to national security forces, in sections on the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program, rule of law, and efforts to strengthen Afghan-led governance.
The situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) continues to worsen, with civilians bearing the brunt of the conflict and the absence of rule of law in the country. The Council should support the deployment of gender advisers, women protection advisers, and child protection advisers to focus on violations and abuses committed against women and children, including all forms of sexual violence in armed conflict, as stated in SCR 2121 (2013). The Council should further discuss the extent to which additional resources are forthcoming, and will be maintained moving forward, in order to ensure that women are not only protected, but that their participation in any peace process, as well as peacebuilding efforts and future elections, is supported to the fullest extent. The Security Council should also ensure MISCA has all the support it needs to deploy – in adequate numbers and with the necessary training – resources and capacity to protect civilians from harm, with the strict application of the UN Human Rights Due Diligence Policy. The Council should seriously consider the possibility of transforming MISCA into a United Nations peacekeeping operation, without delay, if this would be the most effective tool for the protection of the civilian population. The Council should insist on accountability for atrocities committed by all armed groups and security forces operating in the country, and reinforce efforts to ensure justice systems are re-established, with investigations and prosecutions conducted according to international standards.
In its discussion of the expected report on Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), the Council should ensure information is provided on ongoing impunity for sexual and gender-based violence, and barriers to women’s full participation in justice and reconciliation processes. In addition, the report should cover the role of women in peacebuilding process, security sector reform, and DDR, including the socio-economic factors affecting female ex-combatants and associates of ex-combatants.
The human rights and humanitarian crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has sharply worsened over recent weeks and months, as the civilian population has suffered at the hands of armed groups who have expanded their operations, first during the restructuring of the Congolese army (FARDC) in 2011 and then during recent fighting between the M23 armed group and the FARDC. The Council should:
- Ensure the DRC government deploys properly trained and fully vetted professional security forces in areas where the civilian population is faces particular threat, notably Masisi and Walikale territories of North Kivu province;
- Urgently review MONUSCO’s resources to ensure that troops are deployed to ensure effective civilian protection;
- Ensure that MONUSCO forces take all practical measures to protect the civilian population against human rights abuses, including by offering human rights defenders at serious risk sanctuary in MONUSCO premises;
- Assist the DRC government in ensuring effective action is taken to end sexual violence, including necessary legal reforms;
- Support programmes to ensure that survivors of sexual and gender-based violence have full and equal access to justice, prompt and effective reparations, medical and psychological care, as well as legal and social services; and
- Exert pressure on the DRC government to ensure protection of civilians in IDP camps, in particular women and girls.
The Council is expected to discuss a report of the Secretary-General and extend the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). This mandate renewal should include 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.
Given the absence of women, peace and security elements in Council discussions regarding Guinea-Bissau, expected discussion of the situation should reflect the ongoing challenges to and give support for women’s participation in conflict prevention, political processes, peacebuilding efforts, as well as women’s role in security sector reform. The discussion should also detail gender-specific concerns regarding the current humanitarian situation.
The mandate of the Group of Experts (GoE) on sanctions is expected to be renewed following consideration of the final report of the GoE. The Council should ensure that the mandate allows for the free flow of all relevant information between UNMIL and the GoE, particularly information on violations of women’s human rights, and highlight the links between the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons and the occurrence of sexual and gender-based violence.
In its discussion of the situation in Mali, the Council should support key elements regarding women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution, and the cessation of human rights abuses, including sexual and gender-based violence, as per SCRs 2056 & 2071. Any authorization of a military force in Mali must be accompanied by the mandating of a UN human rights presence, including strong gender expertise, to independently monitor the adherence of all parties to the conflict to international humanitarian and human rights law. This mandate must include public and regular reporting to the Security Council on findings and recommendations. Any such military force must be subjected to strict vetting procedures, and pre-deployment training should reach best practice standards, particularly regarding sexual violence in conflict. In addition, Mali requires an urgent upscale in specialized gender-based violence (GBV) service delivery, with humanitarian organizations leading the GBV response requiring continuous support from the GBV Sub-Cluster leadership.
The Council is expected to hold an open debate to discuss current developments in the peacebuilding agenda, including the recent Secretary-General’s report (A/67/499 – S/2012/746). All Member States, including Council members, should ensure they substantively address the key gender-specific barriers the report identifies, including in conflict resolution process, governance, justice, and economic recovery. Member State commitments, and any Security Council outcome from the debate, should clearly identify concrete steps to remove these barriers and support women’s participation in all aspects of peacebuilding, including through the provision of political and financial support.
The expected report providing options and recommendations for the UN presence in Somalia should prioritize the importance for all armed actors to protect civilians, including women and girls, in full compliance with international humanitarian law. In its review of the report, the Council should inquire into information and analysis regarding women’s full participation in all efforts to find a political solution to the ongoing armed violence; how a future UN presence would support such activities; and should follow-up on the establishment of a gender unit within the Somali Police Force
The situation in Syria continues to worsen as the civilian population continues to be killed, tortured, and their rights violated. Rape and sexual assault continues to be a significant element of the conflict, with women and girl survivors at increased risk of exploitation by forced marriage. Humanitarian aid is underfunded, and current support is not adequately addressing gender-specific concerns. As per the UN Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings, UN humanitarian assistance providers should ensure that survivors have information about and access to these services. The Security Council should refer parties who have violated international law in Syria to the International Criminal Court.
As UN mission in Timor-Leste draws down, the Council should encourage Timor-Leste and UN entities to continue efforts to support the full and equal participation of women in political, economic, and social spheres; and further ensure that UN entities in the country maintain a strong human rights monitoring presence with gender expertise throughout 2012 and beyond any end to UNMIT’s mandate. The Security Council should insist on accountability for crimes under international law committed in 1999 and during the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste.
In its regular work, 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) and 1960 (OP 6, 13). Member States should inquire about any lack of such reporting.