For December, in which Spain has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendation on the situations in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Mali, West Africa and the Sahel, and Yemen, as well as the issue of countering conflict-related trafficking.
In its consideration of the report on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Council members must call on the Government of Afghanistan to ensure peace and security policies address women’s participation and protection and are prioritized in the country’s period of transition after the September peace agreement, which excluded women’s participation. As peace talks continue with armed insurgent groups and the international community looks to demonstrate its continued commitment to Afghanistan following the Warsaw NATO Summit and Brussels Donor Conference, it is critical for women’s voices to be included in peace and security decision-making – both in peace talks and in prior consultation – particularly given the sustained violence against Afghan women leaders and human rights defenders. Per obligations articulated in previous women, peace, and security (WPS) Council resolutions, any upcoming consultations hosted by Council members must include the direct participation of women leaders, particularly from civil society, to ensure the discussions are representative of ground realities. 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)). Security Council members should also inquire as to efforts by UNAMA to assist the government in its efforts to address the differentiated rights and concerns of women, men, girls and boys, in the context of deliberate targeting by armed groups as well as continuing internal displacement and refugee returns from Pakistan. The Council should further ensure women’s security and freedom of movement by protecting and promoting international human rights and humanitarian law (SCR 2242 (2015)).
In their discussion of the expected report on countering trafficking in persons, it is imperative that Council members request information on the way in which gender factors into individuals’ experiences trafficking in order to develop targeted and evidence-based policy recommendations and interventions. It is well established that extremist groups and other non-state actors often engage in trafficking of women and girls with impunity to fuel activities. Discussion and reporting should integrate gender analysis, and, reflect previous Council statements regarding the particular impact of trafficking on women and girls (S/PRST/2015/25), by discussing the range of human rights abuses associated with human trafficking, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), as well as the ways in which women are recruited, coerced, and employed in trafficking operations. Additionally, if the information is not provided, the Council should request specific information and analysis on the way in which women and women’s organizations are currently participating in efforts to combat and reduce trafficking (SCR 2106 (2013), OPs 11, 16).
The Security Council is expected to consider reports on the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) and the Intervention Brigade. It is critical that the mission prioritizes 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. Past reporting has failed to detail mission efforts to support women and women’s civil society participation in peace and security processes, and thus, the Council should follow-up on any such imbalance and request that all aspects of the WPS agenda are considered and reported on equally. 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.
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 Council should, further, include provisions which:
- Promote the full and effective participation of women in all peace, security, and political processes. UNSMIL’s consultation with female house of representative members in October 2016 is a good practice example and should be continued on a regular basis as part of the establishment of a consultative mechanism with women’s civil society groups in all activities, including conflict resolution, peacebuilding and counterterrorism efforts;
- Particularly highlight the importance of recognizing the way in which violent extremism often targets women, the role women play in violent extremist groups, and the importance of women’s leadership and participation in all efforts to combat, reduce, and prevent terrorism and violent extremism;
- Call for an end to impunity for violence against women, investigate and monitor human rights abuses, including SGBV, and deploy women’s protection advisers (WPAs) and gender advisers;
- Call for specific reporting on the gender dynamics of the situation in Libya, including in the political, security, and humanitarian sectors, and provide sex and age disaggregated data.
As the Security Council considers a report on the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization 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 organizations 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, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) programs, through consultation with women’s organizations (SCR 2295 (2016), OP 19 (v)). 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)).
The Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS). Council members 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 organizations in urban and rural areas in order to fully participate in peace and security discussions on a regular basis
In its expected discussion of the situation in Yemen, the Council should inquire about participation by women and women’s civil society organizations 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 prioritized, 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)).