Women and girls in Haiti, particularly those in displacement camps, continue to be vulnerable to violence, including sexual violence, and victims of this violence are often unable to access services. On its scheduled mission to Haiti, Council members should seek feedback from community patrols and displacement camp representatives, particularly women, on the efficacy of patrols, and identify ways to improve security for women and girls in the camps. Council members should call for the adoption of greater security measures in the camps, and should support initiatives for the empowerment and protection of women and girls in camps. Council members should strongly reiterate the obligation to enforce the UN zero-tolerance policy on SEA, and on all abuses committed against the civilian population by MINUSTAH personnel. Troop- and police-contributing countries must ensure that acts involving their personnel are properly investigated and punished, and the Council should support the UN Secretariat in actively following up on measures to ensure the administration of justice in those countries. The Council should support the implementation of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations Guidelines for Integrating a Gender Perspective into the Work of United Nations Military in Peacekeeping Operations.
The Security Council is due to consider a new strategy that the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council has outlined for the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), including an expansion of its military capabilities and operations. The NGOWG therefore urges the Council to:
- Call on all international forces engaged in Somalia to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians, including women and girls, in full compliance with international humanitarian law, including verification that targets are military objectives, and using means and methods of warfare that comply with the principle of distinction;
- Call for the establishment of an independent and impartial commission of inquiry, or similar mechanism, to investigate and map gender and other crimes under international law committed in Somalia, and recommend further measures for accountability;
- Expressly require that all reports of the involvement of AU troops, and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces and allied militia, in unlawful attacks and other abuses, are independently, promptly and fully investigated and suspected perpetrators brought to justice in fair trials;
- Call on all states to respect the UN arms embargo on Somalia, including the obligation to request exemptions from the UN Sanctions Committee for any security sector assistance to the TFG;
- Call on the TFG to operate an impartial recruitment screening mechanism, to exclude persons under the age of 18, or persons reasonably suspected of violations of humanitarian law or human rights abuses, pending independent and impartial investigations; and
- Call on all AU Member States to allow entry to any individual fleeing from conflict in Somalia; to protect and assist them; and not to forcibly return them to South and Central Somalia.
The Syrian government continues to violate the December 19th, 2011 agreement brokered with the Arab League. Rights organizations have documented the shooting of peaceful protesters by security forces, the arbitrary detention of protesters and activists, the denial of access to Mission Observers to detention centers, the provision of police IDs to military personnel, and the continued presence of the Military in Jisr al-Shughur, Idlib and the al-Midan neighborhood of Damascus. In its continuing discussions on Syria, the Council should coordinate with the Arab League to:
- Impose an arms embargo on Syria;
- Following a fair and transparent process, impose targeted sanctions against the individuals responsible for grave violations;
- Demand unhindered access for humanitarian missions, journalists, and independent human rights organizations;
- Call on the Syrian government to cooperate with the OHCHR in establishing a human rights monitoring presence;
- Refer the situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court; and
- In the case of an extended Observer Mission under the Arab League, the UN Security Council should call on the Syrian government to cooperate with the Mission.
The Council is expected to review the situation in Timor-Leste as per SCR 1969 (2011), including OP 17 which requires the UN Mission (UNMIT) to integrate gender considerations as a cross-cutting issue throughout its mandate, and to renew UNMIT’s mandate. In the light of the many gender-based crimes reported, a clear lack of will by the Timor Leste government to ensure justice and reparations into crimes committed in 1999, the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections, and talk of UNMIT’s departure by December, the Council is urged to:
- Check that the Secretary-General’s latest report on the situation provides a full account of UNMIT’s efforts to implement OP17 of SCR 1969 (2011);
- Demand that the Timor-Leste government fulfill advance investigations and prosecutions of crimes of international law committed in 1999, including implementation of the recommendations of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation and the Commission of Truth and Friendship;
- Add a reference to SCR 1960 (2010) in the resolution renewing UNMIT’s mandate to further encourage an end to impunity for gender-based crimes;
- Encourage Timor-Leste and UN entities to continue efforts to support the full and equal participation of women in the upcoming elections, both as voters and candidates; and
- Require that UN entities in the country maintain a strong human rights monitoring presence throughout 2012 and beyond any end to UNMIT’s mandate.
The Council is expected to discuss the report of the Secretary-General on conflict-related sexual violence (A/66/657–S/2012/33 as requested in SCR 1960, OP 18) and review the mandate of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence and the Team of Experts (SCR 1888, OPs 4, 8, 28). In its discussions of the new monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements (MARA), and the annexed list 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. In all of these efforts, prevention and protection strategies should be guided by consultation with survivors and relevant civil society actors. The Council should take this opportunity to review the consistency and efficacy with which it addresses sexual violence in conflict in its own work, and ensure that all these efforts are accompanied by the requisite resources, including political support, as per, inter alia, the recommendation of paragraph 117 of S/2012/33. 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) and 1960 (OPs 6, 13).