In its discussion of the expected report and expected mandate renewal of the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB), the Security Council should strengthen its support for gender as a crosscutting issue in the mandate, by calling for the participation of women and women’s civil society organizations in the drafting of the new constitution and ensuring the substantive and meaningful inclusion of women’s equal rights. The Council should also continue to take additional measures to ensure effective human rights monitoring and justice for survivors of crimes, including crimes of sexual violence, and as part of its efforts towards inclusive and participatory transitional justice, should support the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a special chamber for prosecution of international crimes. To prevent more politically motivated violence and reprisals, the Council should support dialogue between the government and the opposition, with the meaningful participation of women.
As the Council prepares to review the report on the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) and is expected to renew BINUCA’s mandate, the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) continues to worsen, with civilians bearing the brunt of the conflict, and with human rights violations in the country amounting to possible war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Council should support the deployment of gender advisors, 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), ensuring that medical and psychosocial services are available and accessible as per SCR 2127 (2013). 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 and expected mandate renewal of the UN peacekeeping mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), the Council should ensure comprehensive information is provided on ongoing impunity, in particular for sexual and gender-based violence, and on barriers to women’s full participation in justice and reconciliation processes, as per SCR 2106 (OP 16c) and SCR 2122 (OP 2c). In addition, the Council should enquire into progress made as to women’s participation in DDR programs as mandated by SCR 2112 (OP 6c), including the socio-economic factors affecting female ex-combatants and associates of ex-combatants, as detailed in SCR 2106 (OPs 16a, b). The Security Council should also promote women’s full participation and protection in security sector and judicial sector reform, as well as land reform, per SCR 2122 (OP 4).
The Security Council is expected to consider the report of the Secretary-General and renew the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The Council should support efforts to ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in ongoing negotiations by including specific language in the UNFICYP mandate to this effect, and by strengthening references to the participation of civil society in the peace process (S/RES/2114, OP 3(d)) in line with the recommendations in S/2010/603, para. 43.
The Security Council is expected to consider a report for the UN Hybrid Operation mission in Darfur (UNAMID). The report should continue the good practice established in previous reports of providing sex-disaggregated data, and should include assessment regarding progress and barriers as per the third benchmark on the rule of law and human rights, particularly in terms of addressing sexual and gender-based violence. The Council should continue to explicitly support the important role of gender advisors, particularly in rebel-held areas where humanitarian needs remain pronounced. The Council should prioritize the call for all parties to the conflict to protect civilians, including women and children, from violations, including sexual and gender-based violence, and continue the request to the Secretary-General to report on progress made in creating and implementing a strategy to protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence.
In its discussion of the situation in the DRC/Great Lakes and the implementation of the PSC Framework, the Council should follow up on its November PRST 2013/17, which calls for “…the equal and full inclusion of women at all stages of conflict resolution, reconstruction and the promotion of peace including through taking account of the call of the 11 July 2013 Bujumbura Declaration for ensuring that benchmarks, indicators and follow-up measures of the plan of implementation for the PSC Framework are gender-sensitive.” The Council should also inquire into specific information on: targeted attacks of any nature on women, including women human rights defenders; the impact of the humanitarian situation on women and girls; consultation with women’s human rights organizations in all stabilization and peace consolidation efforts.
In the Council’s expected deliberations on Sudan/South Sudan, particularly on the ongoing crisis in South Sudan, Council members should ask specific questions regarding the protection of women and girls, and the participation of women in the current efforts to bring about a political solution to this crisis. Specifically, the Council should:
- Affirm the African Union Peace and Security Commission’s (AUPSC Communique Dec 30 2013) call for unconditional and inclusive dialogue following a negotiated ceasefire. As per SCR 2122 (2013), the Security Council should strongly support mechanisms for inclusion and consultation embedded in the design of the peace negotiation process, particularly regarding women’s participation. Women must hold seats at the table as members of negotiation teams, mediators, and as observers/monitors, with local women meaningfully consulted by facilitators, guarantors, and parties;
- Ensure that, given a troop increase per SCR 2132 (2013) and the disproportionate number of women seeking refuge in UNMISS compounds and IDP camps, UNMISS takes full measures to guarantee compliance with the UN zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse. The Council should urge UNMISS to ensure training/sensitization of all troops on sexual and gender-based violence and protection, and should strongly recommend UNMISS establish a reporting and monitoring mechanism in each camp and in any area troops are providing protection, to receive and/or address complains of sexual assault or abuse, by troops and by security forces in or around areas of refuge;
- Inquire into, and insist on full, prompt deployment of the new UNMISS resources, in particular to provide more effective protection to the civilian population at risk, create the conditions for humanitarian assistance, and allow human rights monitors and others to investigate and document violations and abuses by all parties; and
- Insist on the need for accountability for grave human rights violations and abuses, and the need to avoid offering or agreeing on amnesties or any such measure that would perpetuate impunity for grave human rights violations and abuses, in particular those committed against women and girls.
The Council is expected to remain engaged on the situation in Syria, particularly given the forthcoming Geneva II talks. Women’s participation in all political efforts to resolve the conflict must be fully supported, in order to ensure their rights are protected and promoted in any political solution. This entails women’s participation as negotiators, technical experts, and mediators, and technical expertise on the gender dimensions of all issues discussed during these negotiations. This also includes ensuring civil society actors have a clear and meaningful role in the negotiations. The Council should ensure it enquires into support for this engagement with all relevant actors, including the UN/Arab League Special Envoy, and relevant Member States. The negotiations will take place as the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, with the civilian population continuing to be subjected to a broad range of human rights violations. Many of those fleeing Syria also face dire conditions in neighboring countries. Humanitarian aid is underfunded, and current support is not adequately addressing gender-specific concerns. As the refugee crisis in neighboring countries grows, with 85% of the displaced comprised of urban refugees, the need for humanitarian assistance to address women and girls’ specific protection and empowerment needs is becoming more urgent. 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.
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), 1960 (OPs 6, 13), 2106 (OPs 5, 6), and 2122 (OP 2(d)). Member States should inquire about any lack of such reporting.