For January, in which Uruguay has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Burundi, Cyprus, Iraq, Kosovo, Libya, and Syria.
The situation in Burundi continues to be unstable with high levels of insecurity for civilians, civil society activists and displaced persons in the midst of daily reports of violence and arrests by both police forces and armed groups. As Burundian refugees continue to cross international borders, especially into Tanzania and Rwanda, the influx of more than 200,000 refugees has caused regional tensions and spurs concerns about deteriorating conditions in refugee camps and potential recruiting grounds for armed groups. Currently, Security Council discussion lacks consideration of the gender dimensions of the situation, as demonstrated in the recently adopted presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/18), as well as SCR 2248 (2015). The Council must ensure that gender is a cross-cutting issue throughout its response to the unfolding security and humanitarian situation in Burundi, by taking into account the analysis and information on the distinct impact of the crisis on women, men, girls and boys. Further, in its discussion of the situation, and in any future action, the Security Council should:
- Urge all international and regional actors, per OP 1 of SCR 2242 (2015) to support the safe and active participation of all members of civil society, including women, in continuous monitoring of the security situation, particularly in refugee camps, as well as in donor and stakeholder meetings at the international, regional and national level;
- Call for more information on the gendered dimensions of the human rights and security situation through systematic reporting and briefings by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN-Women; and
- Call for the engagement of women’s civil society organizations in any humanitarian intervention, violence prevention, and early warning strategy, particularly considering the tensions in border regions and refugee camps, as well as in the ongoing political dialogue, including a new UN-supported mediation with an envoy.
The Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The Council should recognize the critical role women play in the Cyprian peace process and support efforts to ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in the on-going negotiations. Specific language should be included in the operative paragraphs of the UNFICYP mandate to this effect, and references to the participation of civil society in the peace process must be strengthened (S/RES/2234, OP 3(d)). Further, all relevant UN offices in Cyprus should support the inclusion of women as full participants and integrate a gender perspective throughout the peace process to ensure gender concerns are addressed in any eventual outcomes, including working with the technical committee on gender equality, which includes the participation of both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot women.
In considering a report on the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the Council must urge accountability for serious human rights violations, particularly sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) against women and girls. SGBV against ethnic minorities is being used in a widespread and systematic manner by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ Da’esh) and may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. An estimated 1,500 women and children, mostly from the Yezidi minority, remain in captivity by ISIL. The Council should consider the following recommendations:
- Fully implement and fund Iraq’s National Action Plan (NAP) on SCR 1325 (2000) in consultation with civil society;
- Apply a gender lens to humanitarian assistance efforts, particularly in the provision of medical care, including trauma support, ongoing psychosocial counseling and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, as mandated by SCR 2122 (2013) which includes access to emergency contraception and safe abortion services;
- End impunity and ensure that all crimes are investigated, securing sensitive evidence, and perpetrators are brought to justice in line with international humanitarian and human rights law;
- Continue deployment of gender advisers and female personnel in UNAMI, and ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in the security and justice sectors of Iraq and in all efforts to counter and prevent violent extremism;
- Call on the Government of Iraq to implement policies to reduce the risk of statelessness, increased exposure to SGBV and discrimination for all displaced persons, particularly women. Immediately lift the policy prohibiting NGOs from providing shelter to displaced persons, and legally allow displaced women and girls access to three-year temporary Civil Status Identification Documents, without the presence of a male family member to verify their identity; and
- Support survivors of SGBV by establishing training programs and protocols for medical staff which are comprehensive and include training on addressing stigma.
As the Security Council considers the report of the Secretary-General on the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Council members must continue to support women’s full participation in post-conflict peacebuilding, decision-making processes and projects to advance women’s human rights. This includes full implementation of the NAP on Women, Peace and Security, strengthening Kosovo’s civil society capacity to monitor and advise on governmental commitments to women, peace and security and providing protective services to survivors of domestic violence. Though Kosovo’s legal framework and mechanisms for gender equality are relatively comprehensive, implementation is uneven, and de facto discrimination against women and girls persists. The Council must address women’s unequal access to economic resources, education, public services, and post-conflict peacebuilding programs. Women and women’s organizations must be given the opportunity to participate in the prevention and countering of violent extremism. Post-conflict recovery in Kosovo is dependent on inter-ethnic cooperation. The Council must, therefore, support measures that ensure equitable access to justice and human rights for marginalized groups from all intersectional backgrounds, including ethnic minority women from the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities, LGBTI persons and the disabled.
The security situation in Libya continues to deteriorate, with human rights defenders (HRDs), women civil society leaders, activists, journalists and politicians, regularly targeted by violence. The country is also on the verge of economic collapse and social services continue to degrade. As it considers the report of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), the Council should:
- Urge accountability for ongoing crimes against women, including SGBV, and recognize women and girls’ specific protection needs by providing training for all security personnel to identify, respond to and protect individuals from gender-based threats and abuses;
- Call on the Libyan authorities to strengthen support for the work of HRDs and women civil society leaders in the political crisis and enhance the capacity of legal and security sectors to develop and implement protective measures;
- Support women’s participation in efforts to respond to violence and develop strategies to prevent further attacks; and
- Ensure women’s full and equal participation in all political processes; national dialogue; constitution-drafting; reconstruction; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR); and security sector reform (SSR) efforts.
In their statements at the upcoming briefing on Syrian refugees, the Council should call on national governments in countries receiving Syrian refugees to enforce the rule of law regarding the legal age of marriage and implement protective measures to prevent early and forced marriages. The Council must also urgently address the restrictions on humanitarian aid to refugees as the result of intensification of the conflict and ensure the provision of services for women refugees, including maternal and sexual and reproductive health services and trauma care. The meaningful participation of Syrian women and girls in the design and implementation of humanitarian aid strategies is critical to their effectiveness and responsiveness. In line with SCR 2122 (2013) and SCR 2242 (2015), the Council should call for gender-sensitive humanitarian assistance and increase coordination and consultation with civil society and HRDs.
Moving forward in implementing SCR 2254 (2015), the Council must ensure Syrian women’s meaningful participation in the UN-facilitated political process, endorsed by the Council. The corresponding report of the UN Secretary-General should outline specific steps to be taken to ensure women’s full inclusion in the process to ensure its effectiveness and sustainability.