For January, in which Kazakhstan has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on Burundi, Central African Republic, Cyprus, Iraq, ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaeda, and West Africa.
According to the UN Commission of Inquiry for Burundi, since April 2015, there is “reasonable ground to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed” (A/HRC/36/54). The Commission also confirmed the “persistence of extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, and detentions, enforced disappearances, torture, and cruel inhuman or degrading treatment and [sexual and gender-based violence]” (A/HRC/36/54). Women are reported to be amongst the first victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) perpetrated with extreme cruelty, such as rapes or sexual mutilations often accompanied by gender-based, political or ethnic hate speech. In addition to reported continued abuses and violence, acute needs in Burundi and the region are on the rise; the number of individuals with acute humanitarian needs has tripled in one year, and the number of Burundian refugees has increased to over 400,000 persons. In its discussion of the situation, it is urgent that the Council address how it has expanded high-level diplomatic efforts and support for mediation to move the dialogue process forward. Any dialogue must be accompanied by concrete actions by the Council, African Union, and East African Community members to push for an immediate end to violence, human rights violations, and impunity. Due to the high volatility of the situation, it is urgent that the Council put contingency planning back at the center of its discussions to ensure a timely, unfettered, and appropriate protection of the civilian population in case of a brutal increase of violence. Council members should jointly call donors to urgently increase and coordinate support to Burundian population, both in Burundi and regionally. The efforts of countries hosting Burundian refugees should be supported and commended. The Council should also strongly advocate against any coerced or forceful returns and for transparent Refugee Determination Status procedures.
The situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) continues to worsen, with increasing violence, insecurity, and tensions amongst armed factions. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as of November 2017, there are 601,300 internally displaced persons, and the total number of refugees is around 545,500, the highest since mid-2014. Extensive reports of SGBV, often used as a weapon of war by armed groups, and slavery have been documented; survivors report having been assaulted in their homes, during door-to-door raids, or as they fled the violence. In several cases, rapes were exacerbated by additional violence, including torture or killing of family members. Most survivors did not receive essential post-rape medical or mental health care until days or weeks later, if at all, due to non-functioning services, lack of knowledge about services, or lack of funds to pay for medical care and associated costs. It is imperative that human rights monitoring continues; that individuals and entities participating in acts that undermine peace, stability, and security in CAR are identified and brought to justice; and that survivors of physical and sexual violence receive adequate treatment. In its renewal of the mandate of the panel of experts (PoE), the Council should:
- Call for the collection and analysis of information on violations of human rights, including SGBV, exploitation and abuse by all parties, including targeting women and girls, through consultation with civil society organizations (CSOs) during field visits (S/RES/2122 (2013), OP 6) and briefings by the SRSG on Sexual violence in conflict & UN-Women (S/RES/1960 (2010), OP 7).
- Call for the inclusion of gender expertise in the PoE to support the consideration of gender as a cross-cutting issue across the work of the PoE and the Committee (S/RES/2242 (2015), OP 6).
- Call for the inclusion of information on the situation for women, including sex and age-disaggregated analysis of data collection, and gender analysis throughout all interim and annual reports.
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 continue to play in the Cypriot peace process and support efforts to ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in the on-going negotiations in the operative paragraphs of the UNFICYP mandate. Furthermore, references to the participation of civil society in the peace process must be strengthened (S/RES/2369 (2017), OP 4(d)) and include direct provisions for women’s CSOs. Additionally, 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.
In its examination of the situation in Iraq, the Security Council must call for accountability for the serious violation of human rights against all groups and by all sides, including, abduction and human trafficking, sexual slavery and other forms of SGBV by ISIL (Da’esh); and reports of beatings, unlawful detention and the sexual exploitation and abuse of alleged ISIL-affiliated families by Government forces and allied militias during and after military offensives. Further, the Council should ensure the Iraq investigative team (established under S/RES/2379 (2017)) is inclusive, and composed of impartial and independent experts who have extensive expertise in collecting, consolidating, preserving and analyzing evidence, particularly pertinent to SGBV. In the face of ongoing genocide against the Yazidi people (A/HRC/32/CRP.2), and possibly other ethnic minorities, the Council should also take immediate measures, in line with the UN Genocide Convention, to suppress any and all acts of genocide. The Council should call for the expansion of current documentation and reporting requirements to cover all gender-based crimes including crimes against women human rights defenders, LGBTQI persons, men and boys, and their persecution for defying ISIL prescribed gender roles. In this regard, the Council should request an update on the implementation of the UN-Iraq Joint Communiqué on the prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence. Recently an armed group raided a women’s shelter and kidnapped a member of their staff because of the lack of protection to NGOs that provide shelter. The Council should urge the Government to pass the draft Family Violence Protection law with proposed amendments from Iraqi women’s rights organizations, including provisions that clarify non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may provide shelters for women fleeing SGBV. Furthermore, the Council should call on the Government to immediately issue a directive to clarify that NGOs may provide such shelters while the draft law remains pending before the Iraqi Parliament.
The Security Council is expected to consider a report from the UN Secretary-General which reviews the gravity of the current and evolving threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) in multiple regions and provides an assessment of UN efforts to support Member States in countering ISIL (Da’esh). The report should integrate cross-cutting gender analysis, by detailing the way in which women, men, girls and boys are recruited, trained and employed by ISIL (Da’esh) and its associates throughout its operations, as well as subjected to a wide range of human rights violations. The report should also reverse the trend from previous reporting in which there were decreasing references to the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda, and provide comprehensive analysis and information on the wide range of international human rights abuses, including SGBV, slavery, abduction and human trafficking that are central to ISIL’s operations. With the fall of ISIS in countries such as Iraq, it is imperative that attention is paid to the impact of collective punishment. Additionally, the strategic-level analysis should include information and gender analysis on Member States’ and UN entities’ efforts to ensure the participation and leadership of women and women’s organizations in developing strategies to counter terrorism and violent extremism (S/RES/2242 (2015), OP 13), as well as future plans by UN entities to ensure women and women’s CSOs are integral to efforts to counter ISIL (Da’esh) at all levels. According to reports by OHCHR (A/HRC/32/CRP.2), there is evidence that acts committed by ISIL (Da’esh) could amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. As such, the report should also include recommendations for potential avenues for accountability and reiterate intentions to continue to forcefully fight impunity, recognizing that the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes committed against women and girls have been strengthened through the work of the International Criminal Court, ad hoc and mixed tribunals (S/RES/2242 (2015), OP 14). The report should also provide strategic-level recommendations for Member States and UN entities in international coalitions, particularly regarding the need to safely rescue the over one thousand women and girls still held captive.
In considering the report on UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), the Security Council should provide thorough information regarding the implementation of the mission’s strong WPS mandate, which calls for gender to be considered throughout its work. The report should also include analysis of the regional implementation of the WPS agenda and the mission’s collaboration with ECOWAS on a sub-regional plan of action on Resolution 1325 (2000). The report should also address any political and financial support provided or planned which builds the capacity of women leaders and CSOs in urban and rural areas to fully and regularly participate in peace and security discussions.