In its discussions of the expected report on the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB), the Security Council should follow-up on the May 2012 visit of the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights to Burundi to push for justice for survivors of crimes, including crimes of sexual violence. The Council should express concern that a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in line with international standards, has not yet been established. The Security Council should reinforce the importance of establishing justice mechanisms for past crimes, including a Special Tribunal, and pay particular attention to the protection of victims and witnesses, including survivors of sexual violence.
The Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN mission in Cote d’Ivoire. Recent violence in Cote d’Ivoire has compounded the challenges of continued impunity and the lack of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs. In its renewal of the UNOCI mandate, the Council should:
- Ensure it strongly supports the urgent implementation of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs;
- Mandate UNOCI to strongly support effective efforts against sexual violence, in both preventive actions, training of police and judicial actors, sensitizing the local population, and in the provision of services to survivors; and
- In the context of combatting impunity, ensure support for reforming the security sector and judicial sectors.
In its consideration of the expected report and discussion of the expected mandate renewal of the United Nations mission in Iraq (UNAMI), the Security Council should ensure women’s rights are central to addressing increasing concerns regarding the current security situation. The report should include significant information, analysis, and recommendations on challenges facing women in electoral processes, both as candidates and voters; progress made in ensuring participation of Iraqi women in national reconciliation efforts; and progress made to enhance Iraqi women’s access to justice. The Council should ensure the mandate reflects support for:
- Women’s substantive engagement in all political solutions and decision-making regarding security and security policy;
- Legal reforms that reflect the rights of women, and that are designed to ensure women’s access to justice, including provision of legal assistance;
- Provisions for programs to protect women and girls from violence against women, including sexual violence;
- Women’s access to physical and mental health services;
- Women’s access to employment and economic opportunities; and
- Appropriate training for all security sector actors, including police, on responses to violence against women.
In its expected report and renewal of the mandate of UNMISS, the Security Council should ensure the current provisions on women’s empowerment in the mandate are strengthened, particularly in ensuring women participate in all aspects of constitution building and political work, and in all negotiations underway to resolve current crises. A key step would be supporting the development and implementation of a National Action Plan on WPS. In addition, the Council should:
- Ensure the protection component of UNMISS’s mandate is supported, and is resourced to provide protection to the South Sudanese population;
- Ensure DDR programs comprehensively support women associated with armed forces; and include in these efforts a comprehensive approach to mine action, and to dealing with the scourge of small arms and light weapons;
- Ensure concerted humanitarian support and training to the large number of returnees, both those in South Sudan and in preparation for those who are likely to return;
- Support the revision of South Sudan’s legal framework, particularly in ensuring that women have true access to justice, including in crimes of sexual violence and domestic violence, and in the interim ensure measures are taken to provide that access to justice for women;
- Ensure support for coordination of funding, development, and capacity building initiatives by the international community, particularly by mandating funding targets for women’s education/literacy, economic development, and agricultural engagement, as detailed in recommendations for the 2011 South Sudan International Engagement Conference;
- Particular attention in this development work should be paid to supporting traditionally underserved populations, including women with disabilities and rural women;
- Specifically request that the Secretary-General’s regular report on UNMISS include comprehensive sex-disaggregated data, analysis, and recommendations; and
- In line with a number of such measures the UNSC has supported, ensure that there are provisions for crucial and long-term support to civil society, particularly women’s rights organizations, and ensure that UNMISS is mandated to engage with and support the South Sudanese people, including in rural areas.
The violence in Syria continues to worsen as the civilian population continues to be killed, tortured, and their rights violated, including through ongoing arbitrary arrests and detentions. Civilians, including civilian women and children, trying to flee from Syria, are reportedly being shot indiscriminately on the border with Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon. Syrian government forces have used sexual violence to torture men, women, and boys detained during the current conflict. Soldiers and pro-government shabiha militia members have reportedly sexually abused women and girls as young as 12 during home raids and military sweeps of residential areas. These reports indicate that no action has been taken to investigate or punish government forces and shabiha who commit acts of sexual violence or to prevent them from committing such acts in the future. The Security Council should demand that the Syrian government grant the UN Human Rights Council-mandated Commission of Inquiry and the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) unrestricted access to places of detention to monitor abuses. UNSMIS should include among its personnel people trained to identify gender-based violence and other gender-specific human rights violations. In accordance with 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 this package of services. The UN Security Council should:
- In accordance with the Annan Plan, demand that the Syrian government grant humanitarian assistance providers access to “all areas affected by the fighting” so that they can provide assistance to those affected by sexual violence;
- Impose an arms embargo on Syria;
- Impose targeted sanctions against Syrian leaders implicated in human rights violations, following a fair and transparent process; and
- Refer Syria to the International Criminal Court ICC.
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) and 1960 (OP 6, 13). Member States should inquire about any lack of such reporting.