The situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) continues to worsen, with civilians bearing the brunt of the conflict, and with human rights violations and abuses in the country amounting to possible war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Council should support the deployment of gender and women protection advisers as recently advocated for in the SC by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, as well as 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. As the Council receives a revised version of preliminary report of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) established to investigate violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in CAR, the specific violations targeting women should be discussed and make sure that the Commission has all the resources and technical support it needs to conclude its work. In particular, the Council should make sure that the Secretary-General speedily appoints the third Commissioner who is now missing. Council members should urge the UN Secretariat to speed up preparations for the full deployment of MINUSCA, which is to take over from MISCA on September 15. In particular, the Council should insist that all possible support is given to MISCA in order both to facilitate its protection of civilians’ activities in the transition period, as well as to better prepare those troops that will be part of MINUSCA.
The expected report and mandate renewal on the UN mission in Iraq (UNAMI) should hold women’s human rights central to addressing increasing concerns regarding the current crisis. With nearly 5,000 civilians killed and according to OCHA, over 650,000 persons displaced over the past six months, the mandate should stress the protection of civilians, and have specific considerations for women and girls. The Council should ask specific questions of briefers to elicit sex and age disaggregated data as well as a gender analysis of information supplied on situations of detention, and humanitarian access, including for Syrian refugees and should reflect this information in the mandate. The Council should also request, and act on, information, analysis, and recommendations addressing the challenges facing women in political processes; highlighting advances in ensuring participation of Iraqi women in national reconciliation efforts; and detailing any progress made to enhance Iraqi women’s access to justice.
In the Council’s expected deliberations on the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) as well as the situation generally, Council members should ask specific questions regarding protection, including PSEA and displaced populations, and the participation of women in peace processes. The UN estimates that the violence has claimed at least 10,000 civilian lives and left more than 1,000,000 displaced since mid-December with fewer than 10% residing in the protection of civilian (PoC) areas. As per SCR 2122 (2013), the Council should;
- Respond to women’s protection concerns by insisting on safe access to latrines and food distribution, and improved availability of basic hygienic supplies, and reproductive health services in camps.
- Encourage the IGAD Special Envoys to push the opposing parties to continue its commitment to stakeholder participation, particularly of women, in the ongoing political talks and in the formation of the transitional government of national unity;
- Encourage the IGAD Special Envoys to ensure gender sensitization training is provided for all members of the Monitoring and Verification Teams and to mandate at least 50% of the community liaisons appointed to the Monitoring and Verification Teams are women.
As per SCR 2155 (2014), the Council should:
- Ensure UNMISS is adequately and appropriately resourced to implement its recently renewed mandate in an impartial, neutral, and gender sensitive manner;
- Ensure UNMISS devises a plan to effectively provide protection to MVTs, per the renewed mandate, that considers the safety of citizens, especially women, in reporting violations of the CoH;
- Encourage UNMISS to remain committed to the full and effective participation of women at all levels in the peacemaking process;
- Urge UNMISS to strengthen its engagement with communities in a safe and respectful manner, specifically women, and take full measures to guarantee compliance with the UN zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse;
- Ensure transparency around resources and troops available for the PoC areas so that humanitarians can mobilize sufficient resources to fill gaps based on needs; and
- Improve clarity of decision making processes and roles and responsibilities of units in the PoC areas to speed up delivery of services by humanitarians and clarify the division of tasks between humanitarians and UNMISS in the PoC.
Abyei / South Sudan / Sudan
The Council is expected to consider a report for the UN mission in Abyei (UNISFA). The Council must ensure effective implementation of the human rights monitoring mandate in accordance with SCR 1990 (2011) and reinforce and expand upon the critical language in SCR 2126 (2013), which emphasizes “the importance of the full participation of women in the implementation of the agreements and in the prevention and resolution of conflict and peacebuilding more broadly.” There should be continued follow-up regarding gender training for security forces, and the status of senior gender expertise for UNISFA. The Council is strongly urged to call on the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan to resume the implementation of the Cooperation Agreements. As per SCR 2122 (2013), the Council should call for the full representation of women in all aspects of these cross-border agreements, including as chairs and members of committees, and as part of all implementation mechanisms. Of particular importance as it relates to the crisis in South Sudan, the Council should urge the Government of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan to:
- Fully implement the four freedoms included in the Cooperation Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the Other State and Related Matters between the Republic of the Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan.
- Facilitate the work of civil society organizations to provide humanitarian aid to refugees in border areas. Of critical priority, the Council should encourage the Government of Sudan to implement a national dialogue process that is inclusive and representative of the country. The Council should highlight the importance of embedding mechanisms for civil society inclusion and consultation in the design of the national dialogue, particularly regarding women’s participation as reaffirmed in SCR 2122 (2013).
The Council is expected to remain engaged on the situation in Syria. Rather than implementing the resolution, parties to the conflict are in many cases preventing necessary humanitarian services, and the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, with the civilian population continuing to be subjected to a broad range of human rights violations. The refugee crisis in neighboring countries also continues to worsen. The humanitarian community must continue to appropriately meet the specific needs of refugees created by the non-camp settings, where over 85% of refugees reside. Without adequate service provision and support services, displaced women and girls’, particularly those with disabilities and those separated from their families, remain at greater risk of GBV and of not being able to meet their basic needs. In addition to following up on SCR 2139 (2014), the Council should call for the implementation of SCR 2122 (2013) by applying effective measures to ensure women’s participation in all political efforts to resolve this conflict, including the inclusion of women mediators in the next rounds of peace talks, assigning capable gender advisers to mediators, and a better involvement of grassroots women groups and civil society representatives with a clear and meaningful role in the negotiations.
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.