There are several key events regarding Afghanistan scheduled for June.
- The planned Peace Jirga has been once again postponed, and is now scheduled for early June. Concerns regarding representation persist: the Peace Jirga must reflect Afghan society, particularly the representation of women and minority groups, and the inclusion of their rights and concerns on the agenda.
- The Afghanistan UNAMA country report is due in the Security Council this month. Previous reports have not adequately reflected the serious barriers women face when attempting to assert their rights to participate in all aspects of economic and political life in Afghanistan, nor have these reports included sufficient recommendations for removing these barriers. In particular, Council Members should inquire into any lack of information and analysis on violations of women’s rights.
- The Security Council is scheduling a mission to Afghanistan in late June. As per the Security Council’s stated intention in SCR 1325 OP15, this mission should include meeting with women’s rights organizations. Specifically, both local and international women’s rights defenders should be substantively consulted during the mission, and their concerns are reflected in the mission report and in future Security Council action in Afghanistan.
Elections are being held in Burundi between May and September, and early reports of violence raise concerns that these elections will not further consolidate peace in the country. Any support given to Burundi and monitoring of the security situation surrounding the elections there should include specific information and analysis on the particular risks and dangers faced by women seeking to assert their electoral prerogatives. Special attention should be given to ensuring access to justice for victims of political violence, including women.
As the Security Council prepares to discuss the most recent report on Children and Armed Conflict, monitoring and reporting efforts on the three thematic areas of Children and Armed Conflict, Protection of Civilians, and Women, Peace and Security should be complementary and should avoid duplication. This includes:
- Strengthening cooperation with and involvement of local and international NGOs at both field and HQ levels to ensure that reporting efforts on violations against children, women and civilians are complementary;
- Ensure that all gender advisors, HIV/AIDS advisors, child protection advisors and independent human rights monitors at the field level work closely with all monitoring and reporting structures;
- Request that the UN country teams and UN entities cooperate closely with national and international NGOs and women’s groups at the local level on all protection areas. Greater involvement of NGOs will guarantee strengthened protection of children, women and civilians.
Elections are planned for late June in Guinea, the next step in moving towards greater respect for the rule of law after decades of authoritarian and often oppressive rule. These elections must be fair and free, and once installed, the new administration must take concrete steps to ensure those responsible for the brutal September 2009 attacks on opposition supporters – in which more than 150 were killed and over 100 women raped by security forces- are held accountable.
As the Council will hear from a range of actors regarding developments in Sudan, it is vital that Council members are apprised of and inquire into the meaningful engagement of women in all peace and stability efforts, notably the Comprehensive Peace Process. It is also vital that Council members address the lack of accountability for crimes against women in Sudan, including the failure to implement International Criminal Court arrest warrants.
In June, DPKO, UNIFEM, DPA, UNDP are collaborating to support a Global Open Day, which will see most UN missions’ leadership meeting with representatives from women’s rights organizations, providing UN Special Representatives with the opportunity to hear directly from women, and to substantively incorporate women’s rights and concerns in mission planning. Such meetings should be regularly held in all UN missions, and the recommendations from these consultations should be meaningfully incorporated in specific policy decisions.
In Presidential Statement PRST/2010/8, the Council indicated its intent to take action on the proposed indicators on SCR 1325 (as requested in OP17 of SCR 1889) on the 10th Anniversary of SCR 1325. The final set of indicators must be comprehensive and meaningful, and the Council must ensure it institutes an effective system of monitoring and accountability.