In June, the Council is expected to receive the quarterly report on developments in Afghanistan, as per OP 42 of SCR 1974. Given that the situation for women in Afghanistan remains highly insecure, the report should identify what national and international measures are now necessary to better prevent and respond to attacks on women, and bring perpetrators to justice. In view of the ongoing efforts at reintegration and reconciliation, the Council must ensure that human rights, in particular women’s rights, are not sacrificed in efforts to reach a political solution to the ongoing violence.
In light of the UNOCI mandate renewal due on 30 June, the Council is urged to give particular consideration to the rights of women across all areas of its mandate, and to ensure peacekeeping forces prioritize their protection. The Council should:
- Insist that the government, the UN system and Member States actively include women in discussions on restoring stability;
- Request information about the status of women, including those who may be targeted for ethnic and/or political violence, and refugee and internally displaced women who have been subjected to gender-specific violence;
- Ensure justice for the crimes under international law committed by any side, including sexual or gender-based crimes;
- Support the International Commission of Inquiry created by the Human Rights Council and the office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, including by urging all relevant actors to grant investigators full access to all relevant documents, evidence and persons; and demand that those cooperating with the investigations are protected from reprisals;
- Support the creation of a program for immediate and effective assistance to victims of gender-based violence, in particular to ensure that victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence have access to appropriate health services;
- Urge the UN to thoroughly assess continuing protection needs with a view to redeploy peacekeepers in certain areas where reprisals and other violence against civilians may be ongoing, and to evaluate and publish an assessment of the role played by UNOCI in the post-28 November 2010 events, in order to draw lessons on how the UN could better contribute to the protection of civilians, in particular women, in similar situations in the future.
In the mandate renewal for MONUSCO, the Security Council must maintain protection of civilians as a top priority. The relevant women, peace and security elements of the mandate include:
- Mandating MONUSCO leadership to hire a full-time protection of civilians information analyst to consolidate the analysis from the provincial capitals of Goma, Bukavu and Bunia and identify mission-level protection needs and trends. Additionally, the MONUSCO Provincial-level Senior Management Groups on Protection should develop a information collection system to capture that allows for analysis and action while ensuring the safety of mission staff and of the civilians providing information;
- Supporting adequate funding for additional CLA posts, as well as additional provincial-level posts, to support the training and management of staff and to provide critical logistical and administrative support to the CLA program;
- Encouraging Member States to increase resources to successful protection mechanisms such as the Joint Protection Teams, CLAs and Community Alert Networks to better respond to community protection concerns. Many of these mechanisms have proved useful, but in some areas MONUSCO lacks the capacity to expand them further or utilize the information they have provided;
- Mandating more robust patrolling by peacekeepers, including foot patrols, escorts to fields and the use of all-terrain vehicles, especially in LRA areas.
In the forthcoming report on rule of law, appropriate considerations regarding women, peace and security include: abolishing laws and practices that discriminate against women and pose obstacles to their full and equal participation in conflict prevention, resolution, and peace-building; strengthening national and international justice mechanisms to effectively investigate and prosecute, in line with international human rights standards, suspected perpetrators of crimes against women, in particular those amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity. This report might also appropriately refer to the work of the newly-constituted Team of Experts mandated by SCR 1888, and their work to strengthen capacity in national justice systems.
Darfur / South Sudan / Sudan
Sudan faces large-scale human rights and humanitarian needs. The successor mission to UNMIS must prioritize these needs with an effective UN presence in both North and South Sudan. In the South particularly, civilians have been victims of increasing intra-South violence and LRA attacks, and the new peacekeeping mandate must ensure the protection of these civilians. Currently, GOSS alone does not have the capacity to meet these security challenges, and it is likely that the SPLA will increasingly become involved in the worsening south-south violence. When considering the new mandate/mission for UN presence in Sudan, emphasis must be given to effective means to engage women. Specific attention and targeted action to address the safety of women must be included at every stage of the design and implementation of a new mission, including in the mandate, training, and inclusion of expert personnel; in protection strategies and plans of action; and improved engagement with women at the community level. In its discussions on Sudan, the Security Council should:
- Make protection of civilians a priority by ensuring that the mission has the resources and assets to effectively implement the mandate that it is given, and requesting systematic reporting on protection of civilian threats and incidents, covering key violations, as well as the actions taken to address protection threats, and how the protection situation changes over time;
- Support a strong human rights monitoring system;
- Request systematic reporting on threats and incidents of violence against civilians, including sexual violence;
- Prioritize the prevention of violence against civilians, with a focus on SPLA, militia and LRA violations;
- Ensure the mission has appropriate structure, human resources and assets, including sufficient numbers of civilian and military personnel; appropriate assets to deter and respond to threats; and improved information gathering and analysis capacity;
- Ensure UN support for coordinating security sector and justice reform and collaborative activities with national security forces actors, and the promotion of compliance with international laws and standards by the security sector and the judiciary.
Regarding South Sudan’s constitution, women must be included in the drafting process, and the protection of women’s rights must be enshrined in the final constitution. The new government should also ratify CEDAW without reservations.
Regarding Darfur, efforts should be increased to end the ongoing impunity for rape by security forces in the context of renewed fighting between government and rebels, and perpetrators should be brought to justice.
Given that conflict-related violence against women is often committed through the use or threat of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), the Security Council should continue to follow up on relevant recommendations in the Secretary General’s recent report on small arms (S/2011/255). In addition, 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.