When considering the report on the liquidation phase of the UN Mission in Chad and CAR (MINURCAT), the Council is again urged to review the barriers faced in gathering information on the ground, including specific information on the status of women. The Council should remain actively seized of the situation in Chad and CAR, and put in place a mechanism to effectively monitor the Chadian government’s implementation of its protection commitments. The Council is urged to support the creation of a fully-mandated field office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Chad. The office should be well-resourced in order to monitor human rights and rule of law activities effectively, and to ensure victims’ access to justice and that perpetrators do not enjoy impunity. The office must maintain a strong presence in the eastern part of the country.
In implementing SCR 1975 (2011), and in light of the UN Mission (UNOCI) mandate renewal due in 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:
- Request information about the status of women including those targeted for political violence, and refugee and internally displaced women who have been subjected to gender-specific violence.
- Ensure there is no impunity for the crimes under international law committed by any side;
- Support the International Commission of Inquiry created by the UN Human Rights Council, and link these investigations with the work of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction to investigate crimes under international law committed in Cote d’Ivoire;
- Support all UN entities to work with the government to strengthen, and more effectively coordinate, mechanisms to protect women and girls from gender-based violence;
- Insist that the government, the UN system and member states actively include women in discussions on restoring stability;
- Ensure humanitarian assistance reaches the thousands of people in the Blolequin bush area who lack adequate food/shelter.
In 37 years of formal peace processes in Cyprus, women have been all but invisible. The Secretary-General is scheduled to report to the Council in June both on progress (or the lack thereof) in the peace process and the peacekeeping operation. In November 2010, the Secretary-General called for the two sides to heed the recommendations of the Gender Advisory Team (GAT). The GAT is still awaiting a response from the negotiating teams of the two communities. As the Council considers the UN’s role in Cyprus, it ought to urge that any future UN presence promotes the involvement of women in peacekeeping, peacemaking and peace-building efforts on the island.
Eastern DRC continues to be characterized by widespread violence against civilians, perpetrated by both government forces and militias, and large-scale displacement. As per SCR 1925 (2010), the Secretary-General is due to present his final report to the Council by 13 May 2011, prior to the expiration of the mandate of MONUSCO (30 June 2011). This report should detail any progress on the ground “with a view of progressively adapting” the UN presence in the DRC, and strengthening the recent efforts of the mission to better protect civilians, including the Joint Protection Teams and Community Liaison Initiatives. Currently, a lack of resources limits their impact. In light of continuing attacks on civilians, including the persistently high levels of sexual violence against women and girls, and the failure to ensure justice, the Council must not introduce any changes in the MONUSCO mandate that would jeopardize the protection of civilians. and the effective application of relevant tactics employed by the Mission, that are showing some promise. These tactics should be expanded, not curtailed.
As the Council discusses the termination of the Development Fund for Iraq, it should ensure the inclusion of issues of particular concern for women are fundamental to the investment of future export sales of petroleum products. In addition, as political transition continues in Iraq, the Council should support Iraq’s implementation the principle of non-discrimination (embodied in Article 1 of CEDAW, ratified by Iraq in 1986), which prohibits the exclusion of women in political life. UNAMI, the Government, and the Council of Representatives should create an independent High Commission for Human Rights (HCHR) in Iraq, mandated by Article 102 of the Iraqi constitution in 2005.
The Council made the protection of civilians the priority of its action on Libya. Such prioritization is welcome and must continue. The Council is urged also to demonstrate a due level of concern with regard to other crises in the Middle East and North Africa. The Council should request regular briefings on peace and security throughout the region. In light of the extensive human rights abuses, including attacks on peaceful protestors and other civilians in countries such as Bahrain, Syria and Yemen, the Council should give due attention to: respect for human rights, particularly the rights of women who are peacefully demanding change; bringing to justice perpetrators suspected of crimes, including gender-based crimes; and ensuring that necessary measures are being taken to secure the participation of women in political and electoral processes.
The Security Council is expected to hold an Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians (PoC). In view of persistent and new attacks on civilians in situations relevant to the Council’s mandate, the Council needs to systematically use the Aide Memoire on PoC (S/PRST/2010/25) in order to improve its analysis and response. The Aide Memoire highlights primary objectives for Council action, including to protect women, and to ensure their participation in the prevention and resolution of armed conflict. Additionally, the Council should ensure mission reporting includes disaggregated data by sex, and that strategies and operation plans articulate the different protection needs and responses of women and men. The Council should also ensure its own experts in the informal PoC group are familiar with the relevant elements of Women, Peace and Security resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888, 1889 and 1960, and their practical application.
The report of the panel of experts appointed by the Secretary-General to advise him on accountability in Sri Lanka was finally published on 25 April. Among its findings, the experts list credible allegations, not yet investigated by the government, of gender-based violence in official camps set up in the final days of the conflict and during the resettlement process. Absent were special measures to address the needs of war-affected women, including widows, single-women headed households, wives and mothers of the detained and disappeared, survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, female former combatants. Given the allegations of serious violations by the government and the LTTE, and the report’s recommendation that the Secretary-General establish an independent international mechanism to monitor Sri Lankan accountability efforts and conduct its own investigation, the Council is urged to consider the report with a view to establishing the independent international mechanism envisaged by the panel of experts.
During Security Council missions, Council members should always meet with women’s human rights defenders (1325, OP15; reaffirmed in 1889, OP14). The Council should also ensure that every country report and mandate renewal evaluates 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 (OP 6, 13). Member States should inquire about any lack of such reporting.