For May, in which Poland has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Somalia, Sudan (Abyei), Counterterrorism, and Protection of civilians.
In the forthcoming joint briefing by the counterterrorism committees, gender should be integrated as a crosscutting issue by all committees, insofar as women’s rights and principles of peacebuilding, which are the cornerstones of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda, are not compromised or undermined. With the support of CTED, committees should hold consultations with women and civil society actors, including women’s groups, in order to better understand the impacts of the counterterrorism agenda on local communities. Furthermore, emphasis should be put on participation and leadership of civil society actors, including women’s groups in ensuring human rights-compliant counterterrorism policies (S/RES/2395 (2017)). In taking a gender-sensitive approach to its work, the committees must recognize the impacts of counterterrorism efforts on women’s human rights and women’s organizations and ensure that they encourage Member States to protect WPS policies and programs so that they remain tools for achieving women’s rights as a standalone goal, rather than as a means to achieve national security objectives. As such, Member States should ensure efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism follow well-evidenced peacebuilding and human rights-based approaches, respect the rule of law and work from the basis that women’s rights and fundamental freedoms of all communities are the foundation of sustainable, genuine peace (S/RES/2395 (2017)). Member States must also guarantee that counterterrorism policies and programs are comprehensive and grounded in analysis of gendered power relations, and are fully funded without undermining WPS efforts.
In its discussion of the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and implementation of the 31 December 2016 Agreement, the Security Council should ensure it discusses women’s participation in political processes. The information provided by the Secretary-General on the extent to which women are engaged in implementing the political agreement has been non-existent in recent updates (S/2018/128, S/2017/963), despite the fact that women’s participation in the political process is repeatedly emphasized as imperative to ensuring a successful election, and should be addressed as part of broader efforts to implement the WPS agenda (CEDAW/C/COD/CO/6-7). Civil society organizations (CSOs), including women’s groups, have raised significant concerns regarding the newly signed electoral law, which contravenes the full parity enshrined in the Constitution and could result in indirect discrimination because of the associated fees and experience requirements. In addition, women faced several challenges when registering to vote, including documented cases of rape by national police force officers assigned to registration centers (S/2017/824). Accordingly, the Council should take steps to ensure women have access to polls on election day, this includes addressing security threats.
The Security Council will be considering the most recent report on the implementation of the mandate for the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). The report and any briefings should provide information on the implementation of WPS provisions in UNSMIL’s mandate (S/RES/2376 (2017), OP 4), as well as UNSMIL’s Action Plan for Libya. Updates regarding UNSMIL’s efforts to support the Government in ensuring women’s participation in the planning for future elections, electoral reform, democratic transition, national conferences, disarmament and arms control, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and peace processes, as well as efforts to engage with women’s CSOs and protect women’s rights (S/RES/2323 (2016); CEDAW/C/LBY/CO/5) should be provided. Further, the Council should call for information on Government efforts to curb the flow of small arms, including by ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and enforcing national laws and regulations.
In the expected open debate on protection of civilians (POC), the Council should ensure there is a gender-informed discussion on POC and reinforce the importance of women’s participation in all POC strategy development and activities. It is necessary that the Council ensure a gender perspective is integrated in all mandate renewals and resolutions, particularly by ensuring women’s participation in the design and implementation of specific strategies to protect civilians, as well as including gender-specific analysis to the definition of POC strategies and responses, including to acts of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA). Further, the Council should ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in all efforts to resolve and prevent conflict. This includes support for women’s participation in all peace and reconciliation processes – including access to formal processes and support for local initiatives, security sector reform; and disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation. The Council should:
- Urge humanitarian and development organizations, peace operations and other relevant staff to take action to prevent SEA, including vetting, robust pre-deployment and in-theatre awareness training and ensuring compliance.
- Ensure that gender-sensitive POC is done in cooperation with humanitarian actors and with respect for humanitarian principles and international human rights law. Humanitarian organizations must be able to access women to deliver services and assistance, and women must be able to move freely to access humanitarian services and assistance. Furthermore, full funding of the Humanitarian Response Plans for the countries in conflict, especially the Gender-based Violence (GBV) cluster, is of utmost importance.
- Encourage host Governments to develop and implement nationally owned multi-sectoral strategies for preventing and responding to SGBV including effective access to justice.
- Ensure peace operations and other UN missions are fully staffed – comprising appropriately graded gender advisers – and sufficiently resourced to fulfil the gendered elements of their mandates.
- Urge relevant regional and/or sub-regional bodies to develop and implement policies, activities and advocacy for the benefit of women and girls affected by armed conflict.
- Urge Member States to identify and regulate the influx of small arms and light weapons (SALW), including by establishing national mechanisms for rigorous, transparent, and gender-sensitive risk assessments of international transfers and export licenses, developed in full consultation with CSOs, and denying arms sales or transfers authorization wherein arms use risk contravening the ATT.
In its renewal of the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Council should call on the mission to prioritize efforts to mainstream gender across all activities and ensure full resourcing as the mission moves towards transitioning some responsibilities to the Government. This should include appointing gender experts, building capacity of staff on the matter, adequately funding strategies and activities to mainstream gender across the work of the mission, as well as delivering standalone gender objectives. The range of efforts undertaken by AMISOM to ensure police prevent violations and protect the rights of women and girls (S/2018/59) must be maintained and taken forward by the Government by working with clan leaders, and promoting women’s participation in clan structures and women’s access to formal and informal justice mechanisms. Further, any technical support provided by the mission on gender mainstreaming in the context of the review of the Constitution and implementation of the action plan on preventing violent extremism must be continued and strengthened. Finally, the Council must call on Somali authorities, AMISOM and United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) to ensure women and girls are protected from SGBV, including SEA (S/RES/2102 (2013), OP 11), by supporting the efforts of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to adopt the draft Sexual Offences Bill, which is the result of two years of consultation with key stakeholders.
In the mandate renewal of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), the Council should ensure UNISFA’s human rights monitoring mandate is gender-sensitive by expanding the existing mandate (S/RES/2386 (2017)) to include provisions which require UNISFA to specifically monitor women’s rights violations. Additionally, the Council should broaden its commitment to women’s participation, by providing concrete measures to promote the empowerment of women, supporting women’s participation in peace processes, including negotiations and reconciliation efforts, and ensuring women and women’s groups participate in prevention, protection, and rehabilitation efforts against SGBV (S/RES/2106 (2013), OP 1). In the context of its efforts to strengthen inter-communal relationships, UNISFA should support women’s participation in implementation of all agreements and other reconciliation efforts.