More than a year after political violence in which more than 100 were killed and sexual violence was widely used as a tactic of political oppression, violence continues to mar elections in Guinea. Demonstrations in late October in Conakry were characterized by excessive use of force by government security forces, resulting in one death and more than 60 injured, including some with gunshot wounds. The Council should ensure it supports all efforts to ensure these elections are fair and free of violence, particularly given the previous political violence that has been perpetrated against women.
The Myanmar government will hold its first elections in 20 years on 7 November 2010 against a backdrop of persistent political repression and systematic violence that has been repeatedly reported on and condemned by the UN, including the Security Council. There are more than 2,200 political prisoners in Myanmar, including women such as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Mie Mie, and Su Su Nway, despite continued UN calls to release them. The UN Secretary-General has reported on sexual violence and other crimes against women in Myanmar (S/2009/362), and the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar has reiterated that the UN, including the Security Council, can establish a commission of inquiry into crimes against humanity (A/65/368). The Council is therefore urged to:
- Immediately express its concern regarding the upcoming elections, including the restriction of free speech and the cracking down on those in Myanmar supporting the calls for the release of political prisoners.
- Request regular briefings on Myanmar and respond accordingly. Such briefings should consider, inter alia, any action, or lack thereof, by the Myanmar government to release women political prisoners; ensure justice including full reparations for survivors of gender crimes; and repeal or amend domestic legislation, including the 2008 Constitution, to ensure compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law.
- Consider the establishment of an international commission of inquiry, to investigate reports of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Myanmar by all parties, and to identify the perpetrators of such violations to ensure that those responsible for these crimes are brought to justice.
In November, the Security Council is expected to receive a report from the Secretary-General and hold an Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians. The Council should regularly use the Aide-Memoire on the protection of civilians (PRST 2009/1), which highlights objectives for Council action specifically to protect women, and to ensure their participation in the prevention and resolution of armed conflict. Additional women, peace and security entry points for the Council include:
- Promote gender parity as a critical element of its ongoing commitments to mediation and peaceful settlement of disputes
- Take forward relevant indicators as contained in the report of the SG (S/2010/498) for use in tracking Resolution 1325
- Ensure implementation of resolution 1894 includes disaggregated data by sex, and that strategies and operation plans articulate the different protection needs and responses of women and men.
- Ensure its own experts in the informal group on Protection of Civilians is familiar with the relevant elements of Women, Peace and Security resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889 and their practical application.
Darfur / South Sudan / Sudan
The Council is expected to discuss a number of issues regarding the situation in Sudan, including preparations for the referenda, the situation in Darfur and progress of the Doha peace talks. In any action it takes, including in any outcome document, the Council is urged to:
- Request a report from UNMIS on preparations and actions taken to protect women and girls during the registration and campaign periods leading up to the Southern and Abyei referenda.
- Ensure that women are being meaningfully engaged in pre- and post-referendum discussions, that consultations with women are being prioritized, and that participation of women representatives in talks is being stressed.
- Stress the importance of strong support for women’s participation in the Popular Consultation processes in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states.
- Request information on actions taken around the protection of women and women’s participation in the upcoming elections in Southern Kordofan State.
- Stress to the Chief Mediator and the Joint Mediation Support Team that concrete action should be taken to ensure women’s substantive participation in the Doha talks.
- For Doha, the Security Council should request that the texts of the agreement currently being discussed are reviewed by a senior gender expert, potentially provided by the UN Mediation Support Unit.
The Security Council is preparing for a mission to Timor-Leste at the end of November. As per the Security Council’s stated intention in SCR 1325 OP15, this mission should include meeting with women’s rights organizations. Specifically, local 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 Timor-Leste.
In October 2010, the Security Council marked the 10th Anniversary of resolution 1325 by adopting presidential statement S/PRST/2010/22 at the Open Debate on 25th October, 2010. At this debate, more than 70 Member States gave statements, many of which included commitments to implementing the resolution, and urged the Council to take steps to do the same. As recent research shows, and the Council acknowledges, full implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda necessitates a systematic and comprehensive approach. As the Council continues its work after the 10th Anniversary, it should strongly support the use of the global indicators on women, peace and security; it should establish and utilize good practice on Women, Peace and Security for all options in the Security Council toolbox; and it should continue to follow up on its requests in previous resolutions, including those in resolutions 1888 and 1889, particularly regarding ensuring accountability for violations of relevant international law.