The Council is expected to discuss the reports of the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and EUFOR/NATO. Little progress has been made in BiH to prosecute those responsible for torture during the war, particularly for acts involving sexual violence, and there has been insufficient acknowledgment of the continuing consequences of this abuse. The Security Council should call on BiH to: take concrete steps to ensure services are accessible to survivors of sexual violence; provide financial and other practical measures to NGOs which can deliver support to survivors; ensure participation of all relevant stakeholders in the development of the State Programme for Victims of Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond, and state level discussions aimed at adopting the BiH Law on the Rights of Victims of Torture and Civilian Victims of War and the BiH Strategy for Transitional Justice.
The Council should ensure that the expected report on in its mission in the region (UNOCA), and developments related to addressing the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army, addresses the rights and concerns of women across all sectors of UNOCA’s focus, including efforts to strengthen mediation, early warning and conflict prevention, and justice and security sector reform.
The Council’s expected debate on counterterrorism, including a joint briefing by the chairs of the Counter-terrorism committees, should specifically address how the committees are ensuring that counter-terrorism measures by UN bodies and Member States comply with international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, particularly regarding gender considerations. Council members should ask what steps are being taken to ensure that counterterrorism measures do not hinder gender equality, and urge Member States to include human rights components in their relevant reporting.
The Security Council is expected to renew and extend the mandate of the Group of Experts (GoE) on DRC sanctions. The Council should ensure that, per SCR 1952 (2010) (OP 13), the UN mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) is sharing all relevant information with the GoE, especially information on violations of women’s human rights, and highlight the links between the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons and the occurrence of sexual and gender-based violence. The Security Council is expected to consider MONUSCO’s report, which will include information on SSR, elections support, and DDR, which in previous reports have not included requisite women, peace and security analysis. The Council should enquire as to any such gaps in the current report, particularly as the Council will be discussing benchmarks for measuring progress in the areas of SSR and DDR.
The expected report on the UN mission in Iraq (UNAMI) should hold women’s human rights central to addressing increasing concerns regarding the current security situation. The report should include information, analysis, and recommendations on challenges facing women in electoral processes, both as candidates and voters; progress made in ensuring participation of Iraqi women in national reconciliation efforts; and progress made to enhance Iraqi women’s access to justice. Further, the report should provide information on progress in developing national strategies on SCR 1325, such as a National Action Plan.
The expected report on the UN mission in Libya (UNSMIL) should include information on women’s full and equal participation the political process, reconciliation, and reconstruction efforts. The Security Council should press the Libyan Congress to ensure accountability for serious and ongoing crimes. The Council should be fully briefed on the findings of the investigation into civilian casualties caused by NATO air strikes following the military operation in Libya. In the update from the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the Council should follow up on the status of those implicated in reports of sexual and gender-based violence used by Colonel al-Gaddafi’s regime as a tool of repression, and to voice support for essential health services for survivors.
The expected report on the situation in Mali should reflect the progress and barriers on women’s participation in conflict prevention, mediation, and empowerment, and the cessation of human rights abuses, including sexual and gender-based violence, all as per SCRs 2056 & 2071. Any authorization of a military force to intervene in Mali must be accompanied by the mandating of a UN human rights presence, including strong gender expertise, to independently monitor the adherence of all parties to the conflict to international humanitarian and human rights law. This mandate must include public and regular reporting to the Security Council on findings and recommendations. Any such international force or Malian security forces must be subjected to strict vetting procedures.
The Security Council’s discussion on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, should focus on the reduction of indiscriminate attacks harming civilians in both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and on upholding accountability for violations of human rights and crimes under international law. The discussion should include the role of women in the peace process, ensuring women’s equal participation in elections, and ending violence targeting women and girls.
In its expected debate on the issue of piracy, the Council and other Member States are encouraged to discuss the negative impact of piracy on women, specifically in regards to socio-economic ramifications, the role piracy plays in fueling crime, including trafficking of drugs, arms, and people, and the general insecurity created by the presence of piracy in the region.
The Council will likely be briefed by the Head of the UN office in Sierra Leone, UNIPSIL, and the Chair of the PBC in order to discuss elections planned for November. Before, during, and after the elections, there should be particular emphasis on women’s safe and full participation. Any support to Sierra Leone and monitoring of the security situation surrounding the elections 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.
In its discussion of the report on the AU mission in Somalia, (AMISOM), the Council should reiterate the imperative for all armed actors to protect civilians, including women and girls, in full compliance with international humanitarian law, and, in its review of the forthcoming report, inquire into information and analysis regarding women’s full participation in all efforts to find a political solution to the ongoing armed violence. Council members should follow-up on the establishment of a gender unit within the Somali Police Force. The expected report from the Emergency Relief Coordinator in Somalia should include specific information on the situation for women, including on the flow of small arms, which often fuel violations of women’s human rights.
Abyei / South Sudan / Sudan
The Council is expected to renew the mandate and receive a report on the UN mission in Abyei (UNISFA). The mandate should include specific language on women’s role in political solutions to the ongoing crisis; gender dimensions of the humanitarian situation; and specific gender language regarding human rights monitoring. The report on the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) should include gender analysis, inter alia in the areas of SSR, rule of law, peacebuilding and implementation of peacebuilding benchmarks. Humanitarian concerns should be central, and the mission should provide specific information on efforts to address violations of women’s rights, including sexual violence, and addressing impunity for these crimes. The South Sudan Human Rights Commission and the UNMISS human rights team must fulfill their commitment to investigate inter-communal violence in Jonglei, and make their reports and recommendations public. UNMISS should mobilize necessary resources, particularly dedicated senior gender expertise, to ensure protection of civilians and to prevent human rights violations against local communities. The mission should ensure any support to the SPLA and the government during civilian disarmament is in line with UNMISS’ mandate to protect civilians and with the UN Human Rights Due Diligence Policy on support to non-UN security forces. In its consideration of the report on the status of negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan, Council members should enquire as to women’s full representation in these negotiations, and women’s rights and priorities in the outcomes of the negotiations.
The Security Council will hold its final debate on the UN mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), prior to the drawdown of the mission. The Council should encourage Timor-Leste and UN entities to continue efforts to support the full and equal participation of women in political, economic, and social spheres; and further ensure that UN entities in the country maintain a strong human rights monitoring presence with gender expertise throughout 2012 and beyond any end to UNMIT’s mandate. The Security Council should insist on accountability for crimes under international law committed in 1999 and during the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste.
The Council is expected to hold the open debate on SCR 1325, postponed from its original October date. Impunity remains the norm for violations of women’s human rights in conflict situations; women’s human rights defenders face particular risks in conflict; and women are still largely excluded from peace processes, which all too often are not informed by gender expertise. The Council is not incorporating gender perspectives consistently in its regular work, and necessary gender analysis in reporting is inconsistent. All Member States are urged to detail concrete, measurable steps they will take to redress these implementation deficits.
Special Adviser and UN Envoy Jamal Benomar will update on the situation Yemen. The Council should request information on and support women’s full engagement in all efforts at national dialogue and reconciliation, and should press for an independent international investigation into serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law committed by all sides.