The Council is expected to discuss the reports of the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and EUFOR/NATO. Political obstacles and lack of resources continue to impede the process of investigating and prosecuting crimes under international law, including crimes of sexual violence. There has been insufficient acknowledgment of the continuing consequences of this abuse. The Security Council should call on the Special Representative to incorporate a gender perspective in regards to the training and capacity building within the EU mission, and gender considerations should be mainstreamed throughout all areas of the High Representative’s work. 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 that can deliver support to survivors; and 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. Finally, the Security Council should call upon BiH to implement the SCR 1325 NAP adopted in 2010.
The situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) continues to worsen, and civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict and the absence of rule of law in the country. On 10 October, the Security Council updated and reinforced the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) through the adoption of resolution 2121 (2013). However, to implement the new mandate, the Mission will need considerable extra resources in order to “monitor, help investigate and report to the Council” on any abuses or violations of international human rights or humanitarian law committed anywhere in the country. In order to do this, there must be gender advisers, and deployment of women protection advisers and child protection advisers, to focus on violations and abuses committed against children and women, including all forms of sexual violence in armed conflict, as stated in SCR 2121 (2013). The Council should ensure these extra resources are forthcoming and maintained moving forward in order to ensure women are not only protected, but their participation in any peace process, as well as peacebuilding efforts and future elections, is supported to the fullest extent. The Security Council should be ready to swiftly consider the options to be presented by the Secretary-General for MISCA to allow for this force to deploy in adequate numbers and with the necessary training, resources and capacity to protect civilians from harm, with the strict application of the UN Human Rights Due Diligence Policy. The Council should seriously consider the possibility of transforming MISCA into a United Nations peacekeeping operation, without delay, if this would be the most effective tool for the protection of the civilian population in the CAR and the promotion and protection of its human rights. The Council should inquire into accountability for atrocities committed by all armed groups and security forces operating in the country, and reinforce efforts to ensure justice systems are re-established and investigations and prosecutions are conducted according to international standards. With the support of international forces operating in the CAR, the Council should press the authorities to make sure that those persons under arrest warrants by the ICC are apprehended and transferred to the Court.
Council discussions on counterterrorism should specifically address how counterterrorism measures by UN bodies and Member States comply with international human rights, refugee, and humanitarian law, particularly regarding gender considerations, as per SCR 2122 (OP 3). 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 expected report on the UN mission in Iraq (UNAMI) should hold women’s human rights central to addressing the country’s volatile security situation. With nearly 5,000 civilians killed over the past six months, the report should stress the protection of civilians, including women and children. It should bring a gender lens to situations of detention, displacement, and humanitarian access, including for Syrian refugees. The report should also include information, analysis, and recommendations on challenges facing women in political processes; highlight advances in ensuring participation of Iraqi women in national reconciliation efforts; and detail progress made to enhance Iraqi women’s access to justice, including in response to the Hawija incident. Additionally, the report should provide information on the development of national strategies on SCR 1325, such as a National Action Plan.
The Council is expected to discuss the situation in Somalia, including in regards to the issue of piracy and also related to options for a future configuration of the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM). In its discussion of piracy, there should be a discussion of the negative impact of piracy on women, specifically in regards to socio-economic ramifications, the role piracy plays in fuelling crime, including trafficking of drugs, arms, and people, and the general insecurity created by the presence of piracy in the region. When discussing the outcome of the AU-UN benchmarking exercise, human rights considerations, including women’s rights, should be at the forefront of the exercise and included as a key component in any reconfigured presence. Further, discussions should address the ongoing need for the mission’s civilian component to have the capacity and resources to carry out gender mainstreaming across all areas of its operation. AMISOM and UNSOM should cooperate in preventing, monitoring, investigating and on abuses and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including those committed against women such as all forms of sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict.
Abyei / South Sudan / Sudan
The Council is expected to renew the mandate and consider a report for the UN mission in Abyei (UNISFA). When renewing the mandate, the Council must ensure effective implementation of the human rights monitoring mandate in accordance with SCR 1990 (2011). In addition, the Council is likely to continue to discuss implementation of SCR 2046 regarding negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan. The Council must inquire into and ensure support for women’s full participation in these negotiations, and the enshrining of their rights and concerns in any agreements that result. The report should include gender analysis on security sector reform, rule of law, and peacebuilding, and provide specific information on humanitarian concerns, efforts to address violations of women’s rights, including sexual violence, and ending impunity for these crimes. As per SCR 2122, the Council should call for the full representation of women in all aspects of cross-border efforts, including as chairs and members of committees, and part of all enforcement mechanisms. The Council should concretely support consultation with women’s organizations in these efforts. The Security Council should further call for reporting on sex-disaggregated data. There should be continued follow-up regarding gender training for security forces, and the status senior gender expertise for UNISFA. The Council is also expected to receive the most recent report on the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The report should build upon previous reports and include gender analysis in key areas including, gender-sensitive training for the Government of Sudan; gender mainstreaming support; and reporting on women’s participation in DDR programs and women’s representation within the new National Reconciliation Committee. Finally, the report should include gender in its consideration of rule of law and in the humanitarian situation.
The situation in Syria remains dire as the civilian population continues to be subjected to a broad range of human rights violations. Men, women, and children have been subject to rape and sexual assault, with women and girl survivors at increased risk of exploitation through forced marriage. Humanitarian aid is underfunded, and current support is not adequately addressing gender specific concerns. The Presidential Statement of 2 October has had little to no effect on the humanitarian situation. As per the UN Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings, UN humanitarian assistance providers should ensure that survivors have information about and access to these services. Many of those fleeing Syria are also in a dire situation, with significant numbers facing restrictions in neighboring countries. Women and girls in some refugee camps are vulnerable to sexual violence and harassment. The Security Council should refer the situation in Syria to Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Women’s participation in peace negotiations, including Geneva II, must be fully supported, in order to ensure their rights are protected and promoted in any political solution. This entails women’s participation as negotiators, technical experts, and mediators, and technical expertise on gender dimensions on all issues discussed during these negotiations.
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), 1960 (OPs 6, 13), 2106 (OPs 5, 6), and 2122 (OP 2(d)). Member States should inquire about any lack of such reporting.