The situation in Burundi continues to be unstable, with human rights and security rapidly deteriorating. Currently, Security Council discussion lacks consideration of the gender dimensions of the situation and key women, peace and security issues, as is demonstrated in the recently adopted presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/18) which was completely devoid of any reference gender. Prioritization of a gender perspective is crucial to understanding the situation in CAR and the Council must ensure that gender is a cross-cutting issue by taking into account analysis and information on the distinct impact of the crisis on women, men, girls and boys as well as the roles of women, men, girls and boys. Further, in its discussion of the situation, and in any future action, the Security Council should:
- Ensure dialogue processes are inclusive of all parties, including civil society organizations, activists and human rights defenders. The safety and security of all those involved in these processes should be prioritized.
- Urge all international and regional actors, per OP 1 of SCR 2242 (2015), to adopt a gender perspective in their work in Burundi and further ensure that there are concrete actions taken to support the safe and active participation of all members of civil society, including women, in monitoring the post-election security situation as well as in convenings of donors and stakeholders at the international, regional and national level.
- Call for more information on the human rights situation, including gender-based violations, through reporting and briefings by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN-Women.
- Call for the engagement of women’s civil society organizations in any violence prevention and dialogue efforts after the election and failed coup, including creating a context for a new UN-supported mediation with an envoy.
The situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) continues to be serious, with persistent violence, insecurity, and political and religious tensions. The conflict has displaced almost a quarter of the population, with continued fighting forcing new displacement in and around Bangui. Human rights violations and abuses reported by human rights organizations may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. With civilians bearing the brunt of the conflict, the Council should insist that Member States, including CAR, give the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) all possible support to facilitate the protection of civilians, including through gender-sensitive humanitarian assistance. Further, efforts should be made to ensure MINUSCA troops are better prepared and trained, and human rights officers, gender advisors and experts, and Women Protection Advisers are fully deployed. Medical and psychosocial services must be made available and accessible, per SCR 2127 (2013), especially to those displaced, and include gender-specific services for women. In its recent presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/17), the Council neglected to recognize and call for women’s participation in conflict resolution efforts, thus in any future action and throughout its discussion, the Council should explicitly support women’s participation in electoral processes and reconciliation processes, including national dialogues and transitional justice efforts.
As recently reaffirmed in SCR 2242 (2015), women and girl’s empowerment and gender equality are critical to conflict prevention. In their statements during the forthcoming open debate on conflict prevention, all Member States should commit to adopting holistic approaches that address the root causes of conflict, including systemic and structural discrimination and inequalities, which are often at the heart of grievances driving instability. Member States should further outline steps to ensure women participate in the design of all conflict prevention efforts, including early warning mechanisms and preventative diplomacy initiatives.
In its briefing on the situation in Lebanon, the Security Council should inquire about the way in which the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) considers gender when addressing the spillover effects of Syria’s intensifying conflict on Lebanese civilians. This includes the issue of cluster bombs and other ordnance which continue to pose dangers to civilians, including women and girls. In its discussion of the political situation in Lebanon, and in any potential action, the Council should articulate support for women’s full and equal participation in all political processes, and promote dialogue which is inclusive of civil society, including women’s groups.
As the Council renews the anti-piracy measures and considers the overall situation in Somalia, the Council should also ensure there is progress made in implementing SCR 2102 (2013), including OPs 2(d) and 2(e) mandating UNSOM to help prevent, monitor, investigate, and report on abuses and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. The Council must call on Somali authorities, AMISOM, and UNSOM to ensure women and children are protected from sexual violence and exploitation, including sexual exploitation and abuse, as specified in SCR 2102 (2013), OP 11. Further, members should promote women’s full participation in: the constitutional review process, dialogues with Somali regional actors on the federal system, the implementation of the Somali Compact, and all efforts to find a political solution to the ongoing armed violence.
In its consideration of the situation in South Sudan in advance of its renewal of the mandate for the UN Mission to the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) in December, the Council must ensure it incorporates a gender perspective throughout the mandate, including prioritization of women’s empowerment and promoting gender equity. The recent short term UNMISS renewal contained strong language on women’s participation in the implementation of the peace agreement including in the monitoring of the ceasefire and other transitional security arrangements. Any new mandate should maintain this language and ensure full implementation including measures to increase the deployment of women in all mission components. The Council should further expand this mandate to integrate the representation and voices of South Sudanese women at all levels in the implementation of agreements, the prevention and resolution of conflict and peacebuilding, through support to women’s civil society organizations.
Relatedly, the Council should continue to insist on the need for accountability for grave human rights violations and abuses, including rampant accounts of sexual violence in IDP camps and local communities. The Council must ensure protection efforts by UNMISS meet women’s needs by including women in their design and implementation, including providing psychosocial support and medical care to survivors. The Council must mandate comprehensive gender disaggregated data in UNMISS reporting, and prioritize further gender expertise and training of UNMISS personnel as per OP 33 of SCR 2241 (2015).
Abyei / South Sudan / Sudan
The Council is expected to receive an update on the situation between Sudan and South Sudan, as well as progress towards implementation of the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). During any briefings and consultations, Council members should inquire as to human rights monitoring in regards to sexual and gender-based violence. There should also be continued follow-up regarding gender training for security forces, the status of senior gender expertise for UNISFA and the implementation of the United Nations zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuses in accordance with SCR 1990 (2011). The Council should additionally inquire on women’s participation in the implementation of agreements and the prevention and resolution of conflict and peacebuilding. Specifically, the Council should request information on women’s participation in the key negotiations between the Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya, as well as the resumption of the Cooperation Agreements between Sudan and South Sudan.