The Council is due to review SCR 2011 (2011) on Afghanistan, and extend the role of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which expressly requires NATO/ISAF and the Afghanistan government to better protect and promote women’s rights. In the past year, there has been no evident progress in the proportion of women participating in political life. Women and defenders of their rights, including from the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, continue to be targeted with impunity. In extending the ISAF mandate, the Council should ensure the:
- Resourcing and expanding the ISAF Civilian Casualties Tracking Cell to cover “other government agencies,” i.e. the various intelligence agencies and private contractors;
- Strengthening of ANSF oversight and accountability mechanisms to protect civilians, and establishment of an independent, resourced police ombudsperson to investigate complaints, and of police failure to investigate crimes against women;
- Greater efforts to meaningfully include Afghan women and their security concerns in reintegration and reconciliation discussions, and support to more women seeking to become High Peace Council members. Members of the Afghan government and insurgent groups must not be granted impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity;
- The assessment of transition of security responsibility to the national security forces includes a gender analysis.
The Council is expected to receive and discuss the Secretary-General’s report on the UN mission in Darfur (UNAMID), per SCR 2063 (2012). The Security Council should also call on UNAMID to report regularly and publically on the human rights and humanitarian situation in Darfur. As previous reports of the Secretary-General on UNAMID have lacked information as to the role women play in the peace proces, SSR or DDR processes, the Council should inquire as to this information, and ensure that the benchmarks being developed per SCR 2063 (2012) (OP 12) include gender-specific components. In its discussion of the situation in Darfur, the Council should demand that the government of Sudan: immediately ends attacks against civilians; increase efforts to end impunity for sexual violence, including by security forces, and bring perpetrators to justice; grants UNAMID and relevant UN entities unfettered access to all areas where civilians need protection.
The Security Council is expected to receive the report of the Group of Experts on the DRC sanctions per SCR 2021 (2011), OP 4. In its discussions, the Council should ensure the consistent transfer of information between MONUSCO and the Group of Experts on violations of human rights targeting women, including acts sexual and gender-based violence, per SCR 1952 (2010) (OP 13). Further, the Council should enquire as to information reinforcing the link between the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons, which is a violation of sanctions, and sexual and gender-based violence.
In its expected mandate renewal for the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the Council should ensure the mission has:
- Sufficient capacity to support the empowerment and protection of women and girls, and access to services for survivors of violence; given the continuing violence, including sexual violence, against women in high-risk communities;
- Concrete measures to improve security for women and girls by identifying best practices and feedback from the community;
- Increase training for justice officials on prosecuting gender-based crimes; and
- Strongly reiterated obligations regarding the UN zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, and all abuses committed against the civilian population by all MINUSTAH personnel, and the need for acts by such personnel to be properly held to account by troop- and police-contributing countries and the UN Secretariat.
The Security Council is expected to hear a report from the Secretary-General on the implementation of SCR 1559 (2004) on the situation in Lebanon. The Council should request information, within the context of the influx of Syrian refugees, as well as the situation for Palestinian refugees, on actions being taken to meet the protection and assistance needs of refugee and internally displaced women. Such discussion has been lacking in previous reports of the Secretary-General on the same issue (S/2012/244). Further, women’s participation in political systems and peacebuilding efforts, as well as efforts to address and prevent sexual and gender-based violence should be addressed within the report and raised by Council members. Council members also must insist that the National Dialogue is inclusive, and includes women and women’s civil society as active participants in meetings on a regular basis.
The Council is expected to hold an open debate on its relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC). Given the serious concerns regarding impunity for violations of women’s rights in conflict situations, Member States, including Council members, should use this opportunity to strongly support the ICC to effectively investigate and prosecute, in line with international human rights standards, suspected perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity, in particular those committed against women. In this regard, effective victim and witness protection measures must be put in place.
In its the renewal of the mandate of the UN mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Security Council should strongly urge the government to ensure that its security forces and affiliated militias, and all actors engaged in military operations, including AMISOM and armed forces of neighboring states, respect international humanitarian law and human rights law, and are prioritizing the rights of civilians, including women and children. As the UN system starts a review of its role and presence in Somalia, with options to be presented to the Security Council by the end of the year, human rights considerations, including women’s rights, should be at the forefront of the exercise. The currently UNPOS human rights mandate and component should be significantly strengthened to be well-resourced, and to entail active monitoring and reporting. Finally, the mandate should strongly support women’s full participation in the rebuilding of political and social institutions.
Abyei / South Sudan / Sudan
The Council is expected to review the mandate of the UN force in Abyei (UNISFA) pursuant SCR 2047 (OP 7). In its discussion, the Council must ensure effective implementation of the human rights monitoring mandate in accordance with resolution 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.
In relation to the expected briefing on the status of negotiations regarding Western Sahara as well as the operational challenges facing MINURSO, the Council should enquire as to the consideration of human rights issues in this briefing, and as to the role of women in the process. As MINURSO is one of the few UN Missions that lacks a human rights monitoring and reporting mandate, the Security Council should include this component in the mandate’s next renewal.
In October, the Security Council is expected to hold its annual review of SCR 1325 (2000). Lack of accountability remains a key barrier to implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, with too many commitments remaining solely on paper. Impunity for violations of women’s human rights in conflict situations remains the norm. Women’s human rights defenders face particular risks in conflict situations, with little recognition or support. Women are still largely excluded from peace processes, processes which all too often are not informed by gender expertise, and thus lack necessary gender elements. Women and women’s civil society partners are still excluded from the implementation of these peace accords. Recent research from the NGOWG demonstrates that the Council is not ensuring gender perspectives are incorporated consistently and effectively in its regular work. There is little of the necessary sex-disaggregated data nor consistent gender analysis in country reporting, and the Council often does not make strong women, peace and security recommendations for further action. At this year’s 1325 anniversary Open Debate, Members States, including Security Council members, are strongly urged to detail what concrete, measurable steps they will take to redress these implementation deficits.