The Council is due to extend the mandate 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 continue to be targeted with impunity. The Council should strengthen Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) oversight and accountability mechanisms to protect civilians, and establish an independent, resourced police ombudsperson to investigate complaints and police failures to investigate crimes against women. Further, the mandate should expand international efforts to assist the Afghan government to create an independent and effective mechanism to monitor and investigate civilian deaths and injuries proactively and provide full reparations. There should be greater efforts to meaningfully include Afghan women and their security concerns in reintegration and reconciliation discussions, and support to 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 must include a gender analysis.
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. The Security Council should take urgent action and expand the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) to provide it with the necessary resources and support to allow the mission to monitor, investigate and report publicly to the Council on any abuses or violations of international human rights or humanitarian law committed anywhere in the country. The Council should take action to address women’s protection concerns and overcome barriers to women’s participation, particularly by supporting local civil society efforts to develop coherent strategies to promote women’s political participation. The Councilshould press the CAR government, with the support of the newly-created AFISM-CAR/MISCA force, to ensure conditions are restored to enable the UN and other international actors to resume work in service provision and human rights monitoring through the BINUCA Human Rights and Justice unit. The Security Council should support the deployment of AFISM-CAR/MISCA 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 inquire into accountability for atrocities committed by all armed groups and security forces operating in the country, including 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 authorities should make sure those persons under arrest warrants by the ICC are apprehended and transferred to the Court.
As the Council discusses potential ways in which to alter the mission’s composition and structure over the next several years, it is vital that women continue to receive political and financial resources to ensure their full and equal engagement in Haiti’s future. This is particularly important regarding support for women-led civil society organizations. The Council should send a strong message that the gains for women must be consolidated and maintained, and request that any reports detailing options for reconfiguration detail the ways in which gender will be mainstreamed, and women’s participation and protection will be core to the mission’s mandate. 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;
- Mandated concrete measures to improve security for women and girls by identifying best practices and feedback from the community; Increase training for justice officials on investigating and prosecuting gender-based crimes, including crimes against LGBTI persons or those believed to be; 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 Council is expected to receive the latest report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Mali and the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The report should include information on the progress made in the mission’s implementation of its gender mainstreaming and reporting obligations, including those detailed in SCR 2100 (OPs 16, 25), as well as an update on the SRSG’s specific plans to support women voters and candidates in the expected upcoming elections, and in the ongoing peace and reconciliation processes. Deployment of dedicated and resourced senior gender advisers, human rights monitors, and women protection advisers is central to this compliance. Women’s full and meaningful participation should further be facilitated in all weapons and ammunition management initiatives, as per SCR 2117 (OP 12). The Council should also be updated on the recent allegations of human rights violations, including sexual violence, by MINUSMA forces.
On its expected mission to DRC, Rwanda and Uganda, Council members should meet with women’s rights advocates and civil society to discuss the concerns and solutions these groups have regarding the future of their countries, particularly all ongoing work on the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework; ensure they bring these messages to the attention of government and UN leaders in other meetings on the mission; and ensure the final mission report details the women, peace and security elements of the current situation in these countries, including in recommendations for future Council action.
The Council is expected to receive several reports on the situation in Somalia, including a report on the issue of piracy and options for a future configuration of the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM). In its report on 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.
The Security Council is expected to hold an open debate to mark the 13th anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000). Conflict prevention is at the core of this agenda, and requires investment in equality and peace. Women’s full and meaningful participation is necessary in all peace negotiations, security processes, donor conferences, and for all negotiated documents that seek to resolve conflict. Justice, the expected theme of the open debate, must include increased gender parity in transitional justice systems, women’s access to transitional justice, and women’s political participation. These in turn depend on issues such as non-discrimination, access to safe public transportation, the effective delivery of basic services such as water and electricity, and effective witness and victim protection programs. Traditional security areas, such as demilitarization and disarmament, and security sector reform, must be fully inclusive of and responsive to women. Multisectoral responses should be comprehensive, with the provision of humanitarian assistance and funding including the full range of medical, legal psychosocial and livelihood services. During the expected open debate, and in any outcome of that debate, the Security Council and other Member States will have an opportunity to address achievements in these areas and detail what steps they will take to overcome remaining obstacles. Specifically, commitments should be made to ensure dedicated resourcing for women, peace and security, particularly for civil society working at the local level; high-level political leadership to strengthen women’s access and meaningful participation at all levels; and leadership and accountability on the core peace and security elements of the agenda in the UN Security Council, including consistency and effectiveness on women, peace and security in its own work.