The Council is due to receive reports on the UN mission in Afghanistan and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to review implementation of SCR 2011 (2011) on Afghanistan, and extend ISAF’s role beyond 13 October 2011, 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, have continued to be targeted with impunity. The Council should ensure:
- The mandate of the ISAF Civilian Casualties Tracking Cell is fully resourced, and is expanded to cover “other government agencies,” i.e. the various intelligence agencies and private contractors;
- The strengthening of ANSF oversight and accountability mechanisms to protect civilians from attacks by its personnel. An independent and adequately resourced police ombudsperson should be established to investigate complaints against the police, 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; and
- The assessment of transition of security responsibility to the national security forces includes a gender analysis.
In its discussions of the forthcoming regular report on the UN mission in Libya (UNSMIL) as called for in SCR 2040 (2012), the Security Council should ensure it remains fully apprised of women’s full and equal participation the political process, as well as reconciliation and reconstruction efforts. The Security Council should ensure the newly elected Congress does not prevent accountability for serious and ongoing crimes committed in Libya, including as per SCR 1970 (2011) references to the International Criminal Court. The Council should be briefed fully on the findings of the investigation into civilian casualties caused by NATO air strikes following the military operation in Libya.
The situation in Mali continues to be unstable and insecure in both the north and south of the country. Reports continue of rape and abduction, particularly of women and girls, by armed groups in the north. Political instability and violence continues in the capital. In its discussions regarding the situation in Mali and during the briefing by the Secretary-General on the integrated UN strategy on the Sahel, the Security Council should ensure it supports and promotes the full engagement of women in ongoing efforts for peaceful resolution in both areas of the country, and should ensure it enquires into and takes action on the specific rights and protection concerns of women. The Council should urge all parties to the conflict to immediately issue orders prohibiting mistreatment of persons in custody and prohibiting rape, pillage, and other violations of international humanitarian law, and should support monitoring and investigation of all human rights abuses.
In the Council’s discussions of the forthcoming report on the UN mission in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), and the renewal of the mandate of UNIPSIL, there should be particular emphasis on women’s safe and full participation in the upcoming elections. The report and mandate should provide concrete recommendations and steps for women participating fully and equally in reconstruction and peacebuilding, such as how to implement the 2007 Gender Laws and the establishment of dedicated Family Support Units by the police. The UNIPSIL mandate should support the implementation of Sierra Leone’s National Action Plan on SCR 1325.
The Council is expected discuss the forthcoming report from the African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Armed violence in southern Somalia still poses a grave threat to civilians and returning refugees from Kenya. Since the transition from al-Shabaab in early 2012, security has become worse in Beletweyne and Baidoa due to abusive security operations by allied forces and, in the case of Beletweyne, rising tensions between militias vying for control. In its discussions regarding the situation in Somalia, the Security Council should reiterate the imperative for all armed actors to protect civilians, including women and girls, in full compliance with international humanitarian law; publicly denounce refoulement whenever it is found to have occurred; 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 in Somalia.
The Council is expected to consider the report of the Secretary-General on the status of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. Civilians in Blue Nile continue to endure Sudan’s indiscriminate bombing and other abuses, even as ongoing tensions between Sudan and South Sudan threaten the wider border area. Since July 2011, there have been no UN monitors on the ground to document the impact of the fighting on civilians in Blue Nile. The Security Council should urge the Sudanese Government to allow a full and impartial investigation by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights into events in both Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. In these discussions, the Council should:
- Ensure that the Government of Sudan allow and facilitate immediate and impartial humanitarian access to all areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and further immediately end indiscriminate aerial bombings and other violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile;
- Demand that the SPLM-North take concrete steps to ensure fighters respect international humanitarian and human rights law;
- Establish an independent inquiry into alleged violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile since June 2011;
- Encourage senior facilitators and negotiators to consult with women leaders and women’s groups.
The violence in Syria continues to worsen as the civilian population continues to be killed, tortured, and their rights violated, including through ongoing arbitrary arrests and detentions. As documented by the UN Human Rights Council-mandated Commission of Inquiry, rape and sexual assault were perpetrated against men, women and children by Government forces and shabbiha members. Rape and sexual assault were also part of torture in official and unofficial detention centres. There are reports that soldiers and pro-government shabbiha militia members have sexually abused women and girls as young as eleven years old during home raids and military sweeps of residential areas. There are no reports of action taken to investigate or punish government forcesand shabbiha-committed acts of sexual violence, or to prevent them from committing such acts in the future. The Security Council should demand that the Syrian government grant the UN Commission of Inquiry and the United Nations political liaison office unrestricted access to places of detention to monitor abuses. The UN political liaison office should include among its personnel people trained to identify gender-based violence and other gender-specific human rights violations. All human rights monitoring offices in Syria must be adequately resourced with a strong mandate to monitor, investigate and publicly report on crimes against humanity, war crimes and other grave human rights abuses committed by all sides, including on sexual and gender-based violence. In accordance with 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 this package of services. The UN Security Council should also refer parties whom have violated international law in Syria to the International Criminal Court.
In their discussions on the forthcoming report on the situation in Yemen, the Security Council should press for an independent international investigation into serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law committed by all sides. This includes bringing to justice non-state actors who were involved in human rights abuses, including against women, during the events of 2011, for prosecution of members of security forces all Yemeni officials responsible for violations of international human rights or humanitarian law, and for the repeal of immunity currently in place regarding these violations. The Yemeni Government has yet to complete investigations into the abuses committed by government forces, excessive use of force, indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, and has yet to hold those responsible to account. In its expected discussions regarding the situation in Yemen, The Council should urge all relevant parties to suspend all military sales and assistance to Yemen, until violations cease, perpetrators are fully held to account, and victims compensated. The Council should also support and promote women’s full and equal engagement in all efforts at national dialogue and reconciliation.
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) and 1960 (OP 6, 13). Member States should inquire about any lack of such reporting.