The Council is due to receive reports on the UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), in advance of a number of key developments in Afghanistan in the coming months, including the ISAF mandate renewal in October. Women’s security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating, and women’s participation in all levels of decision-making regarding their own security and Afghanistan’s future is still insufficient. The Council should inquire into information, analysis, and recommendations on the lack of evident progress in the proportion of women participating in political life. Regarding women’s rights, the Council should call for increased efforts to end the targeting of women and women’s rights defenders, and to ensure their protection, and call for a strengthened and independent Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). The Council should ensure that the UN presence maintains a robust human rights monitoring and reporting role. Women’s human rights must not be compromised in connection with the transition of security to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) or in peace talks with the Taleban or insurgent groups. The Council should be clear that members of the Afghan government and insurgent groups must not be granted impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Council must call for an immediate end to attacks by the Taleban and armed groups on women and girls, as well as on humanitarian organizations. Perpetrators must be brought to justice. The Council should support efforts for meaningful participation of Afghan women and their security concerns in all peace talks, all reintegration and reconciliation discussions, and in all preparations for the 2014 elections. The Council must also urge the Afghan Government to preserve crucial legislation, such as the 2009 Elimination of Violence Against Women Law, which is currently under threat of being significantly weakened or completely repealed. The Council should urge the Afghan government to increase the number of female recruits in the ANSF, particularly the Afghan National Police, and ensure their safety and dignity in the workplace. The Council should urge the Afghan government and other relevant agencies to allocate adequate financial and human resources to the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation for swift implementation of National Policy on Internal Displacement. Further, Council members should ensure that commitments made in the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework and its review are implemented, particularly in regards to gender equality
Particularly given the recent increase in violence in Goma, in its consideration of the Secretary General’s report on MONUSCO, the Council should inquire into specific information on: efforts to include women in all peace and reconciliation efforts; on targeted attacks of any nature on women; on the impact of the humanitarian situation on women and girls; of consultation with women’s human rights organizations in all stabilization and peace consolidation efforts; and on the centrality of women’s rights to electoral, security sector, and judicial reform. In addition, the Council should ensure that any additional intelligence data at MONUSCO’s disposal serves as early warning signals to inform optimal protection of civilians, including women and children, from abuses by armed groups and the national army. The intervention brigade authorized under the MONUSCO mandate in SCR 2098 (2013) should be held to the mission’s protection of civilians mandate, must be subjected to strict vetting procedures, and pre-deployment training should include international humanitarian and human rights law and reach best practice standards, particularly regarding sexual violence in conflict.
The Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN mission in Liberia (UNMIL) as it continues its reconfiguration and drawdown per SCR 2066 (2012). As it moves into this next phase, UNMIL should ensure it continues to develop the capacity of Liberian institutions with regard to issues of gender, sexual and gender-based violence, and sexual exploitation and abuse. Efforts made regarding women’s participation in consultations regarding the constitution should be strengthened to ensure progress is not rolled back during the mission’s transition. The mandate should fully reflect the urgent need for the mission to support education and vocational training for women and girls associated with fighting forces in reintegration efforts; full access to post-conflict relief and recovery programs for survivors of gender-based violence; and the prioritizing of women’s participation in all post-conflict recovery programs, especially their representation in the constitution-drafting process, the electoral system, the police, and the judiciary. The Council should send a strong message that the gains for women must be consolidated in the transition and that Member State resources must support this consolidation.
The Council will be reviewing a report on the UN mission in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), focusing on the mission drawdown and transition to a UN country team (UNCT). At this time of transition, it is vital that women continue to receive political and financial resources to ensure their full and equal engagement in Sierra Leone’s future, particularly regarding support for women-led civil society organizations. The Council should send a strong message that the gains for women must be consolidated in the transition to the UNCT, and that Member States must support this consolidation, including financially.
The Council is expected to hold a high-level debate on small arms and light weapons (SALW), likely focusing specifically on the Security Council’s work on SALW. The prevalence of SALW violence disproportionately affects women and girls globally, and further integration of women into efforts to combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms is needed. The Council should ensure that any outcome of these discussions mainstreams gender considerations, with specific action recommended on: ensuring sanctions regime components, including embargoes, and criteria for monitoring, including for expert groups, contain specific provisions regarding gender considerations; ensuring full and robust implementation of the ATT’s provision on preventing gender-based violence when considering arms transfer requests; ensuring disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes incorporate an effective gender perspective, thus enabling equal access and opportunity for women and girls to engage in reconstruction and rebuilding initiatives; the crucial role of disarmament in conflict prevention; and addressing the connections between women’s capacity to participate in peace processes as per SCR 1325, and the challenges to this posed by the prevalence, proliferation, and use of SALW locally and nationally.
Severe human rights violations and impunity have been characteristic of situation in Somalia, and women continue to be subjected to rape and other forms of sexual abuse on an epidemic scale, in addition to other human rights abuses. Perpetrators operate with impunity, and have included government security forces, members of armed opposition groups, militias and private actors. Members of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have also been accused of rape. In discussing the expected report from the UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), the Council must call on Somali authorities to ensure that women and children are protected from sexual violence, and must send an unequivocal message to both perpetrators and law enforcement officials that sexual violence will not be tolerated. The Council should inquire into women’s full participation in preparations for upcoming elections and in all efforts to find a political solution to the ongoing armed violence, and the specific steps the UN presence will take to support such activities. The Council should ensure the report covers 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 situation in Syria remains dire as the civilian population continues to be killed, tortured, and their rights violated. Humanitarian access must be improved and allowed to operate without impediment. As per the UN Guidelines for Genderbased Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings, UN humanitarian assistance providers should ensure that survivors have information about and access to these services. The Security Council should refer the situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. As discussions continue regarding the situation both within the Council and in other multilateral fora, Council members should call for the full participation of women in any negotiations, and should support the involvement of civil society in discussions determining Syria’s future. The Council should additionally call for the inclusion of an advisor on gender issues in the team of the Joint Special Representative.
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), and 2106 (OPs 5, 6). Member States should inquire about any lack of such reporting.