By Kata Lucas
During the Security Council’s consideration of the item entitled “The situation in the Central African Republic”, the President of the Security Council made a statement on behalf of the Council, which expressed concern regarding the persistent violence perpetrated by armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR), calling on CAR authorities to take all necessary steps to advance dialogue with armed groups, promote national reconciliation, ensure the extension of State authority, reform the security sector, and address impunity. The Council also reaffirms support for the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the CAR and its road map, emphasizing the importance of the role of regional and international actors to peace and security in CAR. In this regard, the Council renews support to Special Representative Parfait Onanga-Anyanga and United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in the implementation of the mission’s mandate, in particular the protection of civilians, support to the peace process, and the creation of a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance in accordance with resolution 2387 (2017).
The Council references issues of women, peace and security (WPS) in two paragraphs. First, the Council expresses concern regarding violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses and violations, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in conflict committed by armed groups.  S/PRST/2018/14, para. 2 This explicit reference to SGBV is reflective of provisions in resolution 2242 (2015). S/RES/2242 (2015), PP Second, the Council reaffirms support for the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR and its road map, and welcomes the conclusion of the second round of consultations by the Panel of Facilitators of the African Initiative, underscoring the urgent need for further progress in fostering inclusive dialogue, including through promoting the full and effective participation of women. S/PRST/2018/14, para. 5 This reference to women’s participation in political processes is reflective of provisions in resolution 2122 (2013), however language could be improved with an explicit call for women’s participation and inclusion in the Panel of Facilitators, so to emphasize women’s inclusion in formal processes. S/RES/2122 (2013), OP. 4,
The Council also includes a reference to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA). The Council notes the various measures taken by MINUSCA, troop and police contributing countries to address SEA, which has led to a reduction in reported cases, but also expresses grave concern over the numerous allegations of SEA, and reiterates the need for investigation and improvements to how these allegations are addressed in line with resolution 2272 (2016). The reference to SEA resonates with provisions in resolution 2242 (2015).
First, the Council misses an opportunity to discuss the importance of women’s participation and the integration of women’s needs and concerns in its discussion of national accountability mechanisms, including the Truth, Justice, Reparations and Reconciliation Commission and in the reference to security sector reform (SSR). Pursuant to resolution 2122 (2013), the Council should emphasize the importance of integrating gender considerations in order to ensure gender-responsive judicial and security sector reform processes, including through calling for women’s full participation. S/RES/2122 (2013) OP. 4, OP. 10 Second, the Council misses an opportunity to acknowledge and call on MINUSCA to address the security threats and protection challenges faced by women and girls in armed conflict pursuant to resolution 2122 (2013). SRES/2122 (2013), OP. 5 Third, the Council misses an opportunity to recognize and acknowledge the gendered impact of the humanitarian situation and the importance of integrating gender considerations across humanitarian assistance and support pursuant to resolutions 1325 (2000), 2122 (2013), and 2242 (2015). S/RES/1325 (2000), OP. 12, S/RES/2122 (2013), PP, S/RES/2242 (2015), OP. 16 Future presidential statements should include explicit considerations of gender in the discussion of SRR and the justice sector, protection of civilians, and humanitarian assistance reflective of MINUSCA’s mandate, which calls on the mission to fully account for gender mainstreaming as a cross-cutting issue. S/RES/2387 (2017), OP. 51