Analysis of Resolution 2379 (2017) on Terrorism (September 2017)

By Savini Ganhewa

Overview

The resolution calls on the Secretary-General to establish a domestic Investigative Team in Iraq, headed by a Special Advisor, to support the Iraqi Government’s efforts to collect evidence to hold the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh) accountable for war crimes. The resolution also calls on the Secretary-General to submit a Terms of Reference for the Team to the Security Council within 60 days and encourages the collaboration between the Team and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team,[1]The Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team was established pursuant to resolution 1526 (2004) and 2368 (2017). other monitoring teams, and relevant UN bodies.[2]S/RES/2379 OP 12 Additionally, it calls on the Special Advisor to present a report to the Security Council on the Team’s activities 90 days following its beginning and every 180 days thereafter.[3]S/RES/2379 OP 15

Women, Peace, and Security

The resolution contains very few women, peace, and security (WPS) references, with a total of three WPS references in the document; all WPS references were limited to the preambular paragraphs. Additionally, all WPS references focus on the protection of women and there are no references that discuss the participation and leadership of women’s groups and civil society organizations in addressing violent extremism and ISIL.[4]S/RES/2379 PP 3 & 4

Missed Opportunities

In this resolution, the Council misses multiple, key opportunities to integrate gender into the resolution and fails to include the participation and leadership of women’s groups and civil society organizations in combating the threat of ISIL in Iraq and other affected States as committed to by women, peace, and security Resolution 2242 (2015). While in its preambular paragraphs, the resolution discusses the protection of women and children in particular from “systemic and widespread attacks directed against civilians,” and condemns acts of terror committed by ISIL, including, “sale into or otherwise forced marriage, trafficking in persons, rape, sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence, recruitment and use of children,” provisions to address these issues are not reflected in the operative paragraphs.[5]S/RES/2379 PP 3, 4 In the operative paragraphs, there is no integration of gender into provisions on terrorist attacks, including the use of sexual and gender-based violence by ISIL. In discussing, “violations of international humanitarian law, violations and abuses of international human rights law, and acts of terrorism,” the resolution fails to recognize how men, women, and children are differently targeted by terrorist organizations and thereby differently impacted by acts of terrorism and abuses of human rights.[6]S/RES/2379 OP 1 Although the objective of the Team will be to collect evidence of war crimes, the resolution does not recognize the necessity for gender considerations when documenting sexual and gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse in conflict, thereby failing commitments made in SCR 2106 (2013) to accurately document such crimes.[7]S/RES/2106 (2014) OP 6 Thereby, this resolution fails commitments made in SCR 1960 (2010) to, “establish monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence.”[8]S/RES/1960 (2010) Additionally, it misses the opportunity to uphold commitments made in SCR 1820 (2008) and 1888 (2009) to recognize that rape and other forms of sexual violence constitute war crimes requiring specific, immediate action from all parties of armed conflict.[9]S/RES/1820 (2008) & S/RES/1888 (2009)

Additionally, in developing a Terms of Reference for the Investigative Team, which will address the Team’s efforts in “collecting, preserving, and storing evidence in Iraq of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide,” by ISIL, the Council does not require the Secretary-General to call on the Team to provide sex and age-disaggregated data on victims in reporting and briefings, nor does the Council request such compliance from the Secretary-General in reports and briefings to the Council.[10]S/RES/2379 OP 2, 4, & 15 Further, while the Council articulates that the responsibility of the Special Advisor is to work with survivors in holding ISIL accountable for war crimes committed, the Council  misses an opportunity to explicitly encourage the participation, leadership, and consultation of women, women’s groups, and civil society organizations.[11]S/RES/2379 OP 3 By failing to do so, the Council misses an opportunity to meet commitments made in Resolution 1960 (2010) to engage with these stakeholders to, “enhance data collection and analysis of incidents, trends, and patterns of rape and other forms of sexual violence to assist the Council’s consideration of appropriate actions.”[12]S/RES/1960 (2010) OP 8 Similarly, while the resolution states that the Terms of Reference will include Iraqi local experts, working alongside international experts as part of the Investigative Team, it fails to identify women’s groups and civil society organizations as expert groups and important partners in addressing violent extremism,[13]S/RES/2379 OP 5 consequently failing to uphold commitments made in SCR 2242 (2015).[14]S/RES/2242 (2015), OP 11

References

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