Analysis of Resolution 2421 (2018) on Iraq (June 2018)


Resolution 2421 (2018) adopted on 14 June 2018 extends the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) until 31 May 2019. The resolution emphasizes the importance of the stability and security for the people of Iraq, the region, and the international community in light of the victory over the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh). [1]S/RES/2421 (2018), PP. 2 The resolution is focused on the mission’s role in supporting Iraq in the context of post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation. [2]S/RES/2421 (2018), PP. 3

The Council significantly improves its inclusion of gender with the addition of a new operative reference calling on UNAMI to “approach gender mainstreaming as a crosscutting issue throughout its mandate and to advise and assist the Government of Iraq in ensuring the participation, involvement and representation of women at all levels”. [3]S/RES/2421 (2018), OP. 2(e) The prior renewal, resolution 2367 (2017) contained no reference to gender in the mandate. Compared to the previous mandate renewal in 2017, the preambular paragraphs have been shortened, resulting in the deletion of references to women’s protection that were present in the previous resolution, and a deletion of a direct reference to the WPS framework. [4]S/RES/2421 (2018), PP. 1 There is one reference to women in the preambular paragraphs, which evokes the “requirement to meet the needs of all Iraqis, including women, youth, children, displaced persons, and persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities.” [5]S/RES/2421 (2018), PP. 3

The Council should improve the mandate from a feminist perspective by providing actionable provisions in the operative paragraphs to ensure the integration of gender as a cross-cutting issue, with attention to women’s participation and protection concerns. [6]S/2017/861 Presently, the resolution does not address mechanisms to foster participation or potential barriers to women’s participation across political, DDR, SSR, or justice processes, nor does it include provisions to develop effective mechanisms for providing protection from violence, including sexual violence. [7]S/RES/1820 (2008), OP. 6, OP. 6 OP. 10Given the widespread violence, especially against women from minority communities, in particular displaced and refugee women, and those in areas controlled by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), women’s participation, empowerment, and protection is crucial.

Analysis by Issue Area

Political Processes

UNAMI is mandated to assist the Government and people of Iraq in advancing inclusive political dialogue, in the development of processes for holding elections and a refendum, and in regards to constitutional review and the implementation of constitutional provisions. [8]S/RES/2421 (2018), OP. 2(a), OP. 2(b)(i), OP. (2)(b)(iii) To monitor the integration of gender as a cross-cutting issue by the mission, the Council should call for reporting on UNAMI’s efforts to facilitate women’s and women’s organizations participation in any formal or informal political dialogue, election preparations, and constitutional processes pursuant to resolution 2122 (2013). [9]S/RES/2122 (2013), OP. 1, OP. 2(c)  Subsequently, the Council should include specific language on women’s safety prior to, and during elections pursuant to resolution 2122 (2013). In this regard, the mission can play a role in lessening particular obstacles facing women in exercising their right to vote or in running for public office, as counteracting such obstacles is a prerequisite for conducting free and fair elections. [10]S/RES/2122 (2013), OP. 8, Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325, p. 76

Peace and Reconciliation

Resonating with the above section, UNAMI is also mandated to support the Government and the people of Iraq in advancing inclusive national and community-level reconciliation. To monitor the integration of gender as a cross-cutting issue by the mission, the Council should call for reporting on UNAMI’s efforts to facilitate women’s and women’s organizations participation in reconciliation and peacebuilding processes. [11]S/RES/2122 (2013), OP. 1, OP. 2(c) The participation of diverse women and women’s organizations in all formal or informal reconciliation processes is essential for amplifying a multiplicity of voices, so that the concerns, needs, and rights of diverse individuals are included in a sustainable peace.

Humanitarian Assistance

The mission is mandated to assist in the coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance, the return of refugees and displaced persons, as well as to assist the government in the coordination and implementation of programmes to provide services. [12]S/RES/2421 (2018), OP. 2(c)(i), OP. 2(c)(ii), To facilitate integration of a gender lens in humanitarian assistance and service provision, the Council should request UNAMI to consult with women and women’s organizations in the design and implementation of assistance or service provision per resolution 2242 (2015). [13]S/RES/2242 (2015), OP. 16 Further, any mission staff engaged in the provision of assistance should participate in gender-sensitive trainings for humanitarian personnel per resolution 1820 (2008). [14]S/RES/1820 (2008), OP. 6, OP. 10 The inclusion of said provisions in future mandates will better enable the mission to mainstream gender considerations across humanitarian assistance and service provision pursuant to SCR 2242 (2015), and enable the mission and partners to better respond to the gender-specific needs of refugees and displaced persons [15]S/RES/2242 (2015), OP. 16

Sector Sector Reform, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, and the Justice Sector

The Council should also request the Secretary-General and relevant United Nations agencies to consult with women and women-led organizations to develop mechanisms for providing protection from violence, including sexual violence in all disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) processes, and in justice and security sector reform (SSR) efforts pursuant to resolution 1820 (2008). [16]S/RES/1820 (2008), OP. 10 Related, the Council should make an explicit call on UNAMI to assist the government and the investigative team established in resolution 2379 (2017) in holding perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict accountable pursuant to resolution 2106 (2013). [17]S/RES/2106 (2013), OP. 2 Furthermore, the Council should include a request for reporting on the realization of a gender balance in all security institutions, particularly, women’s participation in police, civil personnel, and security institutions. Such reporting will assist in monitoring the implementation of gender as a cross-cutting issue in the security sector.