Monthly Action Points (MAP) for the Security Council: April 2017

For April, in which the United States of America has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in the Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Western Sahara.

Haiti

In the renewal of the mandate of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the Security Council should maintain all existing women, peace and security-related mandate provisions (SCRs 1743 (2007), OP 16; 1927 (2010), OP 4; 2070 (2012), OP 22), as well as all other strong language calling on strengthened government and international efforts promoting women’s political participation (SCR 2313 (2016), OP 14), preventing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) (SCR 2313 (2016), OP 28 ), and ensuring women’s rights (SCR 2313 (2016), OPs 22, 26). The Council should include new language reinforcing that the Government, MINUSTAH and the UN Country Team (UNCT) ensure women’s full participation in all strategic processes, including planning for a potential transition, by facilitating regular consultations with women leaders and women’s civil society organizations. Further, the language regarding sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) should be strengthened, in line with SCR 2272 (2016), to call for accountability and investigations, with particular attention paid to preventing exploitation of internally-displaced persons. Additionally, the Council should add new language to condemn acts of violence committed against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity in line with A/HRC/RES/32/2 (OP 2), and call upon the Government, with the support of MINUSTAH and the UNCT, to adopt national legislation to protect the rights of LGBTIQ persons and ensure access to justice and services.

Iraq

The conflict between ISIL/Da’esh and Government forces, with assistance from allied militias, continues to dominate discussions on the human rights situation in Iraq. In its consideration of a report on the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the Security Council must urge accountability for serious human rights violations against all groups by all sides, including SGBV, sexual slavery, abduction and human trafficking by ISIL and reports of beatings and unlawful detention by Government forces and allied militias during military offensives. Council members should further call for expanding the scope of current documentation and reporting efforts to record all gender-based crimes including crimes against women human rights defenders, LGBTIQ persons, men and boys, and persecution of individuals who do not conform to gender norms to ensure accountability for all perpetrators. The Council should, additionally, ensure that UNAMI is regularly engaging with women’s organizations and taking concrete steps to support women’s participation in all peace and security processes. The Council should also inquire about the status of the draft Law of Protection against Domestic Violence and support the amendments proposed by Iraqi civil society, which include provisions that provide legal coverage for local NGOs to run shelters for women and other vulnerable individuals. Lastly, Council members should request information on efforts by the Iraqi Government to allocate funding for the implementation of Iraq’s National Action Plan (NAP) for UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

Libya

The Security Council will be considering the most recent report on the implementation of the mandate for the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). The report and any briefings by senior UN leadership, should provide analysis of the situation for women and the gendered impact of the conflict on the population, in addition to details regarding UNSMIL’s efforts to support women’s participation in conflict resolution and peace processes, engagement with women’s civil society organizations and efforts to protect women’s rights. With the deteriorating security situation and the threat posed by armed groups and illicit arms proliferation, high profile female public figures, including human rights defenders (HRDs), civil society leaders, activists, journalists and politicians, continue to be targets of assassinations, abductions and sexual violence. Women are similarly subjected to violations by armed groups in their daily lives, such as harassment at security checkpoints. Although the national order restricting women’s unaccompanied travel was repealed, the replacement order imposes restrictions on all women and men aged 18 to 45 and is, thus, a violation of the right to freedom of movement.

Somalia

As the Council continues to consider the situation in Somalia and discusses the outcome of the strategic review of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Council should promote women’s full participation in all efforts to maintain peace and security in Somalia, as well as inquire into efforts by the Federal Government of Somalia and Interim Regional Administrations, with assistance from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and AMISOM, to continue to promote increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in Somali institutions. The outcome of the strategic review process should address gender as a cross-cutting issue, in line with SCR 2242 (2015) (OP 4), provide detailed analysis of the gender dynamics of the situation, and include specific recommendations related to gender in any opti future reconfiguration or adjustments to the mission mandate and operations. In its discussions, the Council should inquire as to the ways in which the mission is or is not meeting its obligations to implement the women, peace and security agenda, including by consulting regularly with women’s civil society organizations (SCR 2122 (2013), OP 7(a)).

South Sudan

According to the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, ethnic cleansing is occurring and indicators of genocide are present (A/HRC/34/63). Further, the severe security situation, including prevalent informal armies and widespread and systematic sexual violence, is being exacerbated by famine, with the number of food insecure people to rise to 5.5 million by July. During its consideration of the situation, the Council should also continue to protect civilians and call on the mission to hold regular consultations with local women’s civil society organizations to ensure protection strategies, including those in and around the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) protection of civilians sites, are responsive to women’s security concerns (SCR 2252 (2015), OP 8(a)(i), (v), (vi); (b)(i), (ii), (iii)). Furthermore, the Council should inquire as to how the Regional Protection Force for Juba will incorporate the women, peace and security agenda as it prepares to deploy and how UNMISS will improve its response to women’s protection concerns following its strategic review (S/2016/951). In regards to the ongoing political dialogue, the Council should reaffirm its commitment to women’s representation in official decision-making institutions and meaningful participation in any peace process moving forward. The Security Council must apply all necessary pressure to ensure that South Sudanese women from national and grassroots organizations are included in the dialogue, as well as in the implementation and monitoring of any outcomes.

Syria

In its consideration of the report on the humanitarian situation, the Council should call for meaningful participation of Syrian women, civil society, including women’s organizations, and human rights defenders in the design and implementation of gender-sensitive humanitarian aid strategies both inside Syria and in neighboring countries (SCRs 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015); A/HRC/34/64). Further, the Council should ensure that women’s particular needs, such as secure access to sanitation facilities and hygiene, and health assistance including reproductive health, family planning, and maternal health services, are adequately addressed by relevant international actors. Reporting should reflect the gender specific consequences of the increasing attacks against humanitarian convoys delivering medical supplies, and against medical workers and facilities. The Council should inquire into any lack of reporting on the concrete steps necessary to ensure women’s full and meaningful inclusion in the peace process, including any efforts of local civil society, including women’s groups, to ensure agreements are gender-sensitive and grounded in the experiences of local populations. The Council must also ensure Syrian women’s meaningful participation in the UN-facilitated political process (SCR 2254 (2015)) and call for the Office of the Special Envoy for Syria to strengthen and enhance the role of the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board. All mechanisms established to facilitate civil society participation, including engagement with diverse perspectives of civil society, should be fully resourced, supported, accessible and transparent. Finally, the Council should ensure women’s meaningful participation in the establishment and operation of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (A/71/L.48 (2016)) to assist in the investigation of serious crimes committed in Syria since 2011, including in detention centers, and that the mechanism fully documents abuses against Syrian women and girls.

In its consideration of the report on the humanitarian situation, the Council should call for meaningful participation of Syrian women, civil society, including women’s organizations, and human rights defenders in the design and implementation of gender-sensitive humanitarian aid strategies both inside Syria and in neighboring countries (SCRs 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015); A/HRC/34/64). Further, the Council should ensure that women’s particular needs, such as secure access to sanitation facilities and hygiene, and health assistance including reproductive health, family planning, and maternal health services, are adequately addressed by relevant international actors. Reporting should reflect the gender specific consequences of the increasing attacks against humanitarian convoys delivering medical supplies, and against medical workers and facilities.

The Council should inquire into any lack of reporting on the concrete steps necessary to ensure women’s full and meaningful inclusion in the peace process, including any efforts of local civil society, including women’s groups, to ensure agreements are gender-sensitive and grounded in the experiences of local populations. The Council must also ensure Syrian women’s meaningful participation in the UN-facilitated political process (SCR 2254 (2015)) and call for the Office of the Special Envoy for Syria to strengthen and enhance the role of the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board. All mechanisms established to facilitate civil society participation, including engagement with diverse perspectives of civil society, should be fully resourced, supported, accessible and transparent. Finally, the Council should ensure women’s meaningful participation in the establishment and operation of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (A/71/L.48 (2016)) to assist in the investigation of serious crimes committed in Syria since 2011, including in detention centers, and that the mechanism fully documents abuses against Syrian women and girls.

Western Sahara

As the Security Council discusses the situation in Western Sahara, including the expulsion of international civilian staff and the closure of the Dakhla liaison office to the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) gender should be a key consideration. The Council must accelerate the nomination of a new special envoy and reaffirm the role and the mandate of MINURSO, ensuring it can fulfill the standard functions of peacekeeping, which include monitoring, evaluation and reporting on local developments, by appointing personnel responsible for civil affairs to work systematically and directly with concerned communities.