For August, in which the United Kingdom has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on Central Africa, Conflict Prevention and Mediation, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia.
The UN Regional Office for Central Africa’s (UNOCA) mandate will be renewed for another term in August 2018. The Council should include an explicit provision mainstreaming gender as a cross-cutting issue throughout all UNOCA’s activities. The activities being carried out by UNOCA regarding strengthening women’s networks and supporting women’s political participation, including in the context of its support for the development of National Action Plans on Resolution 1325 (2000), should be continued.
Conflict Prevention & Resolution
As recently reaffirmed in resolution 2242 (2015), women and girls’ empowerment and gender equality are crucial to conflict prevention. In the discussion on conflict prevention and mediation, Member States should commit to adopting holistic approaches that address the root causes of conflict and unequal access to resources, including systemic and structural discrimination and inequalities, which are often at the heart of grievances driving instability. Member States must prioritize disarmament through gender-sensitive approaches and protection initiatives, created through inclusive civil society dialogue, and move away from the narrative that militarism is the main recourse to ensure security. The Security Council and Member States should take action against illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources and commodities in areas where it contributes to the outbreak, escalation or continuation of armed conflict. Member States should further outline steps to ensure women participate in the design of all conflict prevention measures, including early warning mechanisms and preventative diplomacy initiatives. Women’s civil society organizations (CSOs) should have a prominent role in all conflict prevention efforts at local levels, and Member States should recognize the need to support grassroots efforts with increased, long-term and predictable funding and political support.
The Security Council is expected to consider a report on the implementation of resolution 2404 (2018) and the political and security situation in Guinea-Bissau. The Council should urge the mission to increase consultations with women’s civil society groups, mainstream gender-perspectives in security sector reform, establish national reconciliation processes, enable gender-inclusive institution and capacity-building, and enhance efforts to address the root causes of political, economic, and social instability (S/RES/2122 (2013), OP 2(c)). Further, the Council should address concerns surrounding Guinea-Bissau’s judicial system and the unstable political environment, which enables corruption and impunity, particularly in cases involving sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) (CEDAW/C/GNB/CO/6). Finally, the Council should also call on UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) to address the gendered impacts of trafficking of drugs, humans, and small arms and light weapons, and call for engagement and involvement of women’s CSOs in anti-trafficking efforts, working alongside UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at all levels.
In the discussion of the forthcoming Secretary-General’s report on the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), the Council should inquire as to progress made in addressing under-reporting of SGBV, the strengthening of rule of law institutions, and human rights abuses, including concerns related to due process for women in overcrowded prisons and prolonged pretrial detention. The Council should also urge MINUJUSTH to build the capacity of local organizations and urge the Government to ensure gender-sensitive assistance services for survivors of SGBV and sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by UN peacekeepers, and to establish transparent, survivor-centered, readily accessible mechanisms to hear claims for remedies. Finally, the Council should enjoin MINUJUSTH to provide logistical and technical expertise for the establishment of protection and relocation mechanisms for human rights defenders, particularly women human rights defenders, and expand relocation funds to include family members and dependents of those at risk.
In its discussion of the situation in Iraq, the Security Council should inquire into the ways in which the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) is adjusting its operations to mainstream gender as a cross-cutting issue, as per the mandate renewal in June 2018 (S/RES/2421 (2018), OP 2(e)). The Council should address the fact that current prosecutions of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL / Da’esh) members are limited to violations of counter-terrorism law in trials which do not address human rights abuses, including SGBV crimes, and that Iraqi courts’ broad interpretation of terrorist affiliation puts victims, such as women and girls forced to marry ISIL fighters, at risk of prosecution. The Security Council must call for accountability for serious human rights violations against all groups and by all sides. These violations include, but are not limited to, abduction and human trafficking, sexual slavery, rape, torture committed on the basis of gender, and other forms of SGBV by ISIL, as well as beatings, unlawful detention and SEA of alleged ISIL-affiliated families. In line with a letter submitted by 49 Iraqi civil society organizations on 13 July 2018, the Council should ensure a fair and transparent judicial process that allows for witness and victim participation in transitional justice reform, as well as reparations and reintegration assistance for victims of SGBV. The Security Council should ensure the Iraq investigative team (established under S/RES/2379 (2017)) is inclusive and composed of impartial and independent experts, including a senior women’s protection officer, with extensive expertise in collecting, consolidating, preserving and analyzing evidence, and integrating gender analysis. The adoption of resolution 2379 (2017) is an important step towards accountability for crimes committed against civilians by ISIL. However, the Council should demand the creation of an independent inquiry or expand the scope of the resolution to investigate crimes committed by other armed groups. There is particular concern regarding the persecution and discrimination against returnees, especially women and children. Many of them are marginalized, and some are imprisoned for their association with ISIL. This information should be included in future reporting and as a subject under discussion during Council consultations. The Council should call for the expansion of current documentation and reporting requirements to cover all gender-based crimes, including crimes against women human rights defenders, LGBTIQ persons, men and boys, and those persecuted for defying prescribed gender roles. In this regard, the Council should request an update on the implementation of the UN-Iraq Joint Communiqué on the prevention of and response to conflict-related sexual violence. The Council should urge the Government to pass the draft Family Violence Protection law with proposed amendments from Iraqi women’s rights organizations, including provisions clarifying that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may provide shelter for women fleeing SGBV. Furthermore, the Council should call on the Government to immediately issue a directive to clarify that NGOs may provide such shelter while the draft law remains pending before the Iraqi Parliament.
In the upcoming renewal of the mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the Council must include language that reflects its commitment to further the WPS agenda, especially through a provision calling for gender to be a cross-cutting issue. Specific attention should be paid to women’s participation in all peace and security issues, including disarming non-state armed groups, and a gender-sensitive needs assessments to effectively coordinate humanitarian assistance. The mission should also ensure that any humanitarian assistance is in line with existing obligations under international humanitarian law; and that women and girls have access to the full range of livelihood, legal, psychosocial, and medical services, including sexual and reproductive services, without discrimination (S/RES/2242 (2015), CEDAW/C/LBN/CO/4-5). The full deployment of gender expertise is essential in order to meet UNIFIL’s obligations to implement the WPS agenda. There is a need to emphasize women’s participation in the process as a means of their protection, as well as a need to engage women’s civil society organizations, including women’s groups (S/RES/2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015)), as UNIFIL’s relationship with local communities is essential to its success as a mission, as per its strategic review last year (S/2017/202). Finally, repercussions of the Syrian conflict in Lebanon, including the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and armed violence (S/2018/210), must not be overlooked or disconnected from the concerning deterioration of the rule of law (HRW, Amnesty International) or from the recent spate of killings and violent acts against women, particularly in the domestic sphere. In this context, the Council should exert pressure on Member States to uphold their obligations under resolution 1701 (2006), to prevent the sale or supply of arms to entities or individuals in Lebanon beyond the control of the State.
The Security Council is expected to consider a report on the implementation of resolution 2408 (2018). In its discussion of the report, the Council should promote women’s full participation in all efforts to maintain peace and security in Somalia, and support continued efforts by the Federal Government of Somalia and Interim Regional Administrations, with assistance from the UN and AU, to further promote increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in Somali institutions. This is particularly important given that renewed inter-clan tensions (S/2018/411) caused by the current political crisis have delayed government and federal preparatory work for the elections due to be held in 2020. The Council should also ensure there is progress made in implementing relevant WPS provisions in the UN Mission in Somalia’s (UNSOM) mandate. The Council should request information and analysis on the differential impact of terrorism and violent extremism on the human rights of women and girls in Somalia, alongside information on efforts by the missions to ensure the participation and leadership of women and women’s groups in developing strategies to counter terrorism and violent extremism (S/RES/2242 (2015), PP 14, OP 13). Further, the Council is expected to be informed about the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia; the conversation should include the gender dimensions of piracy and how it affects Somali women, including sexual exploitation of women and girls, the impact piracy has on early marriage and human trafficking, as well as ways to ensure counter-piracy efforts, are not gender-blind.