The situation in Afghanistan remains a dangerous one, particularly for women. In discussing reports from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF), the Security Council should reinforce that Afghan women must play an active role in all efforts to negotiate a peaceful future for the country, including by inquiring into efforts to support women’s participation in reconciliation talks. The Council should support additional UN capacity to address humanitarian needs, including an increase in UNHCR and OCHA protection and humanitarian affairs officers in regional offices. The Council should ensure political agreements between the Afghan government and insurgent groups include verifiable benchmarks to evaluate the parties’ conformity with human rights obligations.
In its renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB), the Security Council should take the additional measures needed to ensure effective human rights monitoring and justice for survivors of crimes, including crimes of sexual violence. Of particular importance is the role that small arms and light weapons play in fueling the ongoing violence in the region. The Council should also reinforce the importance of establishing a transitional process and a special chamber for prosecution of international crimes. To prevent more politically motivated violence and reprisals, the Council should support dialogue between the government and the opposition, with the meaningful participation of women.
In its discussion of the report on the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), the Council should inquire into impunity for atrocities committed by the LRA, and what efforts are being made to ensure justice systems are established. The report should assess humanitarian coordination and efforts to apprehend LRA leaders, and recommend how to enhance civilian protection and humanitarian support. Vetting and gender training of armed forces is necessary, as is attention to the protection of women, men and children in eastern CAR. The Council should support recovery and relief for survivors of attacks and abductions, and should support civilian rehabilitation programs to sensitize national armed forces and local communities to the proper treatment of male and female returnees.
In its consideration of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, the Security Council should ensure it addresses the continuing high level of sexual violence, and support justice and reconciliation processes to hold accountable perpetrators of all violations of human rights. Failure to address prior abuses committed risks undermining efforts by the ICC and the development of the rule of law.
The Security Council will consider the report of the Secretary-General and renew the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). In the situation in Cyprus, which has endured for nearly 40 years, women are largely absent from peace negotiations. The Secretary-General’s 2010 report (S/2010/603) called for the two sides to heed the recommendations of the Gender Advisory Team to integrate gender considerations into the Cyprus peace process (para 43). The Council should ensure these recommendations, which have not been implemented, are included in the mandate and reported on.
We remain deeply concerned at the persistent lack of accountability for crimes in DRC, including mass rape in Walikale in 2010 and in the area around Fizi in 2011, as well as the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the DRC between March 1993 and June 2003, as reported by OHCHR in 2010. In any discussions on the situation in the DRC, the Council must ensure MONUSCO fully implements its mandate to prioritize the protection of civilians (SCR 1991, OP1). The Council should hold the DRC Government to account for the lack of prosecution of suspected perpetrators of sexual violence, and for inadequate witness protection and service provision for survivors.
The Council is expected to discuss a report of the Secretary-General as well as extend the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). The only women, peace and security emphasis in previous mandate renewals has been on sexual exploitation and abuse by the troops monitoring the ceasefire. Any future mandate renewal should include specific language on mandatory comprehensive gender training for troops.
The next Secretary-General’s report on Lebanon, which the Council is due to receive in December, should include analysis of the gendered effects of Israel’s continued occupation of Ghajar; analysis of the spill-over effects of Syria’s intensifying conflict on Lebanese civilians at the borders, and an update on the clearance of cluster bombs and other ordnance which continue to pose dangers to Lebanese civilians, particularly women and girls. The report should reflect on the first all-female cluster bomb disposal unit in Lebanon, and detail how to support similar programmes and reforms.
The Council is expected to continue discussing the situation in Libya, considering a report of the Secretary-General and the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). There is particular concern for women who have been displaced, including the thousands of Sub-Saharan African IDPs. Humanitarian agencies have documented harassment, looting, and arbitrary arrest and detention of Tawerghan women and children, and there is concern for women whom are among the estimated 7,000 detainees under the control of revolutionary brigades. Women detainees have highlighted the absence of formal investigations and charges, and the lack of information on the reason for their detention. The Council should support the National Transitional Council (NTC) in ensuring clear procedures for policing, arrests, prosecution, and detention – including female guards for female detainees. The Council should also give strong support for women’s rights in the new constitution, and in the development of new, democratic political institutions, and to measures to increase women’s political participation.
The Council is expected to hold meetings on Somalia. The protection of civilians, including women and girls from gender-based violence, remains an urgent concern. The effects of recent developments on the rights of women should be given special attention, including the Kenyan military incursion in Somalia and recurrent reports of looting of aid, and intra-TFG and clan militia fighting in Mogadishu. The Council is urged to reinforce the central role women play in conflict resolution, and to require that UN’s human rights monitoring and reporting capacity be strengthened, to effectively enable – where security conditions allow – prompt and public reporting on the human rights situation of women affected by the conflict.
In December, the Council will consider a report from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Among the many security concerns in South Sudan, the Abyei conflict is causing displacement in South Sudan, and armed violence has caused significant civilian casualties. The Council should ensure women, peace and security considerations are highlighted, particularly in regards to ongoing sexual and gender-based violence and women’s role in the ongoing peace and reconciliation process.
The Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) as per SCR 1990 (2011). In the mandate, the Council is urged to: ensure UNISFA implements an affective human rights monitoring mandate and the results are included in the Secretary General’s reports to the Council, as required in OP10 of SCR 1990(2011); review access to the region by the OHCHR assessment mission; demand that all parties account for individuals still missing since the start of the violence, including women and children; express concern over the growing challenge of humanitarian access, and inquire as to what contingency plans are in place to protect women and girls, especially displaced and disabled populations.
During December, the Council will consider a report on the UN Office in West Africa (UNOWA). In its discussions, the Council should discuss the recent surge in sexual and gender-based violence, the trafficking of small arms and light weapons and its impact on the safety of civilians, especially women. In its regular work, the Council should ensure that all country reports and mandate renewals evaluate the level of protection and promotion of women’s human rights, as per SCRs 1325, 1820 (OP 9), 1888 (OP 11), 1889 (OP 5) and 1960 (OP 6, 13).