Monthly Action Points (MAP) for the Security Council: December 2018

For December, in which Côte d’Ivoire has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the Afghanistan, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mali.

Afghanistan

In its discussion of the report on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the Council should ensure that gender is a cross-cutting issue across any consultations, briefings and potential action. It is imperative that a gender analysis includes substantial information on the impact of conflict-related violence against women and girls, as well as details regarding the multiple and diverse roles women have in peace and security processes. Women’s rights and women’s meaningful participation must be non-negotiable and included at every level of the peace dialogue as well as on the agenda of any future peace and reconciliation process, including formal negotiations. Afghanistan’s National Action Plan (NAP) on Resolution 1325 (2000) is far from fully implemented, including particularly those provisions related to women’s participation, which is often symbolic rather than substantive. The Council should inquire as to progress in implementing the NAP and further request information regarding specific and sufficient allocation of budgets and corresponding financing mechanisms. Finally, the Council should closely monitor any amendments to the Constitution, ensure that the sequencing of peace-making activities are reinforced with and complementary to confidence-building measures undertaken by the Taliban, and lastly facilitate greater engagement between the High Peace Council and diverse sectors of Afghan society to ensure all narratives are represented and supported through consultations.

Colombia

In its discussion of the forthcoming Secretary-General’s report and review of the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, the Council should examine progress on the security guarantees and protection efforts, including collective security protocols, for women community leaders, women human rights defenders (HRDs), and women and girls who are former combatants or formerly associated with FARC. Any briefings and reports should include information on the ways in which the Mission and the Government are upholding and funding commitments under the Ethnic Chapter while assisting Afro-descendant and Indigenous organizations. Discussions should particularly mention establishing and maintaining community-based, gender-responsive protection and early warning response systems to address the presence of new armed actors and violence in territories formerly under the control of FARC. Furthermore, security guarantees that protect and safeguard community leaders and former combatants are crucial when considering the rise of armed violence in the country, and the killings of HRDs. The Council should extend the Mission’s presence in the country to provide age and gender-sensitive reintegration and reincorporation support; specifically, socioeconomic guarantees and income generation projects, women’s acquisition of land and access to education and health services, which encompass sexual and reproductive health care that is inclusive of pregnant and lactating women and girls living in Territorial Training and Reincorporation Spaces (ETCR). All reincorporation initiatives at individual and collective levels, including reconciliation activities with civilians living near the ETCR, should utilize sex and age-disaggregated data, and be designed, implemented, and monitored through regular and inclusive consultation with women and girls formerly associated with armed groups and women’s organizations, particularly after the approval of the eight-year reintegration policy. Further, the Colombian Government should continue to support the former fighters’ reincorporation into civilian life, both at individual and collective levels, and strengthen Colombia’s economic and political absorption capacity as well as reconciliation efforts, which are key for sustainable and long-lasting peace.   The uncontrolled proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons continues to destabilize certain areas of the country as well as increase women’s insecurity and gender-based violence. The Council should also measure progress on the extent to which efforts to surrender arms and disarm have been successful in improving the safety and security of rural women and girls, and the LGBTI community, given the disproportionate impact the proliferation of weapons has on those groups. In this context, the Council should call on the Colombian Government to update and strengthen arms control regulations and permits in order to ensure that arms are not used to commit or facilitate human rights violations against women, including moving all political efforts for the ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Finally, the Council should keep monitoring the advancement of risky or dangerous modifications to the Peace Agreement, particularly in the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, and request regular information regarding local-level implementation to ensure that women and ethnic minority groups are included in reparation and reconstruction measures.

In its discussion of the forthcoming Secretary-General’s report and review of the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, the Council should examine progress on the security guarantees and protection efforts, including collective security protocols, for women community leaders, women human rights defenders (HRDs), and women and girls who are former combatants or formerly associated with FARC. Any briefings and reports should include information on the ways in which the Mission and the Government are upholding and funding commitments under the Ethnic Chapter while assisting Afro-descendant and Indigenous organizations. Discussions should particularly mention establishing and maintaining community-based, gender-responsive protection and early warning response systems to address the presence of new armed actors and violence in territories formerly under the control of FARC. Furthermore, security guarantees that protect and safeguard community leaders and former combatants are crucial when considering the rise of armed violence in the country, and the killings of HRDs. The Council should extend the Mission’s presence in the country to provide age and gender-sensitive reintegration and reincorporation support; specifically, socioeconomic guarantees and income generation projects, women’s acquisition of land and access to education and health services, which encompass sexual and reproductive health care that is inclusive of pregnant and lactating women and girls living in Territorial Training and Reincorporation Spaces (ETCR). All reincorporation initiatives at individual and collective levels, including reconciliation activities with civilians living near the ETCR, should utilize sex and age-disaggregated data, and be designed, implemented, and monitored through regular and inclusive consultation with women and girls formerly associated with armed groups and women’s organizations, particularly after the approval of the eight-year reintegration policy. Further, the Colombian Government should continue to support the former fighters’ reincorporation into civilian life, both at individual and collective levels, and strengthen Colombia’s economic and political absorption capacity as well as reconciliation efforts, which are key for sustainable and long-lasting peace.

 

The uncontrolled proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons continues to destabilize certain areas of the country as well as increase women’s insecurity and gender-based violence. The Council should also measure progress on the extent to which efforts to surrender arms and disarm have been successful in improving the safety and security of rural women and girls, and the LGBTI community, given the disproportionate impact the proliferation of weapons has on those groups. In this context, the Council should call on the Colombian Government to update and strengthen arms control regulations and permits in order to ensure that arms are not used to commit or facilitate human rights violations against women, including moving all political efforts for the ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Finally, the Council should keep monitoring the advancement of risky or dangerous modifications to the Peace Agreement, particularly in the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, and request regular information regarding local-level implementation to ensure that women and ethnic minority groups are included in reparation and reconstruction measures.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

In light of the forthcoming discussion on the political situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Council must continue to discuss and push for women’s participation in the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework, elections, and political processes. Tensions around elections are likely to escalate further, especially in the absence of inclusive and widely-supported solutions to the challenges related to the electoral calendar, electoral register, and voting machines. The inclusivity of the elections is already severely undermined by the exclusion of two of the main opposition candidates and could be further hampered by obstacles to women’s participation, such as intimidation and lack of security. The Council should call on the Government and opposition to come together and find a solution to the continued disagreements, notably around voting machines and electoral record. The Council should also discuss the risks around the use of voting machines that could impede women’s participation, including potential voter manipulation, the length of time associated with voting, poorly-trained electoral staff, and lack of both clear instructions and of information on voting machine usage. Deployment of voting material and access to polling stations for populations in areas affected by armed violence will also pose significant challenges. The role of security forces in the process should also be considered very carefully, as their deployment in certain areas could exacerbate existing tensions. Furthermore, the Council should demand the urgent implementation of the Commission of Investigation’s recommendations regarding the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations by the security forces. According to the Joint Human Rights Office of the UN, a dramatic increase in human rights violations were committed in August (515 reported violations in July and 620 in August). The number of violations perpetrated by Government agents and armed groups has nearly doubled, reaching 66% of all violations, including at least 24 extrajudicial executions. In the last three months, conflict has intensified in North Kivu, Ituri and Tanganyika around Kalemie, in part due to the renewed population movement, which risks further destabilizing the situation. The elections are likely to be a moment crystallizing tensions, especially for armed groups and actors that seek to position themselves in the new political landscape. The Council must address closing of civic space, increasing violence in urban and rural areas, risks of further violence in the run-up to elections, and possible voting exclusions of displaced people and populations living in conflict-stricken areas. The Council should also call on donors to ensure appropriate resources to support vulnerable populations affected by conflict and violence, including access to justice as well as essential and gender-responsive services. The Security Council must continue to demand that the Government and armed groups uphold international humanitarian law and ensure accountability for the perpetrators and justice for the survivors, including by ensuring the independence of the judiciary and furnishing judicial authorities with the necessary means to carry out their tasks.

Mali

In its discussion of the report of the Secretary-General on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the Council should reflect the discussions of the Informal Expert Group (IEG) on WPS on the situation, as well as ensure gender is mainstreamed throughout the briefing and consultations (S/RES/2423 (2018), OPs 38(a)(ii),(c)(iv),(d)(iii),(e)(ii), 64). Council members should inquire as to the activities of the women-led, independent consultative forum that was created to monitor the implementation of the Agreement, as well as specific ways in which MINUSMA is supporting and working with all parties to ensure women’s meaningful participation in the peace process, and that the 30% quota for women in elected positions is met (S/2018/866). Further, there should be discussion and analysis regarding any barriers to women’s participation. MINUSMA should provide updates on progress made regarding integrating gender into all programs and policies and filling the vacant positions in the Gender Advisory Unit. The Council should inquire about the status of the draft law on sexual and gender-based violence, which was expected to be drafted in late 2018, as well as efforts by all stakeholders towards ensuring policies and programs aimed at countering violent extremism are gender-sensitive, and include consultations with women’s groups. The Council should also inquire about the status of the implementation of the Mali Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, in particular, efforts to monitor and institutionalize gender mainstreaming in implementation. Finally, given the ongoing violence and threats against civil society leaders and human rights defenders, the Council should follow-up on progress in implementing the 2017 law on HRDs.