For December, in which South Africa has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Afghanistan, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau and Sudan (Darfur).
In the forthcoming report on the situation in Afghanistan, information on women, peace and security (WPS) and gender-sensitive conflict analysis should be improved (S/RES/2489 (2019)). Discussions within the Council must recognize and reflect the diverse lived experiences of all communities in Afghanistan: 68% of the population is under 25 years of age; one in five households includes an adult or child with a disability; and 9% of the total population is internally displaced (HRW, RI). The Council should inquire about the progress of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in providing technical expertise and supporting the establishment of clear procedures to engage with and ensure the leadership of diverse women, including women with disabilities, young women and displaced women, in peace negotiations and conflict resolution efforts, ceasefires and in implementing and monitoring any agreements (CEDAW/C/AFG/CO/1-2, WEI). There should be follow-up on the extent to which powerbrokers leading the peace process are taking concrete action to ensure the planning, process and outcome(s) reflect the expertise and priorities of diverse Afghan women, including by preserving all constitutional protections for women’s rights as a priority (Zarqa Yaftali). The Council should also request an update on UNAMA’s support to the Government and civil society organizations (CSOs) in communicating with local leaders, communities, partners and media about the increased risk of violence against women and girls, including women and girls with disabilities, particularly those with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities (WEI), resulting from the measures taken to address the spread of COVID-19 (UNFPA).
In the context of its forthcoming discussions on the situation in Colombia and in the face of rising violence against Indigenous, Afro-Colombian and rural communities, the killing of former FARC-EP members and human rights defenders, and the increased risks faced by former combatants residing outside of the former territorial areas for training and reintegration (TATRs) (Security Council Report, NYT), the Council should request an update on the extent to which the Final Accord’s individual and collective security guarantees, and the Government’s early warning systems, are fully funded and implemented in consultation with women human rights defenders, particularly those from Afro-descendant, Indigenous and remote rural communities, as well as women and girls who are former combatants or were formerly associated with FARC. The Council should call for accelerated implementation and adequate resourcing of the Ethnic Chapter and gender provisions of the Accord, and urge parties to remove barriers to full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership of diverse women, including former combatants, in economic reintegration initiatives and decision-making spaces (S/2020/943). The Council should request more robust measures to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) in the context of continued violence by armed groups and the increase in domestic violence during the pandemic (S/2020/943). The Verification Mission should provide age- and gender-sensitive reintegration and reincorporation support, specifically socioeconomic guarantees, women’s acquisition of land, access to education and health services that encompass sexual and reproductive health care, and services that are inclusive of persons with disabilities and pregnant and lactating women and girls living in TATRs.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). All existing WPS provisions should be maintained and language within the resolution related to women’s participation should be streamlined per good practice to read “the full, equal, and meaningful participation and leadership.” The outcomes of Informal Expert Group on WPS meetings (S/2019/296, S/2018/885, S/2018/362) should be reflected; thus far, they have been inconsistently integrated (NGOWG). In addition, the Council should:
- Ensure any new mandated tasks related to a potential transition are in line with good practice (S/RES/2429 (2018), OP 27), including by calling for regular consultations with diverse women, including women and gender non-conforming peacebuilders and human rights defenders, young women, women and girls with disabilities, Indigenous women and girls, and displaced women and girls; and by grounding decision-making and any related benchmarks in gender-sensitive conflict analysis.
- Update the language in the existing mandate to include “women human rights defenders” in protection of civilians efforts (S/RES/2502 (2019), OP 29(i)(a)) and request the mission to monitor threats and attacks targeting CSOs, including women’s rights groups, and restrictions on civic space (S/RES/2502 (2019), OPs 29(i)(a), 29(i)(d), 29(ii)(e)).
- Ensure that the drivers of conflict are addressed in a gender-responsive manner by updating the language across the mandate related to natural resources management (S/RES/2502 (2019), OP 29(ii)(b)), reconciliation efforts (S/RES/2502 (2019), OP 29(ii)(c)), and resolving inter-communal conflict (S/RES/2502 (2019), OP 29(ii)(d)), to explicitly note that efforts should be aimed at ensuring the processes are “gender-responsive,” informed by gender-sensitive conflict analysis, and carried out in consultation with women CSOs.
- Explicitly call on MONUSCO, in all priority tasks, to regularly consult with diverse women and women’s CSOs, including women and gender non-conforming peacebuilders and human rights defenders, young women, women and girls with disabilities, Indigenous women and girls, and displaced women and girls, and specifically support organizations providing frontline services to survivors and facilitating local reconciliation and peacebuilding (CEDAW/C/COD/CO/8).
- Call on the Government to ensure accountability and access to reparations for victims of GBV and add domestic violence and marital rape into its national legal framework (CEDAW/C/COD/CO/8).
- Call on the Government and international partners to ensure there is adequate funding for the implementation of the National Action Plan on Resolution 1325 and that the planning, implementation and monitoring is done in partnership with diverse women, including women and gender non-conforming peacebuilders and human rights defenders, young women, women and girls with disabilities, Indigenous women and girls, and displaced women and girls (MADRE).
The Security Council is expected to renew the mandate for the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS). Due to disagreements following the 2019 presidential and legislative elections, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a resurgence in drug-trafficking, the political climate remains unstable. Any new mandated tasks related to a potential transition should be in line with existing good practice for addressing WPS in the context of transitions (S/RES/2429 (2018), OP 27), including by calling for regular consultations with diverse women, including women and gender non-conforming peacebuilders and human rights defenders, young women, women and girls with disabilities, Indigenous women and girls, and displaced women and girls; and grounding decision-making and any related benchmarks in gender-sensitive conflict analysis. Further, the Council should address concerns surrounding Guinea-Bissau’s judicial system, which has allowed impunity and corruption to grow, particularly in cases involving GBV (CEDAW/C/GNB/CO/6). Increased attention on legal reform must coincide with efforts to ensure women’s participation and leadership. Women account for only 8% of National People’s Assembly members, and those in other political positions have largely honorary roles (CSPS). Women who are elected remain sidelined from leadership roles due to broader patterns of exclusion within political parties (CSPS, IGARAPE). To address this issue, the Council must strengthen UNIOGBIS’ mandate to explicitly call for women’s full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership in the context of post-electoral or political processes, and specifically call for the removal of all barriers and an end to discrimination within political parties and broader electoral processes.
In its discussion on the situation in Sudan, the Security Council should prioritize protection and promotion of human rights as the fundamental imperative at the heart of its peace and security decision-making. Impunity, lack of accountability and justice for past and current violations remain significant drivers of the overall conflict; however, local CSOs remain concerned that human rights protection and promotion continue to be marginalized in the current peace process, and without leadership, commitment and resources, there will never be implementation. The Council must demand full implementation of all human rights-related provisions of the Juba Peace Agreement and regularly request comprehensive updates that reflect gender-sensitive analysis of the political dynamics regarding efforts to ensure the prioritization of gender-responsive justice, the rule of law and accountability efforts. In this context, developing mechanisms and pathways for women’s rights groups to influence the processes, alongside ensuring women’s formal participation and leadership in all levels of the peace process, is imperative. Council members should ensure these messages are translated into concrete provisions in any outcome adopted and reinforced in statements delivered during meetings. Finally, the Council must proceed with utmost caution in the context of the drawdown of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), given the potential for a reversal of progress made over the last several years. The perspectives of the Darfuri people, especially women, young people, persons with disabilities and displaced persons, must guide the international response. Civilians continue to be disproportionately impacted by the ongoing insecurity, and the withdrawal of UNAMID, combined with the unabated flow of arms, will put them at further risk. Further, the full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership of diverse women must be prioritized as essential if there is any chance of a comprehensive peace process.