Monthly Action Points (MAP) for the Security Council: July 2019

For July, in which Peru has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on Cameroon, Haiti, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen.


Over the last several months, the violence in Cameroon has resulted in the displacement of more than 500,000 people in South-West and North-West Cameroon, with hundreds more killed and tortured (OCHA, HRW). Freedom of movement is severely restricted and freedom of association and speech has been curtailed (HRW, RI, UNICEF). Close to 1.3 million people are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance and food insecurity has increased significantly (OCHA, FAO). Violence includes burning of property, kidnapping, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), with women and girls, and people with disabilities particularly at risk (RI, OCHA, HRW). The Security Council has an important role to play in facilitating inclusive mediation and dialogue efforts, which address the root causes of the crisis, as well as urging the Government to allow unhindered access to international and national human rights and humanitarian organizations. Widespread impunity for violations carried out by security forces must not be tolerated; the Council must urge the Government to support a prompt, independent, and impartial investigation of allegations of human rights abuses and prosecute those responsible, as well as publicly state that those in leadership will be held accountable for violations committed by security forces under their command. The Council should urge the government to speed up implementation of the NAP on Resolution 1325 (2000) and prioritize women’s meaningful participation in efforts to find a peaceful solution, including in local mediation processes. Women-led civil society organizations (CSOs) should be supported in their work providing basic response services at the local level, as well as in leadership roles in humanitarian, peace and security processes. Finally, in order to avoid further deterioration, the international community should urgently fund humanitarian assistance that is gender and age-sensitive, includes non-discriminatory medical and psychosocial support for survivors of SGBV, and adheres to humanitarian principles.


Over recent months, Haiti has descended into a deepening political crisis, with repeated demonstrations calling for the President’s resignation amidst a massive corruption scandal. Political instability in Haiti has historically led to increases in SGBV against women and girls, raising serious concerns about the deteriorating security situation. The Council should inquire about efforts to prioritize transitioning women, peace and security responsibilities, including engagement with women-led CSOs, to a new political mission. Further, briefings should detail ways in which the mission is addressing key accountability gaps, including through the provision of gender-sensitive services for survivors of SGBV and sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by UN peacekeepers and personnel, and establishment of transparent, survivor-centered, readily accessible mechanisms to hear claims for remedies. MINUJUSTH should monitor compliance with Haitian law and the UN’s policies on SEA. The Council should call on MINUJUSTH to monitor the implementation of the UN’s New Approach to Cholera (A/71/620) and ensure that the ‘material assistance package’ is gender-sensitive and developed with the full participation of women. Finally, the Council should follow-up on the recently released findings into the November 2018 massacre in La Saline, particularly in regards to SGBV and Government efforts to protect and assist women who are now displaced. The Council should further ensure that the UN monitor incidences of SGBV in the country and support the recent large-scale peaceful civil society mobilization against SGBV.


The recent sharp escalation of the situation in Libya is causing more restrictions to women’s movement, especially for women’s rights advocates, as well as civilians generally. The Security Council must demand an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and ensure all civilians and civilian objects are protected in accordance with international humanitarian law (IHL).  It is essential that there is systematic consultation with women and women’s organizations from diverse perspectives, including youth and Indigenous groups, across UNSMIL’s entire work. In the recent political process, gender parity was not achieved and with the current crisis, women’s participation is largely ignored. Public space for women to voice their opinions and take an active role in the political and peacebuilding processes is rapidly shrinking amid reports of threats, intimidation and violence. The Council should urge Libyan authorities to ensure the protection and support of women, including human rights defenders, to participate actively in the public space without the fear of reprisal. SGBV remains underreported, and largely overlooked, while services for survivors are non-existent, yet desperately needed. UNSMIL should work with women-led CSOs and Libyan authorities to establish prevention and response measures, including guaranteeing victims of SGBV unhindered access to emergency response and reporting without fear of reprisal. Despite the tremendous efforts and the humanitarian response program applied by local activists, local CSOs, several UN Agencies and INGOs for displaced civilians, urgent requests for humanitarian assistance are regularly called for, including women- and children-related needs and priorities. The Council should urge UNSMIL to implement preventative measures to protect female migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in detention centers who are particularly exposed to systematic and widespread SGBV. The Council should ensure that an effective and coordinated gender-sensitive strategic approach for security sector reform and disarmament is a priority.


The situation in Sudan continues to be characterized by violence following the overthrow and arrest of President Omar al-Bashir, and attacks by security forces against protestors, including killings, unlawful detention, torture, and SGBV (AI). Relatedly, new evidence from the country shows that “war crimes and other serious human rights violations” continue to be committed by Government forces in Darfur and now in Khartoum, including the destruction of at least 45 villages, unlawful killings, and SGBV. The Council must call for the Government to end its targeting of civilians exercising their right to freedom of assembly, opinion, and expression, including by ending the internet blackout (HRW, AI). The Council should call for an immediate withdrawal of Rapid Support Forces and paramilitary groups from main cities and civilian areas as well as fully support and implement the African Union decision to apply international pressure for an immediate handover of power from the Transitional Military Council to a civilian government approved by the Forces of Freedom and Change.  Relatedly, the Council should pressure the Transitional Military Council to open the country to an international independent investigation of focused on the 3 June 2019 massacre as called for by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (AI). The outcome of any investigation should include a focus on SGBV and include strong, enforceable recommendations which aim to hold perpetrators accountable and ensure assistance and reparation for survivors. Such assistance should include a full range of medical services, including psychosocial and sexual and reproductive health services; immediately, appropriate, professional and dignifying referral systems for SGBV survivors should be established, as well as an accurate, legal reporting system. As a confidence building measure, the Government should release all political detainees including Darfuri students and detainees of the various Darfuri rebel groups. In any negotiation or peace process, there should be the meaningful participation of women from all regions in a transitional government, as well as in all future governmental institutions, executive bodies, legislative and the judiciary.


As the Council discusses the situation in Yemen, women’s meaningful participation in all aspects of the political and peace process should be emphasized. The Council must put more pressure on the UN Special Envoy to include women in peace consultations. The Council must call on parties to release civilian detainees, especially women detainees and exert pressure to end the recruitment of children into armed groups. The Council must continue to pressure all parties to implement the Stockholm Agreement and comply with their obligation to allow and facilitate impartial, rapid and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians in need under IHL. The Council must pressure the conflict parties to a ceasefire and refrain from opening new fronts or renew fighting in previous fronts. Fighting escalation in Dhale’e has resulted in widespread displacement of civilians and has complicated access to the airport in Aden. The Council must apply pressure towards lifting the embargo on civilian airports in Yemen, including Sana’a airport and Rayan airport. Any humanitarian assistance in the region must be gender-sensitive, developed in partnership with local CSOs, and include a full range of medical services, including psychosocial and sexual and reproductive health services, as well as access to legal assistance, education and employment, before, during, and after armed conflict (S/RES/2122 (2013), CEDAW/C/YEM/Q/7-8). The Council and UN offices in Yemen must support civil society efforts to establish emergency plans and humanitarian operation room teams. UN entities in Yemen should adopt a sustainable approach for gender-focused interventions, such as establishing SGBV response structures and services and more solid protection programs for women human rights defenders (WHRDs) that include relocation services, especially since there are only four shelters for women run by the Women’s Union in the entire country. Moreover, the Council should ensure the participation of CSOs, women leaders, women’s groups, and youth representatives that reflect the ethnic, geographic, and political diversity of Yemen’s population, in all conflict resolution and conflict management processes. Further, Council members should ask senior UN officials to provide updates regarding efforts to protect WHRDs and civil society activists, and their access to legal support and essential services. The Council should particularly call for the release of Asmaa Al-Omaisi, who was detained by Houthis and sentenced to death. Council members should support the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts (GEE) and request all UN agencies to fully collaborate with the GEE; in particular, those that have a presence inside Yemen and benefit from direct access to Yemenis who have been subjected to human rights violations. The international community should provide continued support to the national human rights monitoring and reporting mechanism, including capacity-building support around women’s rights and gender-sensitive documentation of violations and abuses. Basic documentation practice should include collection of information on the specific vulnerabilities faced by men and boys, particularly in the case of detention or recruitment. All stakeholders must ensure women’s meaningful participation in the design and implementation of peace and security strategies, including those that aim to counter violent extremism (S/RES/2122 (2013), OP 13; S/RES/2242 (2015), OP 13; CEDAW/C/YEM/Q/7-8).