Monthly Action Points (MAP) for the Security Council: July 2021

For July, in which France has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Colombia, Syria, and Yemen.


In its discussion of the situation in Colombia, including the ongoing protests, Council members should call for cessation of the use of violence, including excessive force, killings, beatings, sexual and gender-based violence, and arbitrary detention, by members of the Colombian police and military forces  against protestors, human rights defenders, and  bystanders, many of whom are Afro-descendant and Indigenous. Members should discourage current Government proposals to criminalize protest and protesters, and should call for an inclusive, participatory dialogue with civil society, particularly with women, youth, LGBTIQ+, Afro-descendant, Indigenous, and rural authorities and communities. Council members should inquire what measures have been taken to impartially investigate and ensure accountability in cases where police, military, and civilians acting with state acquiescence committed violence.

All briefings and reports should include gender-sensitive conflict analysis and data disaggregated by gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, and disability, including in the context of information related to violence against former combatants, social leaders,  and Indigenous, Afro-descendant, rural and LGBTIQ+ communities, who receive additional threats of GBV, including domestic violence (CARE Intl.HRWAmnesty Intl.Amnesty Intl.). The Council should request updates on implementation of measures and systems aimed at ensuring safety and security, such as the security guarantees and protection efforts established under the Accord, collective security protocols, the Timely Action Plan (PAO), and community-based and gender-responsive self-protection and early warning systems. All such efforts must be developed and implemented in consultation with women leaders and human rights defenders, particularly those from Afro-descendant, Indigenous and rural communities, as well as women and girls who are former combatants or were formerly associated with FARC. Relatedly, Council members should inquire as to concrete efforts to dismantle barriers to active and safe participation and access for women, particularly Afro-descendant, Indigenous and rural women, in transitional justice processes, and further inquire regarding steps taken to ensure a survivor-centered approach is at the heart of all reconstruction efforts.

Finally, the Council should inquire regarding progress by the Verification Mission in providing age- and gender-sensitive reintegration and reincorporation support, specifically socioeconomic guarantees; women’s acquisition of land, loans, and technical assistance; access to formal and non-formal education and health services that encompass sexual and reproductive health care, and services that are inclusive of pregnant and lactating women and girls living in Territorial Training and Reincorporation Spaces (ETCR). In that regard, the Government should guarantee full access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services and preventive care for female former combatants, without discrimination.


As 11 million people are still in dire need of humanitarian assistance due to Syria’s 10-year conflict, and testing equipment and vaccines must be adequately available to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country (HRWERC/USG), the Council is urged to reauthorize all three border crossings for another 12 months (Bab Al Hawa, Bab Al Salam, Al Yaroubiah). Further Council members should call upon the Syrian government to distribute medicine and COVID-19 vaccines to civilians without discrimination (HRW). The Council should also call on its members and parties in Syria to uphold the ceasefire in the north-west and call for a complete and nationwide ceasefire, in line with resolution 2532 (2020), to allow the country to address its ongoing health and humanitarian crises, including growing food insecurity, which has affected at least 60% of the population (ERC/USGSecurity Council Report). The Security Council should reinforce that the Secretary-General should include gender, age and disability-sensitive conflict analysis regarding the situation of displaced women (CEDAW/C/SYR/CO/2OCHAUNFPAHNAP). The Council must call for rights-based, survivor-centered humanitarian action that is age and gender-responsive, disability-inclusive and provides immediate and non-discriminatory aid and quality health care, including sexual and reproductive health services and GBV prevention, mitigation and response services. The Office of the Special Envoy (OSE) should prioritize the meaningful participation, dialogue and inclusion of women activists, peacebuilders and WHRDs in its work, and further ensure that gender equality and international human rights law are priorities in the outcomes of any processes (CEDAW/C/SYR/CO/2). Further, the Council should reinforce and support the OSE’s call for the release of all those detained unlawfully or forcibly disappeared. Finally, the outcomes of the February 2020 meeting of the Security Council Informal Expert Group (IEG) on WPS should be reflected throughout all future meetings on Syria.


The Security Council’s discussions on the situation in Yemen have historically failed to reflect critical gender dimensions, despite multiple meetings of the Security Council IEG on WPS (S/2019/253S/2021/264) and briefings by civil society (2017201820192020). The Council should consider the recommendations brought forward by the report of the Group of Eminent Experts (GEE) and by the Panel of Experts, adding a list of sanctioned individuals and calling on states, including some Council members and their allies, to cease arms transfers and other support to the conflict parties, and to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Additionally, Council members are encouraged to consider adopting targeted sanctions in line with resolution 2564 (2021), specifically for violations targeting “politically active women.” Further, there should be enhanced reporting on GBV in the context of reporting on the implementation of sanctions. Ongoing violence, including the missile attack at the airport in Aden, recent escalation in Ma’rib, Hudaydah, Taiz and Aldhale’e Governorates, and restrictions imposed by authorities, humanitarian diversion, donors’ failure to meet aid obligations, and ongoing blockages of oil, food and other vital supplies, have undermined humanitarian actors’ ability to provide necessary assistance. A new surge of COVID-19 cases has appeared, which is spreading largely unchecked due to the existing fragile health system and limited testing, surveillance and reporting. Imposition of response measures without adequate provision of food assistance risks widespread starvation.

In its discussion, the Council should focus on supporting a sustainable and nationwide ceasefire, in line with resolution 2532 (2020), that would support viable conditions for protecting civilians, including women, and lead to a resumption of peace negotiations. The Council must address the recent violations against women by all parties to the conflict, including the Houthis ban on contraceptives, the recent alleged accusation of the Houthis preventing women from working in public spaces, and ad-hoc and arbitrary enforcement of requirements for national female staff within humanitarian organizations to travel with a mahram (a male family member). Finally, Council members should support the #NoWomenNoGovernment campaign and denounce the full exclusion of women from the new government formed last December 2020, which marks the first complete exclusion of women in the last two decades and is counter to the national dialogue outcomes. It is important for Council members to continue to emphasize the necessity of women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace and political processes, ensuring a minimum 30% quota of women in all processes as a matter of urgency. The international community must support Yemen’s National Action Plan (NAP) on WPS and ensure full funding for its implementation, including by supporting diverse women’s groups, while taking into consideration recommendations brought forward by civil society organizations to strengthen the NAP.