For June, in which the Russian Federation has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Colombia, Mali, Sudan (Darfur), and Syria.
In its discussion of the upcoming report of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the Council should ensure that gender is a cross-cutting issue across any discussion 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, diverse roles women have in peace and security processes. In the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2018/165) there were several positive examples of UNAMA’s activities focused on engaging civil society organizations (CSOs), including women’s groups, particularly at the provincial level of the Afghan People’s Dialogue on Peace; any planning should take into account issues raised by women and women’s groups, and communicated in both reports and briefings to the Council (S/RES/2242 (2015)). Furthermore, in discussions of the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, it is imperative that challenges to women’s participation is a particular focus, especially in light of the attacks on voter registration centers in April and May 2018, which resulted in 271 civilian casualties (UNAMA). Additionally, there is an urgent need for international partners to provide concrete support for women’s groups in Afghanistan to undertake efforts that engage women in the electoral process and ensure participation at every step of the process, including voter registration, training candidates to run for office, and the provision of security at registration centers. Positively, there has been an increase in the number of women appointed to senior level positions; this must be continued, increased, supported, and replicated at local and regional levels (CEDAW/C/AFG/CO/1-2). Finally, the international community must demonstrate its continued commitment to the Afghan people by increasing efforts to support women’s voices in peace and security decision-making – during peace talks, in consultations, and in implementation – including through support to the implementation and localization of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda, particularly given the sustained violence against Afghan women leaders and human rights defenders (HRDs) (S/RES/2242 (2015)).
Central African Republic
As the Security Council discusses the latest report on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), the human rights and humanitarian situation, particularly outside the capital, Bangui, continues to worsen. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has increased from 400,000 in May 2016, to 688,700 at the end of 2017. MINUSCA also documented 73 incidents of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) during this past quarter (S/2018/125). Most survivors do not receive essential post-rape medical or mental health care until days or weeks later, if at all, due to non-functioning services, lack of knowledge about services, or lack of funds. In its consideration of the report, the Security Council should ensure there is information on the implementation of existing WPS provisions (S/RES/2387 (2017), OPs 42(a)(iii), (b)(ii), (b)(iii), (b)(iv), 43(b)(iv), (c)(i), (c)(ii), (d)(ii), (e)(xi), 51) and consultations with CSOs (S/2017/865). Additionally, the Council should request information on how implementation of the code of conduct on sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) reflects the recommendations of the independent review of the Central African Republic (CAR), as well as recent policy decisions (A/71/818; A/72/751; S/RES/2272 (2016)). Troop- and police-contributing countries should ensure gender parity, a permanent, reasonable rotation of field contingents, and should develop on site disciplinary sanctions to soldiers violating the code of conduct.
In the discussion of the forthcoming Secretary-General’s report and update on the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, the Council should examine progress on the security guarantees and protection efforts for women community leaders, women HRDs, as well as women and girls who are former combatants or formerly associated with FARC-EP. The Council should call on the Verification Mission to present information and updates on how gender is being mainstreamed in regards to prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) (S/2018/279). The Council should also call on the Mission to provide an update regarding progress on gender-sensitive reintegration, particularly on the needs of women and girls formerly associated with armed groups, specifically socioeconomic guarantees, support for productive projects, vocational trainings, education, and health services, specifically sexual and reproductive health care inclusive of pregnant and lactating women and girls living in territorial areas. Further, the Council should call for relevant actors, including the National Reintegration Council, to regularly consult with women and girls formerly associated with armed groups, and women’s organizations, in the design and implementation of reintegration initiatives. 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 and their respective authorities in establishing and maintaining community-based, gender-responsive self-protection and early warning response systems to address armed actor violence in areas formerly under control of FARC-EP and other armed groups. Finally, irrespective of the outcome of the election, the Council should call on the Government to acknowledge the importance of the reintegration process and respect the Peace Agreement.
In its renewal of the mandate for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the Council should ensure all existing WPS-related provisions are maintained (S/RES/2364 (2017), OPs 20(a)(ii), (b), (c)(iii), (f)(ii), 27). Further, the Council should continue to call for the Government to ensure women’s participation in processes and institutions supporting the implementation of the Agreement (S/RES/2364 (2017), OP 2), including in the Cabinet where women’s representation fails to meet the 30% legal requirement, as well as in territorial administrative positions (S/2018/273). Previously agreed language calling on the Government to support the reintegration of survivors of SGBV and efforts to combat stigma at the national and local levels (CEDAW/C/MLI/CO/6-7, S/RES/2364 (2017), OP 11), should be maintained, and strengthened with language calling for increased access to justice and advancement of current judicial proceedings to ensure crimes are fairly adjudicated in a timely manner.
Darfur / Sudan
The Security Council will be considering the forthcoming report and renewing the mandate for the African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). In its consideration of the mandate, the Council should maintain existing WPS-related provisions (S/RES/2363 (2017), OPs 15(a)(i), (a)(x), (a)(xi), (b)(v), 27). As UNAMID is in the process of a multi-stage drawdown, the Council should include a provision that calls for any reduction in UNAMID’s presence to be based on a measurable peace process, which includes a Government-led, community-based reconciliation process with active participation of women and women’s groups within Darfur. Further, the Council should strengthen language calling on the Government to actively support women’s participation in peace processes and transitional justice mechanisms. Additionally, there have been incidents of UNAMID staff being detained, including key human rights staff; the Council must demand the Government process visas to ensure the mission has the capacity to adequately address the situation (S/2018/154, paras. 25, 28).
Despite the calls for a “humanitarian pause,” violence has continued in Syria. Although the battle for eastern Ghouta is over, some 44,000 IDPs remain in IDP sites. There is particular concern for the protection of women and children in these locations, including issues relating to SGBV. Families are often separated: women and children have been able to depart collective shelters, while men are not, which often leaves female-headed households outside the shelters, without access to employment or income sources. During its discussions of the situation, the Security Council should put pressure on all parties to implement the provisions of resolution 2401 (2018) and call for gender- and age-responsive humanitarian aid strategies. It is imperative that gender is mainstreamed across humanitarian efforts and that women and girls have access to the full range of medical, legal and psychosocial services (S/RES/2242 (2015)). Council members facilitating the Astana peace process must ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in the negotiations and operation of the de-escalation zones. Women from Syrian civil society should meaningfully participate in any future donor and political conferences, including as members of official delegations and invited participants, as was supported by Special Envoy de Mistura (S/PV.8260). Gender considerations should be reflected in the design and outcomes of such events (S/RES/2242 (2015)).