For March, in which Mozambique has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Afghanistan, Myanmar and South Sudan.
In the context of the situation in Afghanistan, the worst women’s rights crisis in the world, protection of women’s rights and the full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership of diverse Afghan women, including civil society and women’s rights organizations, in all fora, at all levels and at all stages of decision-making must be a top priority in any deliberations by the Security Council. It is critical that UNAMA, the mission with the longest standing mandate to monitor and address women’s human rights, has the capacity, resources and political support to maintain a strong presence and fully implement its mandate in close consultation with Afghan women civil society, including women human rights defenders and women’s rights organizations. In forthcoming negotiations, the Security Council should heed the Secretary-General’s recommendation to renew UNAMA’s mandate for 12 months, with no changes, as defined by resolution 2626 (2022). In particular, the Council should protect the following aspects of UNAMA’s mandate:
- Mainstream gender as a cross-cutting issue throughout implementation of its mandate (OP 5(f)), and support and promote gender equality, women and girls’ empowerment and full protection of their human rights, including their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights (OPs 5(f), 5(e)).
- Monitor and report specifically on violations, abuses and reprisals committed against women, including women human rights defenders (OP 5(f)), and further monitor, report on and advocate for the protection of civilians, and the prevention and elimination of violence, including by implementing a “survivor-centered approach” to preventing and responding to all forms of gender-based violence (OP 5(e)).
- Unequivocally support the full, equal, meaningful and safe participation, engagement and leadership of women in all levels and stages of decision-making (OPs 5(c), 5(f)).
- Support implementation of international human rights treaties, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (OP 5(e)).
- Highlight the importance of a principled humanitarian response by humanitarian and development agencies and personnel, both women and men, across all ethnic groups, in all areas of the country, in support of all people in need, including women, and enable them to carry out their work without hindrance (OP 5(a)). Engage with diverse Afghan women’s organizations and networks, including consultation with and inclusion of displaced women, ethnic minorities and women from other marginalized groups (OP 5(f)).
- Provide comprehensive analysis and liaise with Afghan women leaders, human rights defenders, civil society representatives and other stakeholders to promote political inclusion and broad participation in the conduct of public affairs, and analyze and report on developments relating to the rule of law (OP 5(d)).
Two years since the February 2021 military takeover, a human rights, political, socioeconomic and humanitarian crisis continues to impact nearly every facet of life in Myanmar. One in three people in Myanmar are estimated to require humanitarian assistance due to food insecurity and limited or no access to health care, including sexual and reproductive services. Displacement continues unabated, yet administrative restrictions and violence against first responders, including health care workers, hamper humanitarian access and delay the delivery of the most basic of assistance. The situation is further characterized by violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, encompassing both indiscriminate and targeted attacks against protestors, activists, journalists, politicians and human rights defenders, such as arbitrary arrest and detention, extrajudicial torture, rape and deportation or forcible transfer, with women, girls and LGBTQI+ individuals at heightened risk, particularly of all forms of gender-based violence. In the Security Council’s forthcoming discussions on the situation, Council members must:
- Demand the implementation of all provisions of resolution 2669 (2022) and adherence to international humanitarian and human rights law, including through the immediate release of all arbitrarily detained prisoners, cessation of all attacks against civilians, including protestors, activists, human rights defenders and journalists, and civilian structures, and implementation of ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus.
- Call for the immediate cessation of the sale and transfer of arms, ammunition and aviation fuel, that will aid in facilitating violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
- Refrain from expressing support for any effort to legitimize military control through elections and condemn all such efforts as opposed to the principles at the core of the Charter of the United Nations, as evidenced by the imposition of a new law that undermines the right of voters to freely choose candidates.
- Demand the removal of all barriers to ensure the full, safe, unhindered and sustained humanitarian access to all parts of the country, which requires all armed actors to protect medical and humanitarian personnel and lift bureaucratic and administrative obstacles and other blockages that are preventing the “scaled up humanitarian assistance to all people in need in Myanmar” required by resolution 2669 (2022). Meeting the humanitarian and protection needs of the most marginalized groups, particularly women, children and religious and ethnic minorities, must be prioritized. Aid must be accessible, non-discriminatory and delivered in accordance with humanitarian principles.
Finally, it is critical that diverse perspectives inform all discussions on the situation. Thus, the Security Council must actively engage with diverse civil society, including women and all ethnic minorities, including the Rohingya, and explicitly communicate that this should be a priority to relevant stakeholders including the National Unity Government (NUG), ASEAN, and the Office of the Special Envoy.
In the forthcoming renewal of the mandate of UNMISS, the Security Council should:
- Call on UNMISS and other relevant actors to support civil society advocacy for fundamental rights — including freedom of assembly, association and speech — and to strengthen monitoring and reporting on threats and reprisals targeting women peacebuilders, human rights defenders, civil society leaders and women’s rights organizations; further emphasize the importance of creating an enabling environment that allows civil society to carry out their work safely and freely as central to sustainable peace.
- Call on parties to prioritize accountability advancing the operationalization of the hybrid court alongside the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing and other transitional justice mechanisms laid out in Chapter V of the R-ARCSS and emphasize that the mechanisms must be designed and developed with women’s full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership, and be gender-responsive, inclusive, accessible and fully resourced.
- Call on the mission to ground all its efforts pertaining to prevention of conflict in gender-sensitive conflict analysis, accounting for community-identified root causes of conflict and violence, and request that future reports mainstream gender-sensitive conflict analysis.
- Call on all authorities in South Sudan to protect and uphold human rights, including women’s rights, address impunity for violations of such rights, ensure a safe and enabling environment for civil society, and enact legislation that protects the rights of women human rights defenders, peace activists and humanitarian personnel in line with international human rights standards.