The Council is expected to discuss the reports of the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and EUFOR/NATO. Political obstacles and lack of resources continue to impede the process of investigating and prosecuting crimes under international law, including crimes of sexual violence. There has been insufficient acknowledgment of the continuing consequences of this abuse. The Security Council should call on BiH to: take concrete steps to ensure services are accessible to survivors of sexual violence; provide financial and other practical measures to NGOs which can deliver support to survivors; and ensure participation of all relevant stakeholders in the development of the State Programme for Victims of Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond, and state level discussions aimed at adopting the BiH Law on the Rights of Victims of Torture and Civilian Victims of War and the BiH Strategy for Transitional Justice.
The situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) has continued to deteriorate, with civilians continuing to bear the brunt of the conflict. There are increasing concerns regarding violations of women’s and girls´ human rights in the country since the 24 March takeover of the Bozize government. In its discussion of the report on the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), the Council should press the CAR government to ensure conditions are restored to enable UN personnel and other international actors to resume their work in service provision and human rights monitoring. This includes ensuring that all allegations of violence against women perpetrated by all parties to the conflict, including the SELEKA, are monitored and reported by the BINUCA Human Rights and Justice unit, properly investigated by CAR Government officials and that perpetrators are held accountable. The Council should also inquire into impunity for atrocities committed by the LRA, including what efforts are being made to ensure justice systems are established and LRA leaders are apprehended, including by transferring to the ICC those persons under arrest warrants by the Court. Vetting and gender training of armed forces is necessary, as is attention to the protection of civilians in all areas of the country. The Council should ensure the report provides specific information, analysis and recommendations on how BINUCA will address women’s protection concerns, given the current situation in CAR, and how barriers to women’s participation will be overcome
The Council is expected to discus terrorism twice: in a briefing on counterterrorism, and in a debate on peace and security in Africa. Both discussion should specifically address how counterterrorism measures by UN bodies and Member States comply with international human rights, refugee, and humanitarian law, particularly regarding gender considerations. Council members should ask what steps are being taken to ensure that counterterrorism measures do not hinder gender equality, and urge Member States to include human rights components in their relevant reporting.
The Council will likely be briefed by the new Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region on her trip to the region. Council members should be briefed on women’s participation in efforts to implement the recently signed framework agreement, and on barriers to this participation, as well as on specifics of protection concerns for women in the conflict-affected areas of the region. Such a discussion will also provide an opportunity for Council members to be briefed on challenges and opportunities for civil society in the region, particularly women-led organizations.
Given the absence of women, peace and security content in previous Council considerations of Guinea-Bissau, the expected discussion of the situation and renewal of the mandate of the UN mission in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) should reflect the ongoing challenges to and give support for women’s participation in conflict prevention, political processes, peacebuilding efforts, as well as women’s role in security sector reform. The Security Council should support greater space for women’s engagement in efforts to build trust following the coup. The Security Council’s discussion should also detail gender-specific concerns regarding the current humanitarian situation, and in the context of conversations surrounding the revised mandate. The Council should request gender-specific analysis and recommendations in discussion of the assessment mission requested in advance of the expected UNIOGBIS mandate renewal.
The Council should ensure that the expected report on its mission in the region (UNOCA), and developments related to addressing the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army, addresses the rights and concerns of women across all sectors of UNOCA’s focus, including efforts to strengthen mediation, early warning and conflict prevention, and justice and security sector reform.
The Council will be reviewing a report on the UN mission in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), which focuses on the mission drawdown and transition to a UN country team (UNCT). At this time of major transition, it is vital that women continue to receive political and financial resources to ensure their full and equal engagement in Sierra Leone’s future. This is particularly important regarding support for women-led civil society organizations. The Council should send a strong message that the gains for women must be consolidated in the transition to the UNCT, and that Member State resources must support this consolidation.
Abyei / South Sudan / Sudan
The Council is expected to renew the mandate and receive a report on the UN mission in Abyei (UNISFA). The mandate should include specific language on women’s role in political solutions to the ongoing crisis; gender dimensions of the humanitarian situation; and specific gender language regarding human rights monitoring. In its review of the UNISFA report, Council members should ask how the next mandate renewal can better reflect the concerns and rights of women, including by ensuring a gender-responsive approach to community security via the gender sensitization training of security forces, inter alia the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNIFSA), national militaries, and the police service; appointing and ensuring funding for a gender advisor to UNIFSA. In addition, the Council is likely to continue to discuss implementation of SCR 2046 regarding negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan. The Council must inquire into and ensure support for women’s full participation in these negotiations, and the enshrining of their rights and concerns in any agreements that result.
The situation in Syria remains dire as the civilian population continues to be killed, tortured, and their rights violated. Men, women, and children have been subject to rape and sexual assault, with women and girl survivors at increased risk of exploitation by forced marriage. Humanitarian aid is underfunded, and current support is not adequately addressing gender specific concerns. As per the UN Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings, UN humanitarian assistance providers should ensure that survivors have information about and access to these services. The Security Council should refer parties who have violated international law in Syria to the International Criminal Court.
In its discussions on the situation in Yemen, the Council should request information on efforts to entrench women’s rights within the new constitution, and to carry out broad legal reforms to remove discriminatory provisions against women, and should press for the immediate impaneling of the Commission of Inquiry into the violations of 2011 which President Hadi issued in September 2012 and was meant to be formed within six months. Women’s participation in the national dialogue should be strongly supported.
In its regular work, the Council should ensure that all country reports and mandate renewals evaluate the level of protection and promotion of women’s human rights, as per SCRs 1325, 1820 (OP 9), 1888 (OP 11), 1889 (OP 5) and 1960 (OP 6, 13). Member States should inquire about any lack of such reporting.