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

For May, in which China has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan.


In its renewal of the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), the Council should maintain existing women, peace and security (WPS) language (S/RES/2522 (2020), PP, OP 2(e)) and further:

  • Add a provision in UNAMI’s mandate, which requires the mission to regularly and meaningfully consult with women’s civil society groups in all aspects of its work, particularly in supporting capacity-building of essential civil and social services, many of which are being carried out by frontline women’s civil society organizations.
  • Add a provision in UNAMI’s mandate requesting gender-responsive monitoring and public reporting, as part of its human rights mandate, on the abuse and use of lethal force against Iraqi civilians protesting and efforts to restrict and close civic space, including for women’s rights groups (AI, UNAMI, Al Jazeera, AP). Council members should also support calls of Iraqi civil society organizations (CSOs) to follow this up with an impartial and transparent mechanism to hold perpetrators accountable.
  • Call on the Government to ensure its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is gender-responsive, meaningfully includes women’s perspectives, and is grounded in an evidence-based gender-sensitive analysis (AI).
  • Call on the Government to enforce the rule of law and immediately stop, but also prevent, the violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, and use of excessive force, mass arrests, and attacks by security forces against demonstrators and other civil society actors, such as journalists and human rights defenders, including under the pretext of emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Call on the Government to urgently enact the Protection Against Domestic Violence law with a provision that ensures civil society engagement and legally recognizes civil society-run safe homes. This is especially important in the context of the rising rates of gender-based violence (GBV) linked to confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic (UNFPA, HRW, UNFPA, OHCHR, UNICEF, UN Women, CEDAW).
  • Call on UNAMI to prioritize GBV programming and response in its role mobilizing and coordinating funding to concretely advance survivor-centered approaches to GBV, including supporting efforts to develop confidential reporting mechanisms, advancing the urgently needed domestic violence legislation, and supporting the establishment of NGO-managed shelters for survivors. GBV programming must also take into account the perspectives of LGBT individuals in planning and implementation (OutRight Action Intl.).


In its discussion of the situation in Libya and the latest report of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Council members must call for women’s rights and the full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership of diverse women, including young women, displaced women, Indigenous women and women with disabilities, in formal, substantive and specific roles at every level of the peace process, including the UNSMIL-facilitated intra-Libya dialogue tracks (S/2021/62), the current Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), and in provincial councils at the local level. Council members must also articulate their strong support for women’s meaningful and increased participation in the newly established cabinet. Women comprise 15% of the cabinet, falling short of the 30% quota the Government previously committed to, and it is imperative that the Council request that the Government work towards honoring its commitments. Council members should also urge the newly appointed Head of UNSMIL to adopt a concrete plan regarding the implementation of the WPS agenda that, in particular, focuses on the full, equal and meaningful inclusion and leadership of diverse women, including young women, in the design and implementation of all aspects of any peace processes, including the ongoing political processes and the ceasefire agreement monitoring. Council members must call upon the interim Government to integrate the recommendations by Libyan women who participated in the LPDF and the recommendations from the 2020 multi-stakeholder consultations with diverse women in its leadership processes. In the context of the continued threat to women peacebuilders, human rights defenders, politicians, activists, and civil society leaders, the Council should call on UNSMIL to support inclusive and consultative protection mechanisms to enable diverse women to participate safely and meaningfully without fear of reprisal. Members of the Council are also encouraged to financially and politically support the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya as a step towards justice and accountability.


Gender inequality remains pervasive throughout Somalia, as Somali women gain access on average to only half the economic, political, and educational opportunities that men do and often experience discrimination or violence for pursuing formal employment (Oxfam and Save Somali Women and Children). Women continue to be excluded from decision-making processes throughout the country, despite the existence of a gender quota system in Somalia’s Parliament (Oxfam). The Security Council is expected to receive reports on the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) over the month. In its discussion, the Council should request that senior UN officials identify, discuss and reflect on their efforts to address the barriers and risks associated with women’s participation, including those brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, in line with the recommendations articulated by Ms. Amina Arale in her August 2019 briefing. These include quarantine measures, economic stressors, and the absence of essential health services, including sexual, reproductive, and psychosocial health services. In the context of planning for forthcoming elections, the Council should request that UNSOM and AMISOM assist in the construction of safe spaces for women across the country to discuss politics and social affairs, such as the recently established call center for women aspiring to become members of Parliament in Mogadishu in January. Briefings delivered by all senior UN officials must mainstream gender-sensitive analysis in updates related to conflict prevention efforts, including those undertaken to address the link between the climate crisis and violence and details regarding regular, ongoing consultations with diverse civil society organizations, including women’s groups. Finally, the Council should continue to express its support for the full implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) on Resolution 1325 (2000) and the Sexual Offences Bill and inquire about progress.


In its discussion of the situation in Sudan, the Security Council should address how the mission is supporting women’s meaningful participation and leadership in peace and political processes, and inquire into the extent to which the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) is mainstreaming gender and women, peace and security as a cross-cutting issue across its work, including by regularly consulting with diverse women’s civil society organizations. Accountability for GBV is part of the mandate of UNITAMS; the Council should follow up on the mission’s work to respond to, monitor, and report on sexual violence in order to ensure the protection of women in conflict-affected areas from violence. Furthermore, militarization of cities and other civilian residential areas is adversely impacting security for women and girls and heightening existing risks of sexual violence. Additionally, UNITAMS should support the vital work of women human rights defenders and peacebuilders and foster safe and enabling environments for their work, including by responding to and preventing attacks against them. Further, Council members should follow up on how UNITAMS has incorporated a gender lens in its support for humanitarian response, as well as its activities related to ensuring the meaningful participation and leadership of women in peace, political, and peacebuilding processes (S/RES/2524 (2020)). UNITAMS must engage more deeply at the community level to ensure that the priorities of all people are considered, including in the democratic transition.