Central African Republic
The situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) continues to worsen, and civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict and the absence of rule of law in the country. On 10 October, the Security Council updated and reinforced the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) through the adoption of resolution 2121 (2013). However, to implement the new mandate, the Mission will need considerable extra resources in order to “monitor, help investigate and report to the Council” on any abuses or violations of international human rights or humanitarian law committed anywhere in the country. In order to do this, there must be gender advisers, and deployment of women protection advisers and child protection advisers, to focus on violations and abuses committed against children and women, including all forms of sexual violence in armed conflict, as stated in SCR 2121 (2013). The Council should ensure these extra resources are forthcoming and maintained moving forward in order to ensure women are not only protected, but their participation in any peace process, as well as peacebuilding efforts and future elections, is supported to the fullest extent. The Security Council should be ready to swiftly consider the options to be presented by the Secretary-General for MISCA to allow for this force to deploy in adequate numbers and with the necessary training, resources and capacity to protect civilians from harm, with the strict application of the UN Human Rights Due Diligence Policy. The Council should seriously consider the possibility of transforming MISCA into a United Nations peacekeeping operation, without delay, if this would be the most effective tool for the protection of the civilian population in the CAR and the promotion and protection of its human rights. The Council should inquire into accountability for atrocities committed by all armed groups and security forces operating in the country, and reinforce efforts to ensure justice systems are re-established and investigations and prosecutions are conducted according to international standards. With the support of international forces operating in the CAR, the Council should press the authorities to make sure that those persons under arrest warrants by the ICC are apprehended and transferred to the Court.
Council discussions on counterterrorism 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, as per SCR 2122 (OP 3). 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 expected report on the UN mission in Iraq (UNAMI) should hold women’s human rights central to addressing the country’s volatile security situation. With nearly 5,000 civilians killed over the past six months, the report should stress the protection of civilians, including women and children. It should bring a gender lens to situations of detention, displacement, and humanitarian access, including for Syrian refugees. The report should also include information, analysis, and recommendations on challenges facing women in political processes; highlight advances in ensuring participation of Iraqi women in national reconciliation efforts; and detail progress made to enhance Iraqi women’s access to justice, including in response to the Hawija incident. Additionally, the report should provide information on the development of national strategies on SCR 1325, such as a National Action Plan.
The Council is expected to discuss the situation in Somalia, including in regards to the issue of piracy and also related to options for a future configuration of the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM). In its discussion of piracy, there should be a discussion of the negative impact of piracy on women, specifically in regards to socio-economic ramifications, the role piracy plays in fuelling crime, including trafficking of drugs, arms, and people, and the general insecurity created by the presence of piracy in the region. When discussing the outcome of the AU-UN benchmarking exercise, human rights considerations, including women’s rights, should be at the forefront of the exercise and included as a key component in any reconfigured presence. Further, discussions should address the ongoing need for the mission’s civilian component to have the capacity and resources to carry out gender mainstreaming across all areas of its operation. AMISOM and UNSOM should cooperate in preventing, monitoring, investigating and on abuses and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including those committed against women such as all forms of sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict.
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), 1960 (OPs 6, 13), 2106 (OPs 5, 6), and 2122 (OP 2(d)). Member States should inquire about any lack of such reporting.