Monthly Action Points (MAP) for the Security Council: November 2016

For November, in which Senegal has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Central Africa, Israel / Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan / South Sudan, and Syria.

Sudan

The Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN mission in Abyei (UNISFA). The Council should ensure UNISFA’s human rights monitoring mandate is gender-sensitive by expanding the existing mandate (SCR 2287 (2016), OP 25) to include provisions which require UNISFA to specifically monitor for violations targeting women. Additionally, the Council should broaden its commitment to women’s participation, mentioned in the mandate’s preambular paragraphs, by providing concrete measures to promote the empowerment of women, including building women’s participation in decision-making processes, and addressing barriers to the implementation of the women, peace and security resolutions. The Council should also include gender training for security forces, and call for comprehensive implementation of the United Nations zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuses in accordance with SCRs 1990 (2011) and 2272 (2016).

Middle East

As the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate in all aspects of civilian life, women remain disproportionately and systematically impacted. The Council should call for gender-sensitive humanitarian access, aid and services, and an end to indiscriminate attacks that harm civilians in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories, and ensure that the gender dimensions of the situation are considered throughout discussion of the situation. The Council, and all Member States must call for and support concrete measures towards justice and accountability mechanisms for all violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Finally, Council members should call for the effective and meaningful inclusion of women as active participants in current and ongoing peace and security processes.

Central Africa

As the Security Council considers the report on the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), it should ensure that it addresses the rights and concerns of women across all components of UNOCA’s mandate, including mediation support, early warning and conflict prevention efforts, and justice and security sector reform, in addition to addressing the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army. The Council should ensure the inclusion of gender as a cross-cutting issue in the mandate of UNOCA and call for the capacity needed to carry out its mandate, including in terms of gender analysis and local civil society consultations.

Somalia

As the Council renews the counter-piracy measures and considers the overall situation in Somalia, it should discuss gender dynamics of piracy, including adverse economic impacts on women, gendered impacts of trafficking and proliferation of small arms and light weapons, roles women play in piracy, and efforts to ensure women and girls’ protection, particularly from sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) (SCR 2246 (2015), OP 25). The Council should include civil society participation, including women’s organizations, in counter-piracy activities, particularly in land-based initiatives. The Council must also ensure that any counter-piracy activities carried out by Member States, including international and regional naval coalitions, protect and promote women’s rights, ensure women’s participation, and integrate gender perspectives in design, implementation, and monitoring. Finally, the Council should call on Somali authorities, AMISOM and UNSOM to investigate violations of women’s human rights, including SEA, in pirate-controlled areas, and ensure accountability for all perpetrators and access to judicial and medical services, including psychosocial and reproductive health services, for survivors.

South Sudan

In its consideration of report on the UN Mission to the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) in the context of its force level increase and the recently mandated Regional Protection Force (RPF), the Council must ensure it incorporates a gender perspective throughout its discussion, including prioritization of women’s empowerment and promoting gender equity. Past mandates have contained strong language on women’s participation in the implementation of the peace agreement and women’s protection concerns, although the most recent mandate took a step back from these commitments. The Council should ensure that future reporting on UNMISS and the situation in South Sudan remains strong by inquiring into any lack of such reporting, especially in the activities of the RPF. Given the severe security and humanitarian situation, the Council should also ensure that UNMISS continues to protect civilians and call on the mission to hold regular consultations with local women’s civil society organizations to ensure protection strategies are responsive to women’s security concerns (SCR 2252 (2015), OP 8(a)(i), (v), (vi); (b)(i)(ii), (iii)) and humanitarian aid and reintegration assistance to returnees is gender-sensitive. Specifically, the Council should:
  • Insist on the need for accountability for grave human rights violations and abuses, including rampant sexual violence in IDP camps and local communities, particularly by ensuring that women are part of the design and implementation of early-warning and transitional justice mechanisms;
  • Insist on accountability for all UNMISS personnel, particularly for those who fail to implement the mission’s protection of civilians’ mandate, considering the violence in Juba, which included rape and SGBV;
  • Call on UNMISS to ensure specific reporting mechanisms for SGBV are available and accessible;
  • Incorporate gender-sensitivity training into both UNMISS and RFP’s peacekeeping training and ensure gender parity in community liaison positions; and
  • Ensure that women and men can safely access humanitarian assistance, including safe access to sanitation facilities, hygiene and health assistance, reproductive health, family planning, and maternal health services.
Furthermore, given the reported lack of government cooperation with UNMISS (S/2016/793) and the planned deployment of the RPF, the Security Council should indicate its willingness to follow through on SCR 2304 (2016) and trigger further sanctions and an arms embargo should cooperation not improve. The Council should also use the opportunity to fully integrate women, peace and security agenda into the implementation of the RPF’s mandate and any sanctions. In its consideration of the existing sanctions regime in South Sudan, the Council must incorporate a gender perspective and address women’s concerns in the situation as a whole, including condemning SGBV and fulfilling commitments in its women, peace and security resolutions. Given the ongoing insecurity, the Council should ensure there is recognition within the monitoring and implementation of sanctions regarding the link between small arms and light weapons and SGBV, in addition to specifically including SGBV as a criterion for sanctions. Further, a comprehensive arms embargo should be applied, and a body should be established to monitor and report on its implementation. This body should conduct regular consultations with local women’s civil society organizations to ensure reporting and monitoring includes women’s security concerns. Reporting on sanctions should include the gender dimensions of the situation and the context for SGBV, ensuring relevant expert groups for sanctions committees have the necessary gender expertise (SCR 2242 (2015), OP 6). The Council should inquire into any lack of such reporting. Finally, all states should make a concerted effort to limit the number of weapons going into South Sudan, recognizing how these arms disproportionately impact women.

In its consideration of report on the UN Mission to the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) in the context of its force level increase and the recently mandated Regional Protection Force (RPF), the Council must ensure it incorporates a gender perspective throughout its discussion, including prioritization of women’s empowerment and promoting gender equity. Past mandates have contained strong language on women’s participation in the implementation of the peace agreement and women’s protection concerns, although the most recent mandate took a step back from these commitments. The Council should ensure that future reporting on UNMISS and the situation in South Sudan remains strong by inquiring into any lack of such reporting, especially in the activities of the RPF. Given the severe security and humanitarian situation, the Council should also ensure that UNMISS continues to protect civilians and call on the mission to hold regular consultations with local women’s civil society organizations to ensure protection strategies are responsive to women’s security concerns (SCR 2252 (2015), OP 8(a)(i), (v), (vi); (b)(i)(ii), (iii)) and humanitarian aid and reintegration assistance to returnees is gender-sensitive. Specifically, the Council should:

  • Insist on the need for accountability for grave human rights violations and abuses, including rampant sexual violence in IDP camps and local communities, particularly by ensuring that women are part of the design and implementation of early-warning and transitional justice mechanisms;
  • Insist on accountability for all UNMISS personnel, particularly for those who fail to implement the mission’s protection of civilians’ mandate, considering the violence in Juba, which included rape and SGBV;
  • Call on UNMISS to ensure specific reporting mechanisms for SGBV are available and accessible;
  • Incorporate gender-sensitivity training into both UNMISS and RFP’s peacekeeping training and ensure gender parity in community liaison positions; and
  • Ensure that women and men can safely access humanitarian assistance, including safe access to sanitation facilities, hygiene and health assistance, reproductive health, family planning, and maternal health services.

Furthermore, given the reported lack of government cooperation with UNMISS (S/2016/793) and the planned deployment of the RPF, the Security Council should indicate its willingness to follow through on SCR 2304 (2016) and trigger further sanctions and an arms embargo should cooperation not improve. The Council should also use the opportunity to fully integrate women, peace and security agenda into the implementation of the RPF’s mandate and any sanctions.

In its consideration of the existing sanctions regime in South Sudan, the Council must incorporate a gender perspective and address women’s concerns in the situation as a whole, including condemning SGBV and fulfilling commitments in its women, peace and security resolutions. Given the ongoing insecurity, the Council should ensure there is recognition within the monitoring and implementation of sanctions regarding the link between small arms and light weapons and SGBV, in addition to specifically including SGBV as a criterion for sanctions. Further, a comprehensive arms embargo should be applied, and a body should be established to monitor and report on its implementation. This body should conduct regular consultations with local women’s civil society organizations to ensure reporting and monitoring includes women’s security concerns. Reporting on sanctions should include the gender dimensions of the situation and the context for SGBV, ensuring relevant expert groups for sanctions committees have the necessary gender expertise (SCR 2242 (2015), OP 6). The Council should inquire into any lack of such reporting. Finally, all states should make a concerted effort to limit the number of weapons going into South Sudan, recognizing how these arms disproportionately impact women.

Syria

In its consideration of the report on the humanitarian situation, the Council should call for meaningful participation of Syrian women, girls, civil society, including women’s organizations, and human rights defenders in the design and implementation of gender-sensitive humanitarian aid strategies both inside Syria and in neighboring countries (SCRs 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015)). The Council should also ensure that women’s particular needs, such as secure access to sanitation facilities and hygiene, and health assistance including reproductive health, family planning, and maternal health services, are adequately addressed. Reporting should reflect the gender specific consequences of attacks against humanitarian convoys delivering medical supplies, and against medical workers and facilities, which have increased in Syria since the adoption of SCR 2286 (2016). The Council must also ensure Syrian women’s meaningful participation in the UN-facilitated political process (SCR 2254 (2015)), and in the design and implementation of ceasefire monitoring mechanisms. All mechanisms established to facilitate civil society participation should be fully resourced, supported, accessible and transparent, including engagement with diverse perspectives of civil society. The Council should inquire into any lack of reporting on concrete steps to be taken to ensure women’s full and meaningful inclusion in the peace process to ensure its effectiveness and sustainability, particularly in light of recent developments threatening its success. Reporting should also reflect local civil society, including women’s groups, efforts to ensure agreements are gender-sensitive and grounded in the experiences of local populations.