For October, in which South Africa the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on Burundi, Sudan (Darfur), Yemen and Women, Peace and Security.
A/HRC/36/54). The Commission also confirmed the “persistence of extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, and detentions, enforced disappearances, torture, and cruel inhuman or degrading treatment, and [sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV)]” (A/HRC/36/54). Women and girls are reported to be amongst the first victims of SGBV perpetrated with extreme cruelty alongside gender-based, political or ethnic hate speech. In addition, the number of individuals with acute humanitarian needs has tripled in one year (OCHA). Some of the most affected refugees are young women and girls; their lack of access to education impacts opportunities to develop viable skills, resulting in increased vulnerability to exploitation and abuse. The provision of holistic and survivor-centered responses that include access to sexual and reproductive health and psychosocial services for women and girls should be included in any discussions. Host countries should be supported, and the Council should strongly advocate against any coerced or forceful returns and for transparent Refugee Determination Status procedures.AI). Relatedly, new evidence from the country shows that “war crimes and other serious human rights violations” continue to be committed by armed forces in Darfur and now in Khartoum, including the destruction of at least 45 villages, unlawful killings, and SGBV. Despite weaknesses in the implementation of its mandate to protect civilians in Darfur, not least owing to access restrictions imposed by the previous Government, there is support amongst Sudanese civil society for the continued presence of UNAMID with a strong mandate on protection of civilians that prioritizes women and girls, including those living as internally displaced persons (IDPs). The mandate should also continue to call for full accountability for all war crimes and violations of humanitarian and human rights law, including SGBV. As these violations continue, the security situation in Darfur remains concerning; armed groups continue to operate, civilians continue to be at extreme risk of violence, and although there has been some success with regards to disarmament, those processes remain gender-blind, and the flow of arms fueling the conflict continues unabated, which particularly increases insecurity for women and girls. Further, as UNAMID has begun to withdraw, the Rapid Support Forces, who have a track record of committing human rights violations, including the June attacks, have reportedly taken over the remaining bases. Additionally, recent intercommunal clashes in Port Sudan have led to declaration of a state of emergency there. In this fragile context of continuing internal discord and a lack of a consensus on the constitutional agreement, the Council must proceed with utmost caution when considering any further drawdown. The current dynamics constitute an unprecedented situation that has the potential to reverse progress, therefore it requires extraordinary measures and response by the international community. It is important that the Council consider halting the drawdown during the current transitional period and undertaking ongoing, gender-sensitive conflict and situation analysis to inform any decisions.
- The Security Council must recognize that gender equality and the human rights of women and girls in all their diversity are central to international peace and security, and that the full scope of the rights of women and girls, including sexual and reproductive rights, must be protected in crisis.
- The Security Council must concretely support a comprehensive and multifaceted approach to women’s and girl’s meaningful participation in all peace and security processes (including peacebuilding, constitution-building, peace agreement negotiations, reconciliation, elections, etc.) at all stages (development, planning, implementation, and monitoring) in all countries and regions on the agenda of the Security Council. This requires inclusion of: explicit language that calls for women’s meaningful participation in outcome documents; specific provisions in the mandates of peace operations; specific analysis of barriers to women’s participation in each process, and follow-up on any briefings regarding lack of information and analysis on the extent to which women’s participation translates into their ability to influence decision-making.
- The Security Council should defend the legitimacy of the work of all human rights defenders (WHRDs) and recognize their vital role in promoting peace and security in all country-specific situations. This implies enabling all WHRDs to carry out their work safely and free of reprisals, including when cooperating with any UN bodies. The Council should also recognize, prevent and respond to the particular risks encountered by WHRDs. The Security Council must also refrain from the increasingly standard practice of using counter-terrorism and national security policies to target WHRDs.
- Women civil society leaders, activists, and human rights defenders should be invited to speak at all country-specific meetings of the Security Council; information provided by civil society, including women’s rights groups, should be considered and integrated into all mission reports and in all decision-making by the Council.
- The gendered impact of arms must be recognized, and national-level action should be called for by Member States to identify and regulate the influx of arms that exacerbate the risk to the rights, safety, and security, of women, girls, and individuals with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, expressions and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). Full implementation of arms embargos mandated by the Sanctions Committees should be prioritized and accountability should be attached to States who fail to effectively implement them.
- Planning, implementation, and review of all peace and security programs and interventions at the field level must start with gendered and intersectional conflict analysis that takes into account masculinities, femininities, gender roles, age, and diverse SOGIESC, accompanied by sex, age, and disability-disaggregated data (SADDD).
- The structures supporting the implementation of the WPS agenda within the UN system and the Security Council must have adequate capacity, expertise, and funding. All recommendations of the Informal Expert Group (IEG) on WPS should be implemented and systematically integrated into the Council’s deliberations and further reflected in decisions related to gender expertise made by the Fifth Committee.