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

For October, in which Kenya has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Colombia, Haiti, and Western Sahara, as well as on the thematic agenda item, Women, peace and security.


In forthcoming discussions on the situation in Colombia, the Security Council should call for cessation of the use of violence, including excessive force, killings, beatings, sexual and gender-based violence, and arbitrary detention, by members of the Colombian police and military forces  against protestors, human rights defenders, and  bystanders, many of whom are Afro-descendant and Indigenous, and further encourage the Government to facilitate an inclusive, participatory dialogue with civil society, particularly with women, youth, LGBTIQ+, Afro-descendant, Indigenous, and rural authorities and communities. In its renewal of the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, the Council should:

  • Call on the Verification Mission to prioritize support for implementation of those provisions of the peace agreement which are particularly outstanding, notably gender provisions and the Ethnic Chapter, such as age- and gender-sensitive reintegration and reincorporation support, specifically socioeconomic guarantees; women’s acquisition of land, loans, and technical assistance; access to formal and non-formal education and health services that encompass sexual and reproductive health care, and services that are inclusive of pregnant and lactating women and girls living in Territorial Training and Reincorporation Spaces (ETCR).
  • Call on the Verification Mission to prioritize support for measures and systems aimed at ensuring safety and security, such as the security guarantees and protection efforts established under the Accord, collective security protocols, the Timely Action Plan (PAO), and community-based and gender-responsive self-protection and early warning systems.
  • Explicitly require all mandated tasks to be developed and implemented in consultation with women leaders and human rights defenders, particularly those from Afro-descendant, Indigenous and rural communities, as well as women and girls who are former combatants or were formerly associated with FARC.
  • Emphasize that the mission has an important role in facilitating concrete efforts to dismantle barriers to active and safe participation and access for women, particularly Afro-descendant, Indigenous and rural women, in transitional justice processes. This includes emphasizing justice for all forms of gender violence, as required under Security Council resolution 2366 (2017) (OP 2), and §§3.4 & 3.4.1 of the Peace Accord.
  • Emphasize that all reporting must include gender-sensitive conflict analysis and data disaggregated by gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, and disability, including in the context of information related to violence against former combatants, social leaders, and Indigenous, Afro-descendant, rural and LGBTIQ+ communities, who receive additional threats of GBV, including domestic violence (CARE Intl., HRW, Amnesty Intl., Amnesty Intl.).


In its renewal of the mandate for the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), the Security Council should maintain the existing WPS provision and include new language calling on BINUH to:

  • Prioritize women’s meaningful participation and leadership in the humanitarian response, ensure there is active, ongoing, and regular consultation with women’s civil society organizations in line with the humanitarian system’s commitments and obligations, and emphasize the importance of local ownership in response efforts.
  • Monitor the implementation of the UN’s New Approach to Cholera and ensure that the ‘material assistance package’ is gender-sensitive, fully-funded and ensures women’s full participation in its implementation while encompassing a renewed sense of urgency in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, and natural disasters, as survivors endure another economic shock.
  • Monitor and publicly report on violations of human rights, including women’s rights, in the context of state violence perpetrated against protestors (Amnesty Intl.) as well as alleged state involvement in attacks against civilians allegedly perpetrated by gangs (BINUH, Miami Herald).
  • Monitor compliance with the Status of Forces Agreement, Haitian law and the UN’s policies on the facilitation of child support claims arising out of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by UN peacekeepers and personnel, and on the provision of material assistance to victims/survivors and their children.

Western Sahara

There continues to be troubling signs of escalation of the conflict in Western Sahara, with the peace process stalled and the collapse of the ceasefire, the humanitarian situation for remains dire. Journalists and human rights defenders, including women, continue to be targeted through arrests, detention, and harassment. In its renewal of the mandate for the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), the Council should:

  • Include a new provision calling on gender to be mainstreamed as a crosscutting issue (PK/G/2018.01) in order to ensure that the mission can fulfill its standard peacekeeping functions, including monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on local developments through the appointment of personnel responsible for civil affairs who work systematically and directly with concerned communities.
  • Explicitly calls on UN senior officials to ensure active, regular, and ongoing consultations with civil society, including women’s rights groups and women leaders, including human rights defenders and activists.
  • Emphasize the importance of women’s participation and the protection and promotion of women’s rights (S/RES/2242 (2015); CEDAW/C/GC/30; CCPR/C/MAR/CO/6).

Women Peace and Security

Gender equality, the protection of women’s human rights and women’s meaningful participation are essential for conflict prevention, sustainable development and inclusive peace. We urge all Member States, including Council members, to:

  • Defend the centrality of gender equality and the full scope of human rights of all women and girls in all international peace and security processes, including in any outcomes of the Security Council. This includes full implementation of all ten Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security (WPS), calling for gender equality and human rights to be at the center of negotiations in the context of all peace processes, and calling on relevant UN system entities to report on any human rights violations and abuses, including violations of all women’s human rights in line with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
  • Actively support women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in all aspects of peace and security and call for the UN to lead by example by making women’s equal participation a requirement in all peace processes it supports. Include explicit language calling for the full, equal and meaningful participation of diverse women in all thematic, country- and region-specific outcome documents, mandates of peace operations and in any public statements. Call for the removal of all barriers to participation, including logistical, technical, legal, accessibility-related and financial barriers; proactively ensure accessibility of peacemaking spaces and communications; and address threats to and violence against women participating in peace and security processes. Emphasize at all relevant opportunities that participation in informal processes or advisory roles can complement, but is never a substitute for, structured, direct participation in formal processes.
  • Refrain from enabling arms transfers when there is a substantial risk that they may be used to “commit or facilitate serious acts of gender-based violence (GBV) or serious acts of violence against women and children,” in line with the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Members States must also intensify efforts towards reducing the flow of small arms and light weapons (SALW) by implementing all relevant treaties and protocols, including the ATT, the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition (A/RES/55/255), and the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in SALW in All Its Aspects (UN PoA).
  • In line with the recommendations laid out in our recently published open letter, call on all member states to immediately stop intimidation, attacks or reprisals against all HRDs, including WHRDs, peacebuilders and civil society leaders and ensure accountability of perpetrators when such acts occur; ensure that HRDs and peacebuilders at risk are provided all necessary protection and support by the UN; and ensure women civil society representatives continue to regularly brief the Security Council during all relevant discussions, including country-specific meetings in line with Resolution 2242 (2015).