For October, in which the Gabon has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Colombia and Libya and the thematic agenda item Women, peace and Security.
As the Security Council discusses the situation in Colombia, it’s important to acknowledge the positive developments, notably the historic number of women elected to the legislature and increased representation of women in the executive branch, including the cabinet, while also continuing to focus on the insecurity that exists for a large portion of the population. Civilians in many areas of Colombia, particularly rural areas are experiencing increasing levels of violence at the hands of armed actors, including killings, abductions, disappearances, sexual violence, and displacement, particularly within Afro-descendant and Indigenous communities with profound impacts on women human rights defenders, signaling an urgent need to prioritize civilian protection in state responses to violence and shift away from strategies, including those involving increased presence of security forces, that perpetuate and exacerbate the harm that has been experienced by rural communities for decades. In line with the Report of the Truth Commission, the Security Council should call for cessation of the use of violence, often targeting Afro-descendant, Indigenous, and LGBTIQ+ individuals, 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, including those who advocate in opposition to certain corporate activity especially the large-scale exploitation of natural resources. The Council should reiterate the need for a negotiated solution to conflicts with all the various illegal armed actors, in line with the intentions of “total peace” discussions and ensure that gender and women’s rights are central to any conversations, including in any dialogue with the ELN. Further, the Council should underline the importance of ensuring “total peace” discussions are participatory and inclusive of civil society, particularly with women in all their diversity, 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 cash assistance, 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 safety measures including non-militarized methods, such as the security guarantees and protection efforts established under the Accord, collective security protocols, community-based and gender-responsive self-protection and early warning systems, and the implementation throughout the country of the Comprehensive Program of guarantees for women defenders and leaders (PIG Mujeres) and the review of the structure and operation of the National Protection Unit. Further, the Verification Mission should provide support to ensure that security and protection systems adopt an intersectional approach.
- Condemn all violence carried out against civilians, including social leaders and human rights defenders, and further 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 advocating for and supporting government efforts to strengthen accountability and transparency in transitional justice processes, including by expanding the capacity of current response mechanisms, implementing concrete measures to dismantle barriers to active and safe participation and access for women, particularly Afro-descendant, Indigenous and rural women, bolstering monitoring capabilities and production of publicly available data, and reinforcing the importance of ensuring that all forms of gender violence are considered in justice processes, 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 a focus on gender-sensitive conflict analysis and data disaggregated by gender, sex, 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.).
- Promote the technical, political, and financial sustainability of the Participation Instances associated with the implementation of the Peace Agreement, such as the IANPE Special Instance for Ethnic Peoples and the IEM Special Instance for Women to monitor the gender measures of the Peace Agreement.
In its renewal of the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), the Council should strengthen WPS-related provisions, in line with the recommendations of the independent strategic review (S/2021/716) by:
- Calling for any support UNSMIL provides to the electoral process to be gender-responsive, and explicitly request that the mission actively support the full, equal, meaningful, and safe participation of women in all roles, including as candidates, voters, and poll workers.
- Calling on UNSMIL to support efforts to mainstream gender throughout the economic track, including in the National Oil Corporation’s sustainable development policy, and further support ensuring all policies related to natural resources management and addressing the impacts of the climate crisis are gender-responsive.
- Strengthening language related to women’s and young women’s meaningful participation and leadership, including by specifying that participation should be safe and inclusive of a diverse range of groups, and calling on UNSMIL to support the establishment of measures that ensure non-discrimination and equal rights to participate in political and public life, as well as ensuring candidates and voters are protected from reprisals, violence, coercion and intimidation.
- Emphasizing that security sector reform, disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration processes, rule of law efforts, elections, and governance institutions should be gender-responsive, human rights-based and attentive to the needs of youth affected by conflict, including by ensuring human rights vetting for members of armed groups in the process of security sector reform.
- Including a new mandate provision calling on UNSMIL to monitor and document violence targeting women in public life – including women human rights defenders, peacebuilders, and politicians – and take concrete steps to ensure their protection; follow-up with the Government to ensure investigation and prosecution of human rights violations; and include information and analysis in periodic reports of the Secretary-General.
Finally, the Security Council should express its support for the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya as a step towards justice and accountability and act on its findings.
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 the Security Council to:
- Put women’s human rights and gender equality at the center of all discussions on peace and security, including discussions on country-specific and regional situations, by forcefully and unequivocally defending the importance of the full range of women’s human rights, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, in both formal and informal meetings, mandating that all peace operations monitor and report on violations of women’s human rights, and demanding governments to uphold their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
- Actively support women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation in all stages of all peace and political processes, including by calling for women’s formal, direct and influential participation to be a requirement in all UN-supported peace and political processes, by mandating peace operations to undertake proactive measures to remove barriers to the participation of diverse women, including logistical, technical, legal, accessibility-related and financial barriers, and by raising the alarm regarding threats and violence targeting women participating in peace and security processes.
- Demand the immediate cessation of intimidation, attacks or reprisals against all HRDs, including WHRDs, peacebuilders and civil society leaders, call attention to specific instances of violence and follow-up publicly to hold perpetrators accountable when such acts occur, ensure that all peace operations with a protection of civilians mandate extend protection to individual human rights defenders and civil society leaders under threat as a result of engagement with the United Nations, and for all UN leadership to elevate the issue of attacks and reprisals against diverse WHRDs, peacebuilders and civil society leaders by regularly issuing public statements and robustly monitoring and reporting on such attacks.
- Hold senior UN leaders and relevant UN entities accountable for ensuring every country-specific and regional briefing and report of the Secretary-General includes robust gender-sensitive conflict analysis, is informed by regular and meaningful consultation with women’s civil society, and explicitly describes their efforts to explore all available avenues to support the direct participation of diverse women in peace processes.