For October, in which Brazil has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Colombia and Haiti, as well as 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, including particularly for human rights defenders, peacebuilders and activists. Civilians in many areas of Colombia, rural and urban areas, are experiencing increasing levels of violence at the hands of armed forces and police, including killings, femicides, abductions, disappearances, sexual violence, and displacement, with profound impacts on women human rights defenders, and Afro-descendant and Indigenous peoples, signaling an urgent need to prioritize civilian protection in state responses to violence and shift away from strategies, including those involving increased presence of armed forces and police, that perpetuate and exacerbate the harm that has been experienced by rural communities for decades. In the resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, the Security Council must:
- 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 the civilian population, including those who advocate in opposition to certain corporate activity especially the large-scale exploitation of natural resources.
- Reiterate the need for a negotiated solution to conflicts with all the various illegal armed actors and adopt a human security approach, in line with the intentions of Total Peace discussions and ensure that a focus on gender and women’s rights are central to any conversations, including the meaningful participation of women in all their diversity 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.
- Call for any briefings and updates by senior UN leaders to integrate 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 gender-based violence, including domestic.
- Continue overseeing the work of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, especially in light of the recent decision to open the macro case 11 on conflict-related sexual and reproductive violence, as well as the follow-up to the recommendations of the Truth Commission’s final report.
- 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 former Territorial Training and Reincorporation Spaces (AETCR), and in general of all women in the process of reintegration and reincorporation.
The situation in Haiti continues to worsen in the face of escalating violence, against the backdrop of recent natural disasters, including prolonged drought, flooding and an earthquake, multiple public health crises, political deadlock, a broken judicial system, and impunity for violations of human rights. Access to food, water, shelter and basic healthcare continues to be challenging, there has been widespread displacement, including 10,000 in the last two weeks of August and almost 200,000 people in July. The violence perpetrated against civilians is highly gendered and exacerbated by the availability of firearms, which is made possible due to widespread trafficking. Men comprise the majority of individuals killed, while diverse women and girls comprise the majority of individuals targeted for sexual violence, which has been characterized as “pervasive,” as a means through which to “terrorize, subjugate and punish” the civilian population. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people, especially transgender women, are further targeted because of their gender expression. In the forthcoming discussion of the situation in Haiti, senior UN officials should express unambiguous support for women’s human rights, the critical role of women’s civil society, women human rights defenders and peacebuilders, and further reinforce that all peace and political processes must include women’s full, equal, safe, and meaningful participation and leadership. Further the briefing should update on engagement with diverse women’s civil society and efforts to monitor and report on violations of women’s human rights, including the situation for women human rights defenders, who should be allowed to operate freely and without fear of threat or reprisal.
Council members should emphasize that the mission must ensure all humanitarian action is age and gender-responsive, disability-inclusive, which includes immediate and non-discriminatory aid and quality healthcare, including sexual and reproductive health services and GBV prevention, mitigation, and response services. Council members must demand that all peace, security, political, and humanitarian processes, including transitional discussions or constitutional or electoral reform discussions, particularly those supported by the UN, require the full, equal, safe and meaningful participation and leadership of diverse women at all levels and throughout the process. Finally, in the planning of the Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission authorized pursuant to resolution 2699 (2023), it is crucial that all measures are taken, prior to deployment, to prevent the unlawful use of force, harm to local populations due to negligence, and other abuses by establishing clear, mandatory, and enforceable parameters that detail the operational and oversight measures which will protect individuals against sexual exploitation and abuse and ensure accessible and effective remedies for victims, as well as promote full adherence to the UN human rights due diligence policy.
In the forthcoming discussion on women, peace and security, Security Council members must:
- Defend the centrality of gender equality and the full scope of human rights of diverse women and girls in peace and security, across the entirety of the Council’s work, without exception.
- Defend women’s right to participation, address violence targeting women active in public life, and remove barriers to their participation, including logistical, technical, legal, accessibility-related and financial barriers. Call for the UN to make women’s equal and direct participation a requirement in all peace processes it supports, and commit to including explicit language demanding 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.
- Swiftly and publicly condemn any attacks against women human rights defenders, peacebuilders and civil society, hold perpetrators accountable, and, most importantly, take all necessary measures to protect the lives of those at risk including by consistently implementing a zero-tolerance approach to any form of attack, intimidation, retaliation or reprisal against diverse women for their political participation, human rights and humanitarian work, peacebuilding activities or cooperation with the Security Council, and publicly reinforce, and take active measures to ensure a safe and enabling environment for civil society in which women human rights defenders, peacebuilders and civil society leaders are protected, supported and their legitimacy is recognized, and eliminate any restrictions or barriers to their work.
- Call for senior UN leaders to uphold their obligations to ensure gender equality and human rights is central to the work of peace operations and peace, security, political and humanitarian processes, and further reiterate the expectation that all senior UN leaders include in briefings and reports intersectional gender-sensitive conflict analysis, information on barriers to women’s meaningful participation, and reinforce the importance of and provide updates on, the realization of the full range of women’s human rights, including sexual and reproductive rights, in line with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
- Uphold and reinforce complementarity between international humanitarian, human rights, and criminal law as critical to advancing justice and accountability for human rights violations, including gender-based violence, reinforce the obligation of states to guarantee, as a matter of right, access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services without discrimination, in conflict-affected and humanitarian settings, and further actively support the inclusion of gender-progressive, survivor-centric, and intersectional provisions in development of international law addressing atrocity crimes, including the Draft Articles on Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity.
- Support survivor-centered measures to prevent and respond to all forms of gender-based violence, including access to the full range of sexual and reproductive services and psycho-social support, comprehensive legal services, and social and financial support that is of acceptable quality, readily accessible and delivered without discrimination, and further that survivors have access to holistic, comprehensive, long-term, transformative, timely and effective reparations that are implemented in partnership with survivors and victims in order to avoid replicating or exacerbating harm, minimize risk and promote recovery, rehabilitation, restitution and guarantees of non-recurrence.