Monthly Action Points (MAP) for the Security Council: September 2017

For September, in which Ethiopia has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Colombia, Lake Chad Basin region, Libya, Mali, South Sudan, and Yemen.


In discussing the implementation of the mandate of the UN Verification Mission, the Council should call for particular attention to implementation of the Ethnic Perspectives chapter of the Final Agreement, including its gender-based human rights protections, in order to ensure gender and ethno-racial perspectives are taken into account at all levels, and there is gender balance and ethnic minority representation in all entities, including the transitional justice system. In this context, the Council should require the mission and call on the National Protection Unit (UPN) to regularly consult with Afro-descendant and Indigenous authorities and organizations in the design and implementation of collective security, prevention, and protection measures, with an emphasis on enhancing the degree and scope of measures, for communities and organizations in the territories (Final Agreement; SCR 2242 (2015)). Additionally, the Council should call on the mission and the Government to support and assist Afro-descendant and Indigenous human rights organizations and their respective authorities in establishing and maintaining community-based, gender-responsive self-protection plans to address threats from paramilitaries and other armed actors in areas formerly under FARC-EP control. The Council should further encourage the Commission for Monitoring, Advance, and Verification of the Final Accord (CSIVI) to begin, without delay, proper and meaningful consultation with the Special High Level Body for Ethnic Peoples to ensure full adherence to all provisions of the Final Agreement. The mission should address the risk of an increase in sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in transitional zones and ensure that all cases are adequately investigated and if there is sufficient admissible evidence, prosecuted in fair trials, as it is essential for the successful implementation of personal and collective measures. Finally, in light of the continuing harassment and killings of human rights defenders (HRDs), the Council should call on the Colombian government to properly investigate killings without further delay, and to hold perpetrators fully accountable (Final Agreement; SCR 2366 (2017)).

Lake Chad Basin

The discussion of the Security Council and briefing on the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin region should reflect the gender dimensions of the situation, which include, the use of girls as suicide bombers; high numbers of female-headed households; forced return of refugees, majority of whom are women, from Cameroon; and ongoing displacement affecting women and children. Further, women that return to communities after being abducted by armed groups are suffering from stigma and discrimination and need psychological support, and more broadly, there is a need to support long-term recovery program for economic reinsertion of women. Countries in the Lake Chad Basin region have both the right and obligation to take all lawful and necessary measures to protect their populations from abuse committed by Boko Haram, but they must do so while respecting the human rights of those they seek to protect. All parties must fully adhere to international humanitarian and human rights law, and Boko Haram must immediately end deliberate, indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians. Security Council members should call for gender analysis in all reporting and briefings on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin region. All counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism efforts must promote women’s meaningful participation and leadership. Finally, the international community’s security responses and counter-terrorism efforts must be part of broader peace and stabilization strategies.


The Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). The renewed mandate should contain a provision calling for gender to be considered as a cross-cutting issue across the work of the mission (SCR 2122 (2013), OP 4). The Council should call for UNSMIL to promote the full and effective participation of women in all peace, security, and political processes, including as leaders in discussions on and efforts to combat and prevent terrorism and violent extremism. Further, the Council should include a call for UNSMIL to regularly engage women’s civil society organizations, including through formal consultative mechanisms, and further, build the capacity of women’s groups to challenge violence and violent tactics by any actor. Finally, the mission should be explicitly called upon to investigate and monitor human rights, including SGBV, and address ongoing threats to HRDs and civil society leaders.


As the Security Council considers a report on the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the Council must ensure that the mission is mainstreaming gender as a cross-cutting issue, as per its mandate, including by supporting government efforts to promote women’s meaningful participation and leadership at all levels, particularly in implementing the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation (SCR 2364 (2017), OP 20(a) (ii)). Women’s participation and leadership in efforts to counter violent extremism (SCR 2242 (2015), OP 13) must be part of broader peace and stabilization strategies. With upcoming district, regional, legislative and presidential elections as well as a constitutional referendum, the report should detail capacity-building efforts for prospective female candidates and elected officials and steps taken to ensure that the process is free, fair, and inclusive (CEDAW/C/MLI/CO/6-7). The Council should inquire as to MINUSMA’s efforts to increase women’s participation in human rights institutions and training for Malian security forces, police, gendarmerie and legal authorities on SGBV, as well as how the mission has taken into account the particular needs of women and children, particularly girls, in disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (SCR 2364 (2017), OP 20 (a)(ii)).

South Sudan

During its consideration of the situation in South Sudan and discussion of the recent report on the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the Council should call on the mission to hold regular consultations with local women’s civil society organizations, women’s leaders and community members to ensure protection strategies, including those in and around UNMISS protection of civilians (PoC) sites, are responsive to women’s security concerns (SCR 2252 (2015), OP 8(a)(i), (v), (vi); (b)(i), (ii), (iii)) and should identify and train women to be leaders in the field of peace and security. In PoC sites, women’s resource access and food security is inexorably linked with their physical security and integrity, thus there should be particular attention to ways in which the mission can reduce the risk for women, i.e., through livelihoods patrols, protective accompaniment and establishment of safe areas for firewood collection. Further, UNMISS should improve its capacity and attention to investigations of SGBV-related security incidents in and around PoC sites. There should be enhanced clarity on channels of reporting on SGBV and regular and timely reporting on the human rights situation, including on patterns of SGBV. On 31 May 2017, President Salva Kiir appointed three women to the leadership organ of the National Dialogue Steering Committee. Though this is positive, there should be stronger political will and commitment from the South Sudanese government and the international community to ensure that this is not merely symbolic but a substantive step towards inclusive political processes. The Security Council must apply all necessary pressure to ensure that women from national and grassroots organizations are included in peace and political decision-making processes, as well as in the implementation and monitoring of any outcomes.


As the situation in Yemen worsens, the Council should promptly increase its efforts towards security and humanitarian assistance in the region. Grappling with a cholera outbreak and famine, the UN Special Envoy must press for securing permanent access routes for the delivery of critical aid and commercial goods, including food and medical supplies across the country. Moreover, the Council should inquire about participation by women and women’s civil society organizations in conflict resolution and conflict management processes, as well as efforts to protect women, including women HRDs and civil society, and access to legal support. Council members should call for support for the national human rights monitoring and reporting mechanism to ensure that information and analysis is comprehensive and includes attention to attacks and threats against civil society. The Council should support civil society calls for the creation of an independent international investigation into violations and abuses of IHL and human rights since the start of the current conflict. The Council should also specifically call on all parties to the conflict to include women, youth, and civil society representatives that reflect the diversity of Yemen’s population, including ethnic, geographical and political affiliation, and more broadly, all stakeholders, including the Arab coalition, must ensure women’s meaningful participation in discussion, design, and implementation of peace and security strategies, including those which aim to counter violent extremism (SCR 2122 (2013), OP 13 and SCR 2242 (2015), OP 13). Finally, all efforts to address the humanitarian situation must be gender sensitive and responsive to women’s differentiated experiences, including as heads of households. Any assistance should provide for the full range of medical, including access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services; legal; psychosocial; and livelihood services, and the need for access during conflict and post-conflict situations (SCR 2122 (2013)).