Current and Past Recommendations to the UN Security Council (Monthly Action Points)
South Sudan (August 2020)
In any discussion regarding the situation in South Sudan, the Security Council must ensure women’s rights and meaningful participation are mainstreamed as priorities. As implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ACRSS) proceeds, the increased role of women in all aspects of the process must be addressed with greater urgency. Women leaders in South Sudan continue to express concern regarding the lack of inclusion of diverse voices, including women from diverse communities, in the peace process and their representation in the government, national ministries and as state governors. Women’s involvement in these institutions has not met the 35% quota required under the peace agreement and reiterated by the Council in Resolution 2514 (2020) – currently, it reaches only 25%, or nine women (S/2020/536). Any briefing to the Council should update on the extent to which the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is taking concrete steps to support women’s participation in all peace and political processes. Further, UNMISS should track violence targeting women human rights defenders and GBV as indicators of progress in addressing key violations of women’s rights that undermine the implementation of the R-ACRSS, destabilize leadership, heighten intercommunal violence (S/2020/342), and are further exacerbated by COVID-19. In efforts to prevent GBV, the government must implement the October 2014 signed Joint Communiqué on the prevention of conflict-related sexual violence. Further, there must be improved protection and security measures for women and girls and persons with disabilities both within and outside of protection of civilians sites. Additionally, UNMISS should consult with civil society organizations in reporting incidents of GBV and in providing up-to-date gender analyses of the region. Relatedly, violations of the UN arms embargo on South Sudan need to be addressed. As described by the Panel of Experts on South Sudan in their report (S/2020/342), the continued flow of weapons and ammunition facilitate and enable all forms of GBV and undermine efforts to implement peace. The Council should call on the government to operationalize the mobile court system, ensure that standard procedures to respond to cases of GBV are in place and implemented, and implement chapter five of the Revitalized Peace Agreement, which provides for accountability and reconciliation mechanisms that have yet to be formed. In implementing transitional justice processes, it is imperative that the government incorporate a gender-sensitive approach, for example by requiring diverse women’s inclusion in criminal justice institutions, and that reparations to victims of GBV and violence in conflict include mental health support. In any briefings, the extent to which there is meaningful consultation with women’s groups in gender-sensitive community violence reduction (CVR) programs, developed in consultation with women, especially those in protection of civilians sites, should be prioritized. They must also incorporate an intersectional gender analysis of the broader context and ensure that women, girls, the elderly, LGBTQI+ individuals and person s with disabilities are meaningfully taken into account.