August 2009 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 July 2009
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Women, Peace and Security

Expected Council Action
The Security Council is expected to hold an open debate on 6 August on the implementation of resolution 1820 on sexual violence in armed conflict. (Please see the brief on this issue in the July 2009 Monthly Forecast.) No Council action is expected at the time of the debate, but ongoing discussion between Council members on an outcome document—perhaps a resolution—is expected. The US has the lead in the Council on 1820 and action during its presidency of the Council in September is a possibility if agreement is not reached earlier.

Current discussions are at a very preliminary stage with no clear steer on what elements might be included in an outcome document. However, these early 1820 discussions seem likely to be underway at the same time as negotiations over an outcome document on children and armed conflict, which is expected to specify additional criteria, including sexual violence, for including parties to armed conflict in the annexes to the Secretary-General’s reports to the Council on this issue.

Secretary-General’s Report
The Secretary-General’s report on implementation of 1820, originally due at the end of June, was released on 15 July. In it the Secretary-General suggested the Council address gaps in implementation by:

  • establishing a commission of inquiry, supported by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, tasked with investigating and reporting sexual violence in Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan, and providing recommendations to the Council for mechanisms to ensure accountability (in addition the Secretary-General recommended that the Council establish such commissions in future conflicts where sexual violence was prevalent);
  • ensuring that relevant mandates for peacekeeping or political missions contain provisions addressing sexual violence, as well as corresponding reporting requirements;
  • ensuring that the issue of sexual violence is addressed by all relevant subsidiary bodies of the Council (e.g. sanctions committees and working groups, in particular the groups on children and armed conflict and protection of civilians); and
  • requesting regular annual reporting from the Secretary-General; the next report could include a proposal for a Council monitoring mechanism or procedure.

The report also noted the Secretary-General’s consideration of appointing a senior person to coordinate UN system-wide work on prevention of and response to sexual violence.

Related Future Council Work
In October a debate is expected on the relevant issue of women, peace and security (resolution 1325) and a separate report is expected from the Secretary-General.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolution

  • S/RES/1820 (19 June 2008) recognised that sexual violence as a tactic of war can exacerbate situations of armed conflict, demanded all parties to protect civilians from all forms of sexual violence and requested a report from the Secretary-General.

Selected Secretary-General’s Report

  • S/2009/362 (15 July 2009) was the report on implementation of resolution 1820.

Full forecast