October 2011 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 September 2011
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THEMATIC ISSUES

Women, Peace and Security

Expected Council Action
In October the Council is due to hold its annual open debate on women, peace and security, with a focus on women’s participation in conflict resolution. Head of UN Women Michelle Bachelet is expected to brief, along with representatives from the department of political affairs and the department of peacekeeping operations. Nigeria is expected to circulate a concept note ahead of the debate.

The Council also expects the Secretary-General’s annual report on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). As requested by the Council in its 26 October 2010 presidential statement, the report is likely to contain a strategic framework to guide the UN in the implementation of resolution 1325 in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict and in other relevant situations. The framework should include targets and indicators as well as recommendations for policy and institutional reforms in the UN.

The Council is expected to adopt either a presidential statement or resolution following the debate.

Key Recent Developments
The Council held two meetings on women, peace and security in April. On 12 April, the Council met in consultations to hear a briefing from the head of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, on the work and priorities of the entity, with an emphasis on women, peace and security and in countries on the Council’s agenda. Bachelet provided an update on UN Women’s work on the indicators for implementation of resolution 1325, as requested by the Council in its 26 October 2010 presidential statement, and on her recent travel.

On 14 April, the Council received a briefing from the Secretary-General’s special representative for sexual violence in conflict, Margot Wallström. The briefing focused on the importance of applying the principles outlined in resolution 1960 (adopted on 16 December 2010) and reported on sexual violence in Libya and Côte d’Ivoire. Wallström also reported on work done by her office’s Team of Experts on the Rule of Law to support local authorities in implementing resolution 1960 in Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan.

Allegations of sexual exploitation by UN peacekeepers in Haiti and Côte d’Ivoire have emerged recently. Allegations that peacekeepers in the UN Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) had been involved in the sexual exploitation and abuse of young local girls arose in August. On 30 August, 16 peacekeepers found to be involved were repatriated to Benin and barred from serving with UNOCI. In Haiti, following the alleged sexual assault of a young Haitian man by Uruguayan members of the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), a Uruguayan delegation arrived in the country on 9 September to investigate the allegations. On 14 September, the Secretary-General sent a senior team to Haiti to enforce the UN’s zero-tolerance policy on personnel misconduct. Both teams met with leaders of MINUSTAH as well as Haitian authorities.

On 19 September, UN Women hosted a high-level gathering of female political leaders, titled “Women’s Political Participation—Making Gender Equality in Politics a Reality”, as part of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly. Event participants issued a joint statement that called for increasing women’s political participation and decision-making across the world, stressing that women’s participation is fundamental to democracy and essential to achieving sustainable development and peace in all contexts, including in times of peace, conflict, post-conflict and political transitions. It also encouraged states to take proactive measures to address the factors preventing women from participating in politics—such as violence, poverty, lack of access to quality education and health care, the double burden of paid and unpaid work—and to actively promote women’s political participation, including through affirmative measures, as appropriate.

Key Issues
A key issue for the Council is continuing to work to ensure that the norms of the women, peace and security agenda are integrated into all of the Council’s work.

A related issue is how to integrate the information contained in the Secretary-General’s upcoming report, as well as the recommendations therein, to inform and guide consistent implementation of resolution 1325 and to monitor progress on all issues pertaining to women, peace and security, including women’s participation.

Options
One option for the Council would be to adopt a focused resolution or presidential statement on the issue of women’s participation in conflict prevention, management and resolution that requests tangible measures be taken by relevant member states, regional bodies and UN entities to ensure that women and women’s interests are included in relevant decision-making processes.

Another option for the Council would be to adopt a more general resolution or presidential statement reiterating the Council’s support for the 1325 agenda, including on the issue of women’s participation.

Council Dynamics
Council members are supportive of the women, peace and security framework and most are ready to push for better implementation of resolution 1325.

Council members also appear to believe that the issue of women’s participation in conflict resolution is an important aspect of the women, peace and security agenda that has received less attention than other aspects, such as sexual violence. Most members support a focus on women’s participation in conflict resolution and mediation, and in principle an outcome document on this theme should be uncontroversial.

Some Council members view a concise and actionable resolution that provides a focused approach to the issue of women’s participation as the preferred outcome of the debate. Other members feel that a presidential statement would be a sufficient outcome and that a resolution on participation is not necessarily warranted.

While Council members welcome the information obtained by the indicators in the Secretary-General’s upcoming report, some have reservations about their operation and may wish to review the mechanism.

The UK is the lead country on women, peace and security in the Council.

UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1960 (16 December 2010) is on conflict-related sexual violence.
  • S/RES/1888 (30 September 2009) established mechanisms for the UN to address sexual violence in conflict.
  • S/RES/1882 (4 August 2009) expanded the criteria for the Secretary-General’s “list of shame” in his reports on children and armed conflict to include rape and other sexual violence against children.
  • S/RES/1820 (19 June 2008) confirmed the Council’s readiness to address more systematically the use of sexual violence in conflicts on its agenda.
  • S/RES/1325 (31 October 2000) recognised that conflict has a disproportionate impact on women and promoted women’s participation in peace and security processes.

Presidential Statements

  • S/PRST/2010/22 (26 October 2010) supported taking forward the set of indicators presented by the Secretary-General in S/2010/498 .
  • S/PRST/2010/8 (27 April 2010) requested the Secretary-General to develop further the set of indicators to track implementation of resolution 1325 and submit a revised set to the Council in October 2010.
  • S/PRST/2007/40 (24 October 2007) requested the Secretary-General to report to the Council in October 2010 on the UN system’s implementation of resolution 1325 in 2008 and 2009.

Reports of the Secretary-General

  • S/2010/498  (28 September 2010) contains an assessment of the implementation of resolution 1325 over the last ten years and a set of revised indicators to track implementation of 1325 at the global level.
  • S/2010/466 (7 September 2010) contains a seven-point action plan to address women’s participation in post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding.
  • S/2010/173 (6 April 2010) contains a set of 26 indicators to track implementation of 1325 at the global level.

Security Council Meetings

  • S/PV.6515 (14 April 2011) was a briefing by Margot Wallström.
  • S/PV.6411 (26 October 2010) was a high-level debate held on the tenth anniversary of resolution 1325.

Other

  • A/RES/64/289  (2 July 2010) was the resolution of the General Assembly establishing UN Women.

Useful Additional Source
Cross-Cutting Report on Women, Peace and Security, Security Council Report, October 2010.

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