October 2018 Monthly Forecast

Posted 28 September 2018
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THEMATIC ISSUES

Women, Peace and Security

Expected Council Action

In October, the Security Council will hold its annual open debate on women, peace and security and the Secretary-General’s annual report on the issue.

Bolivia, as president of the Council in October, is expected to circulate a concept note ahead of the debate. The debate, which may be held at high level, is expected to focus on the empowerment of women in peace processes. The Secretary-General is expected to brief. No formal outcome is expected at this point.

Key Recent Developments

Since the adoption of resolution 1325 on 31 October 2000, the Council has focused regularly on the issue of women, peace and security. Resolution 1325 recognised that conflict has a differential impact on women and that addressing the needs, views and participation of half of society would provide a positive peace dividend. It emphasised the protection of women, their meaningful participation in peace and security processes, and the need for an increased role of women in preventing and resolving conflict. The seven resolutions adopted since then established a broad spectrum of norms on women, peace and security. The most recent Council resolution on this thematic issue, resolution 2242, adopted on 13 October 2015, included practical actions for the improved implementation of the agenda, including by convening an Informal Expert Group (IEG).

Thus far in 2018, the IEG has held meetings on Mali and the Sahel, Iraq, DRC, the Lake Chad Basin, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic and Yemen.

The Council held a briefing on 10 July on “Women, Peace and Security in the Sahel Region”, chaired by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security Bineta Diop briefed. Wallström had joined the Chad and Niger legs of a joint UN-AU trip, led by Mohammed and Diop, that focused on peace, security and development issues, with women’s participation at their centre. During the meeting, Mohammed and Diop shared information and impressions with regard to women’s leadership in the prevention of conflicts and their inclusion in processes addressing environmental, humanitarian and development challenges. This was the second briefing of its kind, following-up on a briefing after a joint UN-AU trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria in August 2017.

After a briefing on the Lake Chad Basin region in March, the Department of Political Affairs issued a confidential note to Council members addressing the gender dimension of the threat posed by the terror group Boko Haram. This was the first time a communication of this type focused on the gender dimension of any conflict, and is consistent with the provisions of resolution 2242, which called for the inclusion of the women, peace and security agenda in efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism. The note provides information on how Boko Haram uses gender-based inequalities and gender stereotypes for their operations: for example, by deploying a greater proportion of female suicide bombers than other insurgent groups, as women tend to face weaker security checks.

Relevant developments this year regarding mandates of peace operations include the 21 September adoption of resolution 2436 on peacekeeping performance. The resolution, which reiterated a request from resolution 2242 to the Secretary-General to present a revised strategy to double the number of women in military and police contingents of UN peacekeeping operations by 2020, set a deadline of March 2019 for this strategy to be submitted to the Council.

Recent resolutions renewing peacekeeping mandates also reflect increasing awareness of the importance of mainstreaming women, peace and security issues. Resolution 2433 adopted on 30 August, renewing the mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), recalls the request in resolution 2242 for a strategy to double female personnel in peacekeeping. It requests the Secretary-General and troop-contributing countries to seek to increase the number of women in UNIFIL, and to ensure the meaningful participation of women in all aspects of its operations. It also requests UNIFIL to take gender considerations fully into account as a cross-cutting issue throughout its mandate as well as to assist the Lebanese authorities in ensuring the full and effective participation, involvement and representation of women at all levels of decision-making and to enhance its reporting to the Council on this issue.

Resolution 2414 of 27 April, renewing the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), similarly asked the Secretary-General to increase the number of women in MINURSO, as did resolution 2430 renewing the mandate of the UN Interim Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) on 26 July. There were also more references than in previous years to women’s participation and empowerment in this year’s resolution 2405 of 8 March renewing the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Key Issues and Options

An important issue is to continue integrating women, peace and security issues in relevant country-specific and regional issues on the Council’s agenda, as recent mandate renewals have done and which members may wish to highlight. Other examples of progress include the mainstreaming of language in Council products and reporting by the Secretary-General, an increasing number of female civil society briefers and female leaders in Council meetings, and sexual and gender-based violence as a designation criterion in sanctions regimes. Members may also stress that there is scope for further progress, of the integration of women, peace and security issues in efforts to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism; in non-proliferation, disarmament and arms control; and women’s political participation in all levels of governance. They may wish to present good practices regarding their national action plans on women, peace and security and their bilateral foreign assistance support to organisations working towards women’s participation in peacebuilding in countries affected by conflict.

The upcoming annual report of the Secretary-General is expected to provide an update on gender parity within the organisation; members will be able to assess progress and use the information from the Secretary-General’s report and the open debate to feed into their thinking about country-specific situations in the context of mission mandate renewals and sanctions, as well as other thematic areas.

Council Dynamics

The co-chairs of the IEG, Peru and Sweden, have been working to integrate women’s issues as peace and security issues as an integral part of the Council’s country-specific work, rather than primarily as a free-standing thematic issue.

During past negotiations of Council decisions on women, peace and security, China and Russia have routinely criticised new language as an expansion of the women, peace and security agenda or perceived it as infringing on state sovereignty or encroaching upon competencies of other parts of the UN system.

The UK is the penholder on women, peace and security issues; Peru and Sweden are the co-chairs of the IEG.

UN DOCUMENTS ON WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY
<!– START tablemaker code –>           
<table cellspacing=”0″ id=”stacks”>
<tr>
    <td colspan=”2″>Security Council Resolutions</td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <td>
        <span>13 October 2015</span>
 
        <a href=”https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_res_2242.pdf” target=”_blank”>S/RES/2242</a>
    
    </td>
    <td>
        The was a resolution that addressed women’s roles in countering violent extremism and terrorism, improving the Council’s own working methods in relation to women, peace and security and taking up gender recommendations made by the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and the Global Study. 
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <td colspan=”2″>Secretary-General’s Reports</td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <td>
        <span>23 March 2018</span>
 
        <a href=”https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2018_250.pdf” target=”_blank”>S/2018/250</a>
    
    </td>
    <td>
        This was the Secretary-General’s annual report on conflict-related sexual violence.
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <td>
        <span>16 October 2017</span>
 
        <a href=”https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2017_861.pdf” target=”_blank”>S/2017/861</a>
    
    </td>
    <td>
        This was the annual report on women and peace and security.
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <td colspan=”2″>Security Council Letters</td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <td>
        <span>18 April 2018</span>
 
        <a href=”https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2018_362.pdf” target=”_blank”>S/2018/362</a>
    
    </td>
    <td>
        This was the summary of the 28 February meeting on the Democratic Republic of the Congo held by the IEG.
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <td>
        <span>18 May 2018</span>
 
        <a href=”https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2018_475.pdf” target=”_blank”>S/2018/475</a>
    
    </td>
    <td>
        This was the summary of the 29 March meeting on Iraq held by the IEG.
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <td>
        <span>18 April 2018</span>
 
        <a href=”https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2018_362.pdf” target=”_blank”>S/2018/362</a>
    
    </td>
    <td>
        This was the summary of the 28 February meeting on the Democratic Republic of the Congo held by the IEG.
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <td>
        <span>23 February 2018</span>
 
        <a href=”https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2018_188.pdf” target=”_blank”>S/2018/188</a>
    
    </td>
    <td>
        This was a summary of the 2242 Informal Expert Group on Women and Peace and Security meeting on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin held 30 January 2018.
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <td colspan=”2″>Security Council Meeting Records</td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <td>
        <span>10 July 2018</span>
 
        <a href=”https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_pv_8306.pdf” target=”_blank”>S/PV.8306</a>
    
    </td>
    <td>
        This was a briefing on “Women, Peace and Security in the Sahel Region”, chaired by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström.
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <td>
        <span>16 April 2018</span>
 
        <a href=”https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_pv_8234.pdf” target=”_blank”>S/PV.8234</a>
    
    </td>
    <td>
        This was an open debate on the Secretary-General’s annual report on conflict-related sexual violence, which focused on “preventing sexual violence in conflict through empowerment, gender equality and access to justice”.
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <td>
        <span>27 October 2017</span>
 
        <a href=”https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_pv_8079.pdf” target=”_blank”>S/PV.8079</a>
    
    </td>
    <td>
        This was the annual open debate on Women, Peace and Security with briefings by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed; Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; Secretary-General of the International Organisation of Francophonie Michaëlle Jean; and Charo Mina Rojas, a civil society representative from Colombia.
    </td>
</tr>
</table>
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Security Council Resolutions
13 October 2015 S/RES/2242 The was a resolution that addressed women’s roles in countering violent extremism and terrorism, improving the Council’s own working methods in relation to women, peace and security and taking up gender recommendations made by the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and the Global Study.
Secretary-General’s Reports
23 March 2018 S/2018/250 This was the Secretary-General’s annual report on conflict-related sexual violence.
16 October 2017 S/2017/861 This was the annual report on women and peace and security.
Security Council Letters
18 April 2018 S/2018/362 This was the summary of the 28 February meeting on the Democratic Republic of the Congo held by the IEG.
18 May 2018 S/2018/475 This was the summary of the 29 March meeting on Iraq held by the IEG.
18 April 2018 S/2018/362 This was the summary of the 28 February meeting on the Democratic Republic of the Congo held by the IEG.
23 February 2018 S/2018/188 This was a summary of the 2242 Informal Expert Group on Women and Peace and Security meeting on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin held 30 January 2018.
Security Council Meeting Records
10 July 2018 S/PV.8306 This was a briefing on “Women, Peace and Security in the Sahel Region”, chaired by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström.
16 April 2018 S/PV.8234 This was an open debate on the Secretary-General’s annual report on conflict-related sexual violence, which focused on “preventing sexual violence in conflict through empowerment, gender equality and access to justice”.
27 October 2017 S/PV.8079 This was the annual open debate on Women, Peace and Security with briefings by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed; Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; Secretary-General of the International Organisation of Francophonie Michaëlle Jean; and Charo Mina Rojas, a civil society representative from Colombia.