November 2021 Monthly Forecast

Posted 29 October 2021
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UN Peacekeeping

Expected Council Action

In November, the Security Council will hold its annual briefing with the heads of police components of UN peace operations. The Mexican presidency intends to focus this annual briefing on women, peace and security (WPS) issues as part of the WPS presidency trio of Ireland, Kenya and Mexico in September, October and November, respectively. Under Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) Police Commissioner Violet Lusala, and UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) Police Commissioner Patricia Boughani are expected to brief. Lacroix is expected to speak about the strategic priorities for UN police components. Lusala is expected to brief on the meaningful participation of women in peace processes and the protection of civilians in Abyei, and Boughani will focus on gender mainstreaming in MINUSMA and the provision of operational support to the mission.

Key Recent Developments 

Since 2014, the Council has held annual briefings with the heads of police components of UN peace operations. Last year, Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions Alexandre Zouev briefed the Council in a virtual meeting on 6 November 2020. Also briefing were the heads of police components of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), and MINUSMA.

Zouev explained the work that was done to implement the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) priorities to strengthen the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping, including the implementation of standards to improve the performance and accountability of deployed police officers. One of the major commitments under A4P is the implementation of the WPS agenda and its priorities, which include taking measures aimed at the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in all stages of the peace process; integrating a gender perspective into all stages of analysis, planning, implementation and reporting; and increasing the number of civilian and uniformed women in peacekeeping at all levels and in key positions. In this regard, Zouev spoke about the implementation of gender-responsive policing and the achievement of intermediate gender parity targets for 2020, including at the command levels. According to DPO data, seven women are currently serving as heads or deputy heads of UN police components in UN peacekeeping and special political missions deployed in Abyei, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, South Sudan and with UNOCA, and the standing police capacity in Brindisi. Some of the important initiatives taken by the UN to encourage the participation of women police officers in UN peace operations include requesting member states to nominate a minimum of 20 percent women for individual police officer positions and 30 percent for justice and corrections government‐provided personnel and giving priority to those formed police units (FPUs) that include women.

At last year’s briefing, the four police commissioners also highlighted the WPS agenda in their interventions. They spoke, among other things, about their efforts in the field to achieve gender equality and enhance the capacity to prevent and investigate all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, increase the number of female police officers in positions of responsibility and enhance community engagement.

The November briefing by the heads of UN police components follows the annual debate on WPS that took place on 21 October, which focused on investing in women in peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The meeting was based on the Secretary-General’s annual report on WPS, which highlighted the progress made in gender-responsive peacekeeping and peace operations, particularly the increase in the number of women in police components, including in leadership positions. In his remarks at the annual debate, the Secretary-General noted that “the percentage of women staff officers and military experts has risen from eight percent to nearly 18 percent today—and from 20 to 30 percent among individual police officers” since January 2018.

On 12 October, the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations convened a meeting on maximising the positive impact of UN police on global policing ahead of the 2021 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial, which will take place in Seoul in December, and the third UN chiefs of police summit to be held in 2022. The meeting discussed, among other things, the role of UN police in implementing A4P priorities and resolution 2594 of 9 September 2021 on peace operations’ transitions. That resolution requested the Secretary-General “to further strengthen coordination between UN police, justice, and corrections activities, as well as between UN uniformed components and as appropriate, the relevant host State authorities”.

Key Issues and Options 

The key issue for Council members is how to build on the progress made by continuing to increase the representation of women at senior leadership levels of peacekeeping and special political missions. The Secretary-General’s annual report made important recommendations in this regard, including calling for the creation of networks such as the UN Women Correction Officers Network launched in May 2021, financial and technical support to police contributing countries to encourage the deployment of women police officers, and the implementation of gender-responsive security sector reform and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programmes.

Another issue is how to seize the opportunity of the 2021 peacekeeping ministerial in Seoul to encourage member states to make pledges of FPUs and individual police officers—with particular emphasis on female police officers—as well as training and technology.

One possible option for the Council is to assess progress since the adoption of resolution 2538 of 28 August 2020 on the role of women in peacekeeping operations, particularly female police officers. The Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations could organise a session dedicated to this issue.

Council Dynamics

There is general agreement among Council members about the importance of UN police in helping to maintain public order, protect civilians, and assist host states in building their law enforcement capacities.


Security Council Resolutions
9 September 2021S/RES/2594 This unanimously adopted resolution addressed the crucial role peace operations play in the pursuit of sustainable political solutions and building peace and emphasised the need for peace operations to engage at the earliest possible stage in integrated planning and coordination on transitions with the host state and other national stakeholders.
28 August 2020S/RES/2538 This was on the role of women in peacekeeping operations.
Security Council Meeting Record
6 November 2020S/2020/1092 This letter transmitted the Security Council’s annual meeting with the heads of UN police components in UN peace operations.