Golden Threads and Persisting Challenges: The Security Council Women, Peace and Security Presidencies Initiative
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Just over a year ago, Ireland, Kenya and Mexico formed a “Presidency Trio for Women, Peace and Security” (WPS), pledging to make WPS “a top priority” of their respective presidencies in September, October and November 2021. During the press conference on the Council’s programme of work for September 2021, Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason (Ireland) described the initiative as “a golden thread” that would run through the Irish, Kenyan and Mexican presidencies.
Between December 2021 and September 2022, eight more countries—Albania, Brazil, France, Gabon, Niger, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, and the UK—signed on to a 1 December 2021 Statement of Shared Commitments on WPS, which built on the presidency trio initiative and committed these members, too, to making WPS a “top priority” during their presidencies. These shared commitments—including ensuring a strong representation of diverse women civil society briefers in Council meetings and requesting the inclusion of a gender analysis in UN briefings to the Council—were also endorsed by Ireland, Kenya and Mexico. One year on from the launch of the WPS presidencies initiative is a good time to reflect on its successes, challenges, and possible future options.
Focusing on the period from September 2021 to September 2022, this report analyses the WPS presidencies initiative, situating it against the backdrop of difficult Council dynamics on WPS. The report considers aspects such as Council meetings, products, and women civil society briefers, including measures supporting their safe participation, and provides some recommendations for participating members to take this initiative forward.