Research Report

Posted 19 June 2020
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Women, Peace and Security: The Agenda at 20

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This is the sixth research report by Security Council Report (SCR) dedicated to the women, peace and security agenda. This report reviews the period since SCR’s last research report, and covers in detail developments during the three years from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2019, while also making some general comments on events in the first months of 2020. Ahead of the 20th anniversary of resolution 1325, the inaugural resolution on women, peace and security in 2000, this report examines whether the agenda is regressing, progressing or being maintained.

  • Firstly, this report takes a close look at the prevailing political climate surrounding women, peace and security at the Council, which has become more contentious and less conducive to a progression—or even maintenance—of the agenda.
  • Secondly, the report considers the work of the Informal Experts Group (IEG) on women, peace and security and concludes that Council members appreciate the way the IEG functions at the moment, and would wish to maintain it as is.
  • This report then sets out the Security Council’s normative framework on women, peace and security. It concludes that stakeholders find the framework adequate, and consequently prioritise its maintenance and implementation over efforts to develop it further.
  • The report examines the practice of briefings to the Council by female representatives of civil society, finding these a consolidated and increasing practice.
  • The report then moves on to the Secretary-General’s reporting on women, peace and security. The examples show that not every report integrates women, peace and security issues in a systematic manner.
  • In the next section, this report looks into how the Council has integrated elements of the agenda into resolutions and presidential statements during the three-year period under review. The negotiations around the two prominent 2019 resolutions on women, peace and security were very contentious, showing some Council members’ resistance to progressive development of the agenda and in parts even to its maintenance.
  • This report further examines changes in sanctions regimes, including the addition of stand-alone criteria for the commission of sexual and gender–based violence and requests to include gender expertise in the Panels of Experts assisting sanctions committees. Despite these developments, few changes are observed in new listings.

Overall, this report argues that the Council should focus its attention on the maintenance and implementation of the agenda ahead of its 20th anniversary.