The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security has released the August 2017 version of the Monthly Action Points (MAP) on Women, Peace and Security for the UN Security Council.
The MAP provides analysis and advocacy entry points on country situations and thematic issues on the Security Council’s agenda for the forthcoming month. These brief notes are designed for Security Council Members, civil society actors, Member States, and UN entities, and are for wide distribution.
MONTHLY ACTION POINTS (MAP) FOR THE SECURITY COUNCIL: AUGUST 2017
For August, in which Egypt has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in DRC, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, and the thematic agenda item of sanctions.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Security Council is expected to consider a report on the situation in the DRC. Significant barriers to women’s representation and participation in political and security processes remain, due, in part to a lack of political will, financing, and implementation of relevant gender equality policy frameworks. Security Council members should also follow-up and inquire as to efforts by MONUSCO and other relevant UN entities on: measures which ensure women’s full and equal participation, including engaging with women’s civil society organizations, in the strategic dialogue on MONUSCO’s progressive withdrawal, as well as all disarmament, justice, and security sector reform efforts; and strategies which aim to protect women, men, girls, and boys from sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), including coordinated monitoring and analysis arrangements to track SGBV;, availability of comprehensive, multi-sectoral services for survivors (SCR 2106 (2013)and SCR 2122 (2013)); and deployment of women’s protection advisers (WPAs) (SCR 1888 (2009), OP 12). Reporting should include information on the Government’s efforts to address SGBV, including the implementation of a national strategy to combat SGBV (CEDAW/C/COD/CO/6-7). Furthermore, it is imperative that human rights violations, including SGBV, continue to be monitored, through consultation with civil society, including women leaders and, human rights defenders, during field visits (SCR 2122 (2013), OP 6), and perpetrators are identified, arrested, and prosecuted.
In its renewal of the mandate of the UN mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the Council must include a provision calling for gender to be a cross-cutting issue. Specific attention must be paid to women’s participation in all security-related matters, including disarming non-state armed groups, and gender-sensitive needs assessments to effectively coordinate humanitarian assistance. Further, the mission should ensure that any humanitarian assistance must be in line with existing obligations under international humanitarian law, and women should have access to the full range of livelihood, legal, psychosocial, and medical services, including sexual and reproductive services, without discrimination (SCR 2242 (2015); CEDAW/C/LBN/CO/4-5). The Council should consider the extent to which the current mission mandate effectively responds to the particular concerns of civilians, including women, and further ensure there is ongoing and regular consultation with diverse civil society organizations, including women’s groups (SCRs 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015)), as UNIFIL’s relationship with local communities is essential to its success as a mission, as per the recent strategic review (S/2017/202). The grave repercussions of the proliferation of arms and gun violence in Lebanon must not be overlooked or disconnected from the deterioration of the rule of law. In this context, the Council should exert pressure on Member States to uphold their obligations under SCR 1701 (2006) to prevent the sale or supply of arms to entities or individuals in Lebanon beyond the control of the State.
The Council is expected to consider the situation in Liberia, with a particular focus on the continued drawdown of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and forthcoming elections. To fully implement its WPS obligations, UNMIL should ensure women’s representation and participation is prioritized in electoral and political processes, justice and security sector reform, and efforts to strengthen the rule of law. Further, the Council should inquire as to the status of the 2015 National Action Plan (NAP) on Resolution 1325 (2000) and request information on the extent to which UNMIL is supporting its implementation as part of UNMIL’s efforts to ensure a smooth transition of all activities to the UN Country Team (CEDAW/C/LBR/CO/7-8). Further, the Council should also ensure that gender is actively mainstreamed across all reintegration, post-conflict recovery, and peacebuilding processes, including through promoting education and vocational training for women and girls associated with armed groups in reintegration efforts. Survivors must be given full access to post-conflict relief and recovery programs, including access to comprehensive reproductive health and psychosocial services (SCR 2106 (2013)). It is imperative that, over the course of the transition, mission responsibilities related to WPS are continued, and any entities which take on transferred responsibilities have the necessary capacity and resources. As part of its implementation of the WPS agenda and in order to strengthen the information and analysis it is receiving on the gender dimensions of the situation, the Council should invite women civil society representatives and the Executive Director of UN-Women to brief the Council (SCR 2122 (2013), OP 1(a)(c)).
The Security Council will be considering the most recent report on the implementation of the mandate for the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). The report and any briefings by senior UN leadership, should provide analysis of the situation for women and the gendered impact of the conflict on the population, in addition to details regarding UNSMIL’s efforts to support women’s participation in the democratic transition, conflict resolution, peacebuilding (SCR 2323 (2016)), peace processes, as well as efforts to engage with women’s civil society organizations and protect women’s rights. In addition, the Security Council must make sure that relief and humanitarian response plans are inclusive and involve women throughout the entire planning process, including in the design of monitoring and evaluation strategies that measure the impact of the programs on women. With the deteriorating security situation and the threat posed by armed groups and illicit arms proliferation, high profile female public figures, including human rights defenders (HRDs), civil society leaders, activists, journalists, and politicians, continue to be targets of assassinations, abductions, and SGBV. Women are similarly subjected to violations by armed groups in their daily lives, such as harassment at security checkpoints. Women who are internally displaced and their additional challenges, such as obtaining identification papers and legal papers, especially for those who are single, widowed, or otherwise separated from male relatives, should be discussed in reporting. Although the national order restricting women’s unaccompanied travel was repealed, the replacement order imposes restrictions on all women and men aged 18 to 45 and is, thus, a violation of the right to freedom of movement.
The Security Council should ensure in its thematic discussion on sanctions, as well as in the consideration of individual sanctions regimes, that women, peace and security is a cross-cutting issue. Overall, the Security Council must ensure that any sanctions are in line with human rights and international humanitarian law and will not affect population’s access to humanitarian goods such as medicine and food. As per the outcomes of the High-Level Review of sanctions, the Global Study on 1325 (2000), and reports of the Secretary-General (i.e. S/2017/249, S/2016/361, S/2015/716, S/2015/203, S/2014/181), the Security Council must strengthen its attention to WPS in both thematic and country-specific action on sanctions by:
- Adding violations of women’s rights, including targeting of women human rights defenders, and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as designation criteria (SCR 2242 (2015), OP 6; S/2017/249; S/2016/361; S/2015/716; S/2014/181; S/2013/525).
- Including a provision requesting that the SRSG on Sexual Violence in Conflict (SViC) and other relevant experts, such as UN-Women, brief the sanctions committee, including by sharing information and referring parties to be included in the sanctions list (S/2017/249) and coordinating with associated expert groups (S/2017/249).
- Including a provision requesting information sharing between UN peace operations and associated expert groups with regards to any information on perpetrators of SGBV and their military and political leaders, in line with good practice related to sensitive and ethical data collection.
- Requiring gender and women’s rights analysis in the reporting of all associated expert groups, including on the impacts of sanctions and counterterrorism strategies; women’s participation in armed groups; and the gender dimensions of the flow of arms and illicit trafficking of humans, drugs, and natural resources.
- Requesting that associated expert groups meet with local women’s civil society organizations in the course of their work (SCR 2242 (2015), OP 12).
- Ensuring there is gender expertise in all associated experts groups (SCR 2242 (2015), OP 6).