Debate Watch - Afghanistan and extension of the UNAMA mandate
“In spite of legal and constitutional protections for women, violence against women and girls remains pervasive in Afghanistan. Improvements require the enforcement of laws — notably the law on the elimination of violence against women — that criminalize and penalize violence and harmful practices against women and girls. UNAMA will continue to work to improve protection and to promote the rights of Afghan women” (Jan Kubis, Head of UNAMA).
On the 20th of March the Security Council convened under the presidency of the United Kingdom to discuss progress and challenges related to the United Nations Assistance Mission (UNAMA) in Afghanistan. This meeting witnessed the adoption of a Presidential Statement confirming the Council’s unanimous support for the extension of the UNAMA mandate. Later in the week, the Security Council extended the mandate of UNAMA for another one year in Resolution 2041 (S/RES/2041 (2012)). See Resolution Watch: UNAMA for analysis. The Debate on March 20th included important yet limited discussion of gender issues and women’s rights with only 9 out of 18 statements containing any gender reference. As may have been expected, the majority of gender references at this debate related to the need to ensure equal rights and security for women in Afghanistan, including their participation in civil society, peace processes and politics. In addition, the SG Special Representative, Norway, Portugal and Canada highlighted the need to continue work to eliminate the “major challenge” of violence against women in Afghanistan. Here, the representative of the EU welcomed the Afghan Government’s commitment to the implementation of SCR 1325 represented by the creation of the inter-ministerial steering committee on resolution 1325 (2000) national implementation. The benefits of involving women in all levels of decision-making and security provision were emphasized by several countries, including France, Finland and the EU. To this end Togo described the positive impact the recruitment of women had had on the public image of Afghan security forces and Finland emphasized women’s participation as crucial to ensuring a successful transition.
Upcoming Security Council Debates
Thursday April 19
10:00 AM: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will brief members of the Security Council on global efforts to secure nuclear materials and curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology. Council
Monday April 23
10:00 AM: UN Representatives will brief members of the Security Council on the Middle East.
Tuesday April 24
10:00 AM: UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet and UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous will brief members of the Security Council on integrating women into peacekeeping, conflict resolution, prevention and reconstruction and preventing sexual and gender-based violence in conflict areas.
Wednesday April 25
10:00 AM: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will brief members of the Security Council on strengthening the UN's capacity to help member states secure their borders against illicit flows of materials and goods trafficking of material goods as well as people.
NGOWG April MAP
The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security has released the April 2012 version of our Monthly Action Points (MAP) on Women, Peace and Security for the UN Security Council. For April, in which the United States has the Security Council presidency, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Liberia, Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria, and Western Sahara. The MAP also provides recommendations on the expected briefing to the Council on Women, Peace and Security.