By Ijechi Nwaozuzu, United Nations Security Council Monitor Fellow
H.E. Lise Gregoire-van Haaren, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations, delivering her statement at the Arria Formula Meeting on 12 February 2018 (UN Web TV)
On 12 February 2018, the United States in partnership with Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom convened the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Arria Formula Meeting titled “The Electoral Process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)”. The meeting was framed as an opportunity for the UN Secretariat, African regional leaders and the international community to discuss ways to ensure that elections in the DRC are held in a timely, peaceful and credible manner in December 2018. Among the key elements that will enable this, the participants listed: democratic political space and stabilisation of security and human rights situation in the country.
Sweden, Peru and Kazakhstan all brought attention to the importance of women’s political participation, which is a critical issue. However, discussions were otherwise predominantly gender-blind. The gendered impact of armed violence on the security and development of women, and its relevance to sustainable peace, were absent from conversation. Speakers also missed an opportunity to address pressing challenges such as the impact of the new electoral law on the distribution of seats for women, small political parties and independent candidates. They also did not to address limits of MONUSCO’s ability in monitoring the pre-electoral process and preventing the crackdown on civil society. Strengthened gender conflict analysis based on local women’s voices is critical to effective action that addresses WPS commitments moving forward.
Find the full Analysis of the UN Security Council Open Arria Formula Meeting on the Electoral Process in the DRC here>>