On the 19th of January the Security Council held an Open Debate, under the Presidency of South Africa on the importance of the rule of law as one of the key elements of international peacekeeping, conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
The Council adopted a Presidential Statement (S/PRST/2012/1) which in its fifth paragraph says that the Security Council reiterates its concern about the situation of the most vulnerable groups and displaced persons including women. The paragraph also says that the Council expresses particular concern about sexual and gender-based violence in conflict situations and recalls in this regard SCR1325.
Of the 15 UN Security Council Member statements, 6 countries mentioned women/gender or made references to the women, peace and security agenda (WPS). Those countries were Azerbaijan, Germany, India, Portugal, United Kingdom and USA. Non Security Council States or others who mentioned WPS included Brazil, Mexico, Austria, Costa Rica, Estonia, Finland, Mexico, Peru and the European Union. Those speakers who mentioned WPS have had their statements published on this site. The debate focused on punishment of those who had committed crimes against humanity and violated international law and almost all speakers stressed the fight against impunity and that the role of the International Court of Justice should be strengthened. Other themes that were discussed during the debate were the importance of not only technical assistance when it comes to transitional justice processes but also a respect for human rights, reconciliation mechanisms and how the United Nations could change or alter their rule of law programmes.
For more on this debate, click here.