Inside the Security Council Open Debate on the Conflicts in Europe

By Sarah Tunnell 

Secretary-General António Guterres (front centre) addresses the Security Council debate on the topic, “Maintenance of international peace and security: Conflicts in Europe” (Photo: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas)


The Security Council open debate entitled, “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Conflicts in Europe” was convened by the Council’s current president, Ukraine, on 21 February 2017. From territorial disputes in Nagorno-Karabakh, to the situation in Ukraine, to post-war peacebuilding in the former Yugoslav republics, Tuesday’s debate was designed as an opportunity to respond to conflicts on the European continent, both ongoing and “frozen”, and bolster stability in the region.

The issues central in this debate provided member state representatives clear avenues to integrate gender perspectives in their statements, whether by addressing the persisting barriers to restoration of justice for sexual and gender-based violence in Bosnia or the gendered dimension of displacement and rights abuses in Ukraine. Yet these avenues were not taken, nor did speakers recognise the crucial connection between the use of force and the requirement of disarmament and demilitarisation for peace.

Read WILPF’s full analysis of the Security Council open debate on the conflicts in Europe here

Read WILPF’s full analysis of the Security Council open debate on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts here