Kosovo (S/PV. 7026)

Thursday, August 29, 2013
Report Analysis: 

The Security Council met on 29 August 2013 (S/PV. 7026) to discuss the recent report of the Security-General on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (S/2013/444) and to receive a briefing from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of UNMIK. The Council also heard statements from Serbian and Kosovo, followed by statements from Member States. The Council welcomed the current progress in implementing the agreement between Serbia and Kosovo signed 19 April 2013, and discussed continued challenges in implementation. Overall, there are only two references to women, peace, and security. One reference focuses on provisions for women victims of sexual violence, while the other reference focuses on mainstreaming gender in UNMIK’s mission. The meeting missed several opportunities to discuss women, peace and security issues in the context of the situation in Kosovo notably, Kosovo’s upcoming elections, the mediation process in northern Kosovo, and inter-community reconciliation initiatives. The failure on the part of speakers to adopt a gender perspective in relation to these key issues represents a significant forgone occasion. Furthermore, ending impunity for crimes of sexual violence, protection of victims and witnesses, and women’s participation in peace and security processes more broadly are key issues absent from the meeting. In relation to the recommendations put forth in the April 2013 Map, the meeting’s record is inadequate. The MAP emphasizes the following points: prosecution of crimes of sexual violence, the need for protection of witnesses, women’s political participation, and the protection of women’s human rights defenders.[1] Encouragingly, Russia calls on UNMIK to resolve gender issues, but makes no explicit mention of women’s participation in critical sectors, nor for the protection and promotion of women’s human rights. In addition, South Korea calls for increased efforts to address the legacies of conflict, including cases involving victims of sexual violence, but makes no mention of how to improve the protection of witnesses. Further, the Council does not discuss women’s political participation in the upcoming election process. Finally, appropriate protections for women human rights defenders, as set out in the Law on Witness Protection, and further measures to guarantee human rights defenders’ right to freedom of expression remain absent from the Council’s discussion. The limited mention of women, peace, and security issues in the SC Meeting of 29 August 2013 (S/PV. 7026) is on par with the previous SG report on 26 July 2013 (S/2013/444). The meeting improves by emphasizing UNMIK’s role in addressing gender issues (albeit only a vague reference) and in calling for increased efforts to end impunity for crimes of sexual violence, compared to the previous report’s silence on these issues. Neither the meeting nor report make no specific acknowledgment of women’s participation in politics, mediation, and reconciliation. Annex Russian Federation: “We also would like to remind the Council that it empowered UNMIK to play the most active possible role in assisting in the process of reaching a Kosovo settlement. The Mission must seek to resolve problems in such areas as the rule of law, the protection of the rights of minorities, working out inter-communal dialogues, gender issues and the protection of Orthodox holy sites. To that end, it needs the appropriate human and financial resources. We call upon the leadership of the Mission to focus its efforts on implementing the provisions of its mandate, even despite the impediments that are imposed on it by the Kosovo-Albanian authorities” (S/PV.7026, 16). Republic of Korea: “We believe that there should be more efforts to address the legacies of the conflict, such as cases of missing persons and victims of sexual violence. Those remaining cases could disrupt hard-won progress and sow the seeds for future conflicts if justice is not served. We call on the Governments of both Belgrade and Pristina to redouble their efforts to heal the scars of war and protect human rights in the region” (S/PV.7026, 21).

PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Security Council Agenda Geographical Topic: 
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