The Report of the Secretary-General, dated 6 September 2013 (S/2013/535), pursuant to General Assembly resolution 67/16 and Security Council resolution 2096 (2013), discusses the activities of the UN in Afghanistan, and includes significant humanitarian, development, and human rights efforts since the last report of 13 June 2013 (S/2013/350). The report also discusses significant political and security developments, and regional and international events relating to Afghanistan. The report is divided into the following sections, political and security developments; regional cooperation; human rights; implementation of the Kabul process, development coordination, humanitarian assistance, counter-narcotics, mission support, and concluded with observations.
Women, peace and security references are made on over 20 occasions, including the participation and inclusion of women in the election process; in peace talks; and in the Afghan civilian police force; the protection and promotion of women’s human rights in the security transition process; challenges in implementing the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women; concerns over the new Criminal Procedure Code; upholding the integrity of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission; the importance of gender inclusion in the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework; support for the technical group on the elimination of violence against women and human rights; concern with the reduction of quotas for women; and Afghanistan’s first submission to CEDAW. In particular, the report makes explicit mention and provides statistics of violence against women civilians and for the rise of morality crimes against women.
The report missed an opportunity to incorporate a gender perspective, in regards to the rights of female refugees and in UNAMA operations.
In relation to the recommendations put forth in the September 2013 MAP, the report’s record is substantial. SG calls for greater progress on the implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women, as well as, increased efforts to uphold the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission’s “A” status. In addition, the SG articulates the importance of the protection and promotion of women’s human rights in relation to the security transition, and in upholding the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework. Encouragingly, the report highlights women’s inclusion and participation in the peace process. Further, the report explicitly mentions and provides statistics for violence against women civilians and the increases in women accused of morality crimes. Finally, there is no mention of the need for the Afghan government and other relevant agencies to allocate increased financial and human resources to the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation for swift implementation of National Policy on Internal Displacement
The widespread mention of women, peace and security issues in the SG report of 6 September 2013 (S/2013/535) is on par with the previous SG report of 13 June 2013 (S/2013/350). The current report improves with greater emphasis upon women’s participation and inclusion in the upcoming elections and peace and security processes more broadly. Further, the current report provides statistics on women within reporting on civilian deaths, absent from the previous report. Both reports lack any consideration of the humanitarian situation pertaining to women, or the gender-specific needs of women and girls IDPs and refugees.
The Quarterly report to the Security Council on the operations of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) S/2013/558 was submitted on 17 September 2013.
The Quarterly Report to the Security Council on the operations of ISAF established pursuant to resolution 2069 (2012), informs the Security Council on the progress of ISAF from 1 May to 31 July. The report is structured around eight sections, including an Introduction, Security Sector, Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), Civil-Military Interaction, Redeployment, Afghan Pakistan Border Situation, ISAF Implementation of Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1612 (2005), and a Conclusion.
WPS Women, peace and security topics are solely discussed under the section pertaining to ISAF’s implementation of Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1612 (2005), and pertain to the need for gender integration in ANSF and the continued support of ISAF in accelerating gender integration in ANSF.
Missed opportunities to incorporate a gender perspective in the report include the inclusion and participation of women in the upcoming elections, women’s participation in the Afghan civilian police forces, the promotion and protection of women’s human rights in the transition of security forces, protection of female refugees, and in ending impunity for crimes of sexual violence.
In relation to the recommendations put forth in the September 2013 MAP, the report’s record is inadequate. The MAP calls for, women’s participation at all decision-making levels in peace and security processes, for women’s political participation, for the promotion and protection of women’s human rights, and for women’s inclusion in ANSF, particularly in the Afghan National Police. Encouragingly, the report discusses the need for accelerated gender integration in ANSF, yet this is the only reference to gender inclusion and women’s participation in peace and security processes. Further, the importance of the upcoming elections to peace and security is articulated, yet there is no mention of women’s participation and inclusion. Finally, the protection of women and girls is absent from discussion of civilian protection.
The limited mention of women, peace and security issues in the report to the Security Council on the operations of ISAF 17 September 2013 (S/2013/558) is an improvement from the previous report of the Security Council of 17 June 2011 (S/2011/364). The current report improves with emphasize on the importance of and challenges that continue in ensuring women’s participation and successful integration in the Afghan National Police. However, the current report makes no other reference to women, peace, and security issues.