Golan Heights (S/2013/716)

Friday, December 6, 2013
Report Analysis: 

The Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) S/2013/716 was submitted to the Security Council on (3 December 2013.)

The Report of the Secretary-General, dated 6 December 2013 (S/2013/716), discussed the activities of UNDOF pursuant to rResolution 350 (1974) and extended by rResolution 2108 (2013). The report was structured around fivet--- sections, including an introduction; the situation in the area and the activities of the Force; Financial aspects; Implementation of Security Council resolution 338 (1973); and Observations.  The report discussed the challenges in maintaining the ceasefire between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic, the continual efforts of UNDOF in observing and reporting breaches of the ceasefire line,; and humanitarian assistance.

The report provided sex-disaggregated data on one occasion in regards to civilian deaths, and reports on the number military observers in the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO).[1]

The report faileds to integrate a gender perspective in discussion of UNDOF’s humanitarian assistance efforts and in the training of civilian personnel. Further, the report could have improved with more frequent reporting vofia sex-disaggregated data in regards to violence against civilians and civilian deaths as well as in regards to any discussion of IDPs and refugees. Finally, the report failed to acknowledge the link between the flow of arms and increased sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls.

In relation to the recommendations put forth in the December 2013 MAP, the report’s record was inadequate.[2] The most recent MAP published prior to this report, emphasized the following points:, the inclusion of gender-specific language, support for women affected by the current crisis, engagement of women in political solutions to the violence, gender-specific humanitarian responses, and mandatory comprehensive gender training for troops. As per usual, in regards to the situation in Golan Heights, the Council missed several opportunities to include a gender perspective and made no mention of women, peace, and security in the current report.

The current report of 3 December 2013 (S/2014/716) improved marginally from the previous report of 12 September 2013 (S/2013/542), in which there was no reference to issues of women, peace, and security. Unfortunately, neither report incorporated a gender lens when discussing UNDOF’s humanitarian assistance efforts; civilian protection efforts; or in the training of civilian personnel. Similarly, neither report discussed the link between the flow of arms and impact on the lives of women in the region.

Resolution S/RES/2131 on the Middle East was adopted by the Security Council (on 18 December 2013.)

The Security Council adopted rResolution 2131 on the situation in the Middle East at the 7089th meeting on 18 December 2013. The Council stressed that both Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic must abide by the terms of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement between both countries. In addition, the Council expressed grave concern at all violations of the Disengagement of Forces Agreement and condemned threatening the safety and security of United Nations personnel in recent months. The Council calleds on the parties to implement resolution 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and; for both parties to respect the terms of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement. The Council underlined that there should be no military activity of the armed opposition groups in the area of separation, and called on all parties to cooperate fully with the operations of UNDOF, byto ensuringe freedom of movement. Lastly, the Council welcomed the efforts of UN Disengagement Observer Force to implement the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse.

Women, peace and security is mentioned on one occasion in the operative paragraphs. The Council welcomed the efforts being undertaken by the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force to implement the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse (OPs. 5;, 2).

Despite the one notable mention, the Council missed several significant opportunities to incorporate a gender lens in women’s human rights protection and promotion. First, the Council failed to call for the incorporation of a gender perspective into the peacekeeping operations and the establishment of a gender component within the staff of a mission. Secondly, the Council failed to call for an expanded role for women in the UN field operations among military, police and civilian personnel. Lastly, although the Council condemned all forms of sexual violence, this call could have been strengthened by recognizing the important role of women in the prevention of conflict.

In comparison to the recommendation put forth in the December 2012 MAP, the resolution was inadequate. The December MAP called for support for civilian populations, including women, affected by the current crisis; engagement of women in seeking political solutions to end the violence; gender-specific humanitarian responses; and mandatory comprehensive gender training for troops.[1] The current resolution showed no sign of enhancing women’s rights. Encouragingly, the Council did condemn all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, however the Council failed to mention both service provision for survivors of sexual violence and prevention efforts to protect and promote the human rights of women and girls.

Both the current resolution (S/RES/2131) of 18 December 2013 and the resolution (S/RES/2118) of 27 September 2013 madke superficial mentions of women, peace and security. The previous resolution called for women to be fully represented in all aspects of the Syrian-led transition plan to end all forms of violence, but it failed to outline a gender perspective in critical areas including, humanitarian access and delivery; the protection and empowerment needs of female civilians, refugees, IDPs, including for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. While the current report mentioned the zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse and tolerance, it neglected to call for peacekeeping personnel of contributing countries to adhere to pertinent codes of conduct and disciplinary and accountability mechanisms in order to prevent such exploitation.?

[1] http://womenpeacesecurity.org/media/pdf-MAP_December2012.pdf


PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Security Council Agenda Geographical Topic: 
Golan Heights
Document PDF: