Libya (S/PV.7031)​

Monday, September 16, 2013
Report Analysis: 

The report of the Secretary-General, dated 5 September 2013 (S/2013/516​) focused on the situation in Libya.

The report of the Secretary-General, dated 5 September 2013 (S/2013/516​), covered major political and security developments, included an

overview of the human rights and humanitarian situation, and outlined activities of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL)

since the last Secretary-General report of 21 February 2013 (S/2013/104​). Pursuant to SCR 2095 of 14 March 2013, and given the following

month marked the two year anniversary since the declaration of liberation, this report highlighted a growing political polarization and fallout

within Libya – manifested, in particular, in the debate over and subsequent adoption of the Political and Administrative Isolation Law, which

sought to bar officials from the previous regime from participation in public life – with a series of security incidents and several high-profile

resignations occurring in conjunction. The volatile security situation persisted, in the eastern and southern parts of the country in particular,

with continuing disagreement over the future of revolutionary brigades. Other key points include: slow progress in security sector reform

(SSR), disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), and arms and ammunition management; the adoption of the electoral law for

the Constitution Drafting Assembly; the reform of the composition of the Supreme Judicial Council; the ongoing torture and ill-treatment of

detainees; the lack of progress on transitional justice; and the need for greater regional cooperation on border security.

Women, peace and security issues were referenced several times – mostly in regards to women’s inclusion within electoral and

constitution-drafting processes – but not mainstreamed throughout (see sections on: constitution-drafting process; electoral support;

detentions; police reform; implementation of mission concept; and observations and recommendations). Mentions included: UNDP training

women’s rights advocates on the electoral elements of the constitutional process (para.15); a public statement by UNSMIL which called for

the active participation of women in the constitution-drafting process, and the inclusion of special measures for women in the electoral law

(paras.33;93); the UN Electoral Support Team’s promotion of gender equality in the electoral process (para.36); a workshop on women and

policing (para.72); and women’s representation within UNSMIL personnel, at 40% of national professionals, 34% of international professionals,

31% of leadership posts, 26% of field service staff, but also 43% of departing staff (para.88). In addition, the General National Congress

approved an electoral law that reserved six seats for women out of a total of 60 seats in the Constitution Drafting Assembly (para.13); a law

establishing the High National Election Commission as a permanent institution, with one woman appointed out of seven to the Board of

Commissioners (para.34); and a law outlawing torture, disappearance and discrimination (para.42).

Despite the extensive overview of political, security, human rights and humanitarian situation developments, the report made no mention of

how any of these changes affected women and girls specifically. It highlighted the need for special measures and women’s participation in

regards to electoral and constitution-drafting processes, but was otherwise silent on the importance of their inclusion in transitional reforms.

In particular, the report missed the opportunity to incorporate a gender perspective into SSR, DDR and other security-related measures, with

the exception of a single reference on women and policing.

The June 2013 MAP called for women’s full and equal participation, capacity-building for female political candidates, training for security

officers in gender-based violence, accountability for serious and ongoing crimes, protection of human rights and guarantees of

non-discrimination.[i] In response, the report’s record was rather mixed. The Secretary-General did press for inclusiveness and women’s

participation in electoral and constitution-drafting processes, but not in other critical sectors (such as in broader political reform,

reconciliation and reconstruction efforts). Encouragingly, the General National Congress adopted a law on 9 April which criminalized torture

and enforced disappearances and discrimination. Yet despite this welcome development, the deplorable situation on the ground for

detainees and immigrants, especially individuals from sub-Saharan Africa) remained largely unchanged. Finally, the Secretary-General made

no explicit mention of capacity-building of female candidates for political office, nor of training security officers in prevention and

protection of gender-based violence at polling sites, but did include several references to training of women’s rights advocates and women’s

participation in electoral processes more broadly.

The limited mention of women, peace and security issues in the Secretary-General report of 5 September 2013 (S/2013/516) was on par with

the previous Secretary-General report of 21 February 2013 (S/2013/104). This report improved with its greater emphasis upon women’s

participation and inclusion,albeit only within certain sectors, compared to the previous report’s more gender-neutral calls for inclusivity. On

protection and human rights concerns, however, the prior report addressed the absence of services for survivors of sexual violence, the

working group on gender-based violence, and the implementation of a “One United Nations” security sector approach that aims to be

responsive to the needs of women and other vulnerable groups. The current report made no specific acknowledgment of women, girls, or

any form of gender differentiation as they relate to the human rights or humanitarian situation.

Security Council 7031st meeting on the situation in Libya (S/PV.7031)​, took place on 16 September 2013.

Mr. Tarek Mitri – Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL),

Mr. Eugène-Richard Gasana – Permanent Representative of Rwanda and Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to

resolution 1970 (2011), and Mr. Dabbashi – representative of Libya, briefed the Security Council on the situation in Libya on 16 September

2013 (S/PV.7031)​. This briefing took place prior to the two year anniversary since the fall of the Qadhafi regime. The briefing focused on the

tenuous political and security situations in the country.

Women, peace and security concerns were only referenced in the context of the Constitution Drafting Assembly, where Mr. Mitri stated that

UNSMIL had advocated for better representation of women, but the adopted electoral law only granted six seats to women in the 60-member


The briefing spoke to many issues of particular importance to women, peace and security, yet in almost all cases, it missed the opportunity

to incorporate a gender-specific lens, including with regards to: political participation, transitional justice, treatment of detainees, criminal

justice, security sector reform, national dialogue, and the proliferation of arms and ammunition.

The briefing addressed women’s participation in the context of the Constitution Drafting Assembly and offered a gender-neutral statement

about the ill-treatment of detainees, but otherwise did not touch on any of the key points in the June 2013 MAP.

The previous briefing on the situation in Libya on 18 June 2013 (S/PV.6981) was similarly limited in its gender analysis, also mentioned the

participation of women in regards to the Constitution Drafting Assembly and electoral processes. Notably, however, the previous briefing did

recognize a (then) new law criminalizing torture, forced disappearances, and discrimination, as well as the introduction of a new bill

intended to provide assistance to women who were survivors of sexual violence.

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