Somalia (S/PV.705)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Report Analysis: 

The Security Council convened on 12 November 2013 (S/PV.705) to discuss the situation in Somalia. During this meeting (S/PV.7056), the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2124 (S/RES/2124). This resolution renewed the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) through 31 October 2014.

During this meeting, Member State failed to reference any women, peace, and security concerns.

Member States failed to address whether, as according to resolution 2124, women’s protection or promotion concerns would be included in the renewal of AMISOM’s mandate. No mention was made as to whether a gender lens would be integrated in AMISOM or if women would be integrated in the peacekeeping force.

Taking note of previous resolutions and the Secretary-General’s letter dated 14 October 2013 (S/2013/606), the UN Security Council adopted resolution S/RES/2124 (12 November 2013). This resolution renewed the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) through 31 October 2014, acknowledged that conditions in Somalia were not yet appropriate for a United Nations peacekeeping operation, and increased the force strength of AMISOM and the Somali National Security Force to resume and strengthen the military campaign against Al-Shabaab. Alongside enhancements to military capacity, the Security Council also addressed the development of Somali federal security institutions, political processes, sanctions and the security of UN personnel.

SCR 2124 made several substantive references to the women, peace and security agenda, including: its emphasis upon strengthening the protection of women and children in AMISOM activities and operations, and citing paragraph 13 of resolution 2093 (2013), which called for Women Protection Advisors (para.8); its highlighting of the particular protection needs of internally displaced persons, including from sexual violence and exploitation (para.21); and its calling for the equitable participation of women and other marginalized groups in national political processes (para.26).

Although there were several strong mentions- women, peace and security concerns were not mainstreamed across the resolution. Therefore, opportunities were missed to bring a gender lens to: the allegations of misconduct such as sexual exploitation and abuse (sexual exploitation was referenced in the context of the protection needs of internally displaced persons, but not within its calls for the AU to address allegations of misconduct); AMISOM’s compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law, including its treatment of detainees; the national program for the treatment and handling of disengaged combatants; security sector reform and policing in Somalia; the national dialogue, governance structures and elections (other than the general call for women’s participation in national political processes); and to Somalia’s and other Member States’ compliance with the arms embargo.

In relation to the November 2013 MAP, SCR 2124 did address human rights considerations, including women’s rights, in the context of strengthening women’s protection and ensuring women’s participation in political life. It also reiterated paragraph 13 of SCR 2093 (2013), which requested Women Protection Advisor to mainstream women’s protection within AMISOM. However, there was no broader reference to gender mainstreaming across all areas of the mission’s operations; and as is evidenced by the paragraph above, gender was not mainstreamed across the resolution.

The previous Security Council Resolution that addressed the AMISOM deployment, dated 6 March 2013 (S/RES/2093), offered stronger language than the current resolution with respect to women, peace and security. Not only did it similarly call for increased protection for women and children (including through a Women Protection Advisor) and for women’s participation in political life, it also referenced the spectrum of women, peace and security resolutions. Furthermore, resolution 2093 (6 March 2013) stressed the importance of women’s participation in the prevention and resolution of conflict, in peacebuilding, in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and in decision-making at all levels of Somali institutions.

Taking note of previous resolutions and the report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/623), the UN Security Council adopted a resolution 2125 (18 November 2013) to renew the provisions of resolution 2077 (2012) regarding piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia for another twelve months.

The resolution made no reference to women, peace and security concerns.

Resolution 2125 (18 November 2013) missed the opportunity to recognize the insecurity piracy creates for women. In particular, it failed to acknowledge the links between the root causes of piracy, including the lack of legitimate employment opportunities, and the subsequent role piracy plays in intensifying the risk of sexual violence and trafficking.  Further, despite the downward trend in pirate attacks in previous years, with an increased number of vessels hiring private armed security guards and an accompanying proliferation of piracy- and private security-related arms, there remained a great potential for adverse consequences upon civilians, especially women.

In comparison to the November 2013 MAP, resolution 2125 (18 November 2013) offered no mention of the negative impact of piracy on women. While the resolution did acknowledge the role of piracy in fueling crime and illicit cash flows, it did not extend that analysis to the trafficking of drugs, arms, and people,with the exception of one comment on hostage-taking generating funds to purchase weapons.

Similar to the previous resolution, S/RES/2077 (2012) made no reference to women, peace and security concerns.

PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights
Security Council Agenda Geographical Topic: 
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