The Report of the Secretary General on the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) was submitted to the Security Council on 30 September 2013 pursuant to paragraph 34 of Security Council resolution 2098 (2013).The report is structured around six sections: introduction; major developments; the Implementation of the mandate of MONUSCO; Safety and security of United Nations personnel within the context of operations of the Intervention Brigade; Mission reconfiguration and road map for the transfer of responsibilities; and concludes with the SecretaryGeneral’s recommendations.
With varying degrees of substance and specificity, nine references to women, peace and security are made in the report. The references focus on sexual violence and security sector reform. The first two references relate to security sector reform and training of female police on SGBV and sexual violence exploitation and abuse. The report also notes that four police commissariats of the special police for the protection of women and children were established and equipped. There are four references to sexual violence, an issue to which a subparagraph is dedicated. The report documents the findings of the joint investigation team (210 July 2013), which reported 63 cases of rape. MONUSCO also recorded at least 104 cases of sexual violence, allegedly committed by members of armed groups and the national security forces. Rape was listed among grave violations of international humanitarian law which continue to be committed in conflictaffected areas. According to the report, 12, 391 persons received medical and psychosocial assistance. In discussing the transfer of tasks from MONUSCO to the UN country team, sexual violence, gender, justice and corrections, and technical election support are among the activities being transferred. It is somewhat disconcerting that these tasks are no longer considered core to MONUSCO’s mandate. Although brief in its reference, the report mentions the inclusion of dependants from Congolese and foreign armed groups as part of MONUSCO’s DDRRR programme.
The above references to WPS notwithstanding, the report misses a number of opportunities to reference core women, peace and security concerns. In particular, it is unfortunate that the report does not reference WPS in relation to the continuation of electoral technical assistance for the upcoming local, provincial, and general election as well as the recently dispatched electoral needs assessment. The report also misses an opportunity to provide sex disaggregated data with regards to the humanitarian situation, particularly with respect to displacement. Such information is crucial to efficiently tailoring humanitarian response, assistance, and delivery. This is especially unfortunate in light of the midyear review of the humanitarian action plan referenced in the report. With regards to the justice sector, it is unfortunate that WPS concerns were not mentioned in relation to the deployment of mobile courts and the establishment of two new prosecution support cells. The report reflects the September NGOWG to a limited degree. While the addresses the role of women in security sector reform and documents cases of sexual violence against women and children, as alluded to in the MAP recommendations, the report unfortunately does not include information on the targeted nature of such attacks. Moreover, and as noted above, the report does not provide specific information on the gendered impacts of the humanitarian situations as called for in the MAP recommendations. In addition, it is unfortunate that the SecretaryGeneral does not report on efforts to include women in all peace and reconciliation efforts; the centrality of women rights to electoral and judicial reform; nor on consultations with women’s human rights organizations. In future reports, the SecretaryGeneral should ensure that additional intelligence data at MONUSCO’s disposal serve as early warning signals to inform optimal protection of civilians. In line with the MAP recommendations, the Council should ensure that the Intervention Brigade be held to strict vetting procedures and predeployment training regarding international humanitarian and human rights law, particularly regarding sexual violence in conflict.
The previous Report of the SecretaryGeneral on MONUSCO, submitted to the Council on 28 June 2013 (S/2013/388) pursuant to paragraph 34 of Resolution 2098 and reports on similar themes. The previous has significantly more references to WPS, explicable in large part by the report’s inclusion of a matrix of the current division of labour between MONUSCO and the UN country team. Within the body of the report itself, similar references are made with regards to SSR and police training; and human rights abuses and violations against women and girls, including sexual violence. There is no major change between the two reports with respect to addressing women, peace and security concerns, and indeed, obligations.