The Security Council meets twice annually on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. The Council holds an open debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict around April and an open debate on the broader Women, Peace and Security agenda in October of each year. It also meets on a range of other topics. The Council should incorporate women, peace and security issues into all of its discussions and actions.
Security Council debates have increasingly referenced and incorporated the Women, Peace and Security Agenda over time. However, the Council’s work to internalise Women, Peace and Security remains marginal, ad hoc and inconsistent across both country and thematic areas. In addition, the numbers alone do not present a full picture. Despite clear situation-specific concerns, discussion of women, peace and security was completely absent in meetings on Bosnia and Herzegovina, West Africa, South Sudan, and Somalia (Piracy) during this time. Unfortunately, political concerns usually trump the Council’s agenda.
The Council has recently recognized that more systematic attention needs to be paid to implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in its work. Taking action on this recognition is critical. Women, Peace and Security concerns are not an add on. They are an obligation of the Council. Awareness of this obligation should be reflected in member states statements and action regardless of the focus of the debate.