Geographic Topics

The Security Council organises discussions in its meetings pertaining to the maintenance of international peace and security based on what geographic regions are dealing with ongoing crises. While certain geographic regions or countries have peacekeeping missions which have mandates that are periodically reviewed by the Council for renewal, other regions, are discussed by the Council should emergent conflicts arise. Reports and resolutions are issued for many of these geographic topics, and we monitor these discussions for Women, Peace and Security concerns, as well as for gender statistics. 

  • Afghanistan

    Afghanistan is on the agenda of the Security Council with two key Council mandated international peacekeeping and political missions: the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) (managed by NATO) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) (managed by the UN Department of Political Affairs). The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was established in March 2002 through the adoption of Security Council resolution 1401 (2002) and is charged with managing all humanitarian, relief, recovery and reconstruction activities, in coordination with the Government. Women, Peace and Security challenges include participation of women in public and political life and all Afghan peace processes, consultation with women in reconciliation efforts and justice and implementation of laws. There are multiple references to Women, Peace and Security in the mandate of UNAMA focusing on participation, protection of women’s rights and empowerment. Notably, the mandate resolution encourages increased involvement of  civil society engagement in the peace process.  However there are opportunities to strengthen implementation.

    In terms of Secretary-General Reports on UNAMA, there is information on Women, Peace and Security including references to engagement with civil society, sexual and gender-based violence, including response mechanisms; sex-disaggregated data on civilian casualties; systematic monitoring and reporting on gender commitments; political participation and representation; and judicial sector reform. Benchmark reporting includes information on the women’s committee of the High Peace Council and workshops held on women’s roles in peace and security; women’s political participation constitutional guarantees of gender equality; legal and policy measures to combat violence against women and girls; women’s participation in peace processes; as well as the implementation of 1325. Some improvement can be made to reporting, including references to the gendered dimension of humanitarian situations, including the displacement and the development of durable solutions; humanitarian assistance and delivery; as well as counter-narcotics efforts.

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  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bosnia and Herzegovina is on the agenda of  Security Council’s agenda with mandated European Military Force in Bosnia Herzegovina (EUROFOR).  The Council supported the efforts of the European Community to end the fighting in Yugoslavia through the establishment of a peacekeeping mission through the European Union (EU). The current mission, the European Military Force in Bosnia Herzegovina, (EUROFOR) Althea, was established as part of the Common Security and Defense Policy pursuant to Security Council resolution 1575 (2004) as a legal successor to SFOR, the previous NATO-led operation, and the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH).

    Key Women, Peace and Security concerns include issues related to the lack of prosecutions of those responsible for torture during the war, particularly sexual and gender-based violence, and continued impunity within justice institutions. Additionally, women’s roles in the reform of the political, economic and security sectors as well as within legal and media institutions are marginalized and receive little attention. The mandate resolutions of the Security Council on Bosnia do not include strong language on women, peace and security. The mandate missed significant opportunities to reference gender and implement the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. The reports to the Security Council also lack strong and integrated gender analysis. The Council should include references, request and follow-up on numerous areas of concern including the return of refugees and displaced persons; the composition and deployment of European Union Force ALTHEA and the NATO presence; women’s participation in decision-making, including peace dialogue and agreements; women’s participation in implementation, including meetings of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC);  training on gender-related issues and sexual and gender-based violence.

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  • Burundi

    Burundi is on the Security Council agenda with the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB), established through Security Council resolution 1959 (2010), succeeding the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB). BNUB has a scaled-down structure and mandate aimed at supporting democracy and institution-building efforts, strengthening justice and reconciliation mechanisms, and the reintegration of conflict-affected populations. The situation in Burundi continues to be characterised by extrajudicial killings, assassinations, arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment, attacks by armed individuals and persistent allegations of sexual and gender-based violence. OCHA estimates that one tenth of the population has been confronted by physical or psychological threats, intimidation or other abuses since April 2015. Against a backdrop of seeming unwillingness of the government of Burundi to embark on a process of genuinely inclusive dialogue, immediate measures need to be taken to enhance the protection of civilians and decrease human rights abuses. 

    It is urgent that the Council address how it has expanded high-level diplomatic efforts and support for mediation to move the dialogue process forward. Any dialogue must be accompanied by concrete actions by the Council, African Union, and East African Community members to push for an immediate end to violence, human rights violations, and impunity. Due to the high volatility of the situation, it is urgent that the Council put contingency planning back at the center of its discussions to ensure a timely, unfettered, and appropriate protection of the civilian population in case of a brutal increase of violence. Council members should jointly call donors to urgently increase and coordinate support to Burundian population, both in Burundi and regionally. The efforts of countries hosting Burundian refugees should be supported and commended. The Council should also strongly advocate against any coerced or forceful returns and for transparent Refugee Determination Status procedures.

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  • Central African Republic

    The Central African Republic (CAR) is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA). As the situation in the country remained volatile, the Security Council remained involved in peacebuilding efforts in the country, establishing the United Nations Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA) in 2000. An increase in violence precipitated the establishment of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) in 2007, pursuant to Security Council resolution 1778 (2007). MINURCAT was focused in eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic, and completed its mandate on 31 December 2010. In January 2010, the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), succeeded BONUCA to ensure the coherence of peace-building support activities by the various United Nations entities present in CAR, particularly given the drawdown of MINURCAT. Women, Peace and Security challenges include the ongoing and widespread human rights abuses targeting women, including sexual and gender-based violence, for which there is little protection, and for which there is minimal access to services or justice for survivors. Further, women face significant barriers to their participation in political and electoral processes, as well as in broader peacebuilding efforts.

    The Council should call for the collection and analysis of information on violations of human rights, including SGBV, exploitation and abuse by all parties, including targeting women and girls, through consultation with civil society organizations (CSOs) during field visits (S/RES/2122 (2013), OP 6) and briefings by the SRSG on Sexual violence in conflict & UN-Women (S/RES/1960 (2010), OP 7); call for the inclusion of gender expertise in the PoE to support the consideration of gender as a cross-cutting issue across the work of the PoE and the Committee (S/RES/2242 (2015), OP 6); and call for the inclusion of information on the situation for women, including sex and age-disaggregated analysis of data collection, and gender analysis throughout all interim and annual reports.

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  • Colombia

    The Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2261 (2016), on 25 January 2016, to establish a political mission of unarmed international observers to monitor and verify the laying down of arms, and be part of the tripartite mechanism that will monitor and verify the definitive bilateral ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, following the signing of a peace agreement. Further, the 2016 proposed peace agreement between the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC), despite eventually being rejected by the referendum on 2nd October, includes a historic recognition of women’s rights and also recognises sexual and gender-based violence as a crime against humanity. It furthermore provided no amnesty for sexual and gender-based violence. Finally, an agreement was signed on 24th November and later ratified by Congress on 30th November.

    The Council should examine progress on the implementation of the Ethnic Chapter of the Final Agreement and all gender-based human rights protections within the Accord. Specifically, the Council should encourage the parties to ensure gender and ethno-racial perspectives are taken into account in implementation, and that there is representation of Afro-Colombian and Indigenous organizations in all peace implementation and transitional justice entities, including representation of Afro-Colombian women’s organizations in the High Level Body on Gender. Reporting and briefings should update on the mission’s efforts to address sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in transitional zones and ensure that all cases are adequately investigated, and that victims receive justice and reparations. In light of the increase in murders of human rights defenders and community leaders, including the recent assassination of Luz Jenny Montaño Arboleda in Tumaco, the Council should call on the Colombian government to conduct proper investigations without further delay, and to ensure the National Protection Unit (UPN) consults directly with affected communities, particularly Afro-Colombian and Indigenous authorities, to increase individual and collective protections for those under threat (Final AgreementS/RES/2366 (2017)).

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  • Cote d’Ivoire

    Côte d’Ivoire is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). The situation in Côte d’Ivoire has been a focus of the Council’s attention since 2002, with  internal fighting, mass killings, and serious violations of human rights erupted as a result of the disputed 2000 presidential elections. The mandate encompasses support for Disarmament, Demobilisation, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement (DDRRR) programs, monitoring the cessation of hostilities, support for security sector and political reform, the rule of law, and the protection of human rights.

    The primary Women, Peace and Security challenges include impunity for sexual and gender-based violence and barriers to women’s full participation in justice and reconciliation processes. In addition, weak Disarmament, Demobilisation, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement programs are under resourced and fail to encompass reintegration of women. The mandate includes references to Women, Peace and Security in terms of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration and well as in terms of women as victims of human rights violations. The reports to Security Council are mixed on the inclusion of language and analysis on gender. The Council should follow-up and include stronger references to gender and women in its work on Côte d’Ivoire.

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  • Cyprus

    The situation in Cyprus is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) established in 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. Following the hostilities of 1974, the Security Council mandated that UNFICYP perform certain additional functions, including the supervision of ceasefire lines, maintaining a buffer zone and undertaking humanitarian activities.

    Women, Peace and Security challenges include the continued marginalisation of women within the peace process, which has an impact on women’s overall role in broader efforts to strengthen Cyprus’ economy and governance institutions. The mandate includes concern for the inclusion of women’s groups and for women’s participation in peace processes. The Council should recognise the critical role women continue to play in the Cyprian peace process and support efforts to ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in the on-going negotiations in the operative paragraphs of the UNFICYP mandate. Furthermore, references to the participation of civil society in the peace process must be strengthened (S/RES/2263, OP 3(d)) and include direct provisions for women’s organisations. Additionally, all relevant UN offices in Cyprus should support the inclusion of women as full participants and integrate a gender perspective throughout the peace process to ensure gender concerns are addressed in any eventual outcomes.

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  • Democratic Republic of the Congo

    The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is on the Security Council’s agenda in some form with the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). MONUSCO is authorised to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate relating, inter alia, to the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence, and to support the Government of the DRC in its stabilisation and peace consolidation efforts. Previously, there was the United Nations Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). Women, Peace and Security challenges include violations of women’s human rights and protection from sexual and gender-based violence, amongst many other peace and security concerns. The mandate includes references to women and gender- including the noted importance of women in peacebuilding efforts. 

    In its discussion of the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and implementation of the 31 December 2016 Agreement, the Security Council should ensure it discusses women’s participation in political processes. The information provided by the Secretary-General on the extent to which women are engaged in implementing the political agreement has been non-existent in recent updates (S/2018/128S/2017/963), despite the fact that women’s participation in the political process is repeatedly emphasized as imperative to ensuring a successful election, and should be addressed as part of broader efforts to implement the WPS agenda (CEDAW/C/COD/CO/6-7). Civil society organizations (CSOs), including women’s groups, have raised significant concerns regarding the newly signed electoral law, which contravenes the full parity enshrined in the Constitution and could result in indirect discrimination because of the associated fees and experience requirements. In addition, women faced several challenges when registering to vote, including documented cases of rape by national police force officers assigned to registration centers (S/2017/824). Accordingly, the Council should take steps to ensure women have access to polls on election day, this includes addressing security threats.

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  • Golan Heights

    The situation in the Golan Heights is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) mandated to maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria, oversee the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces, and supervise the areas of separation and limitation, as provided in the May 1974 Agreement on Disengagement. Since 1973, the Council has considered the situation in the context of the conflict between Egyptian and Israeli forces in the Suez Canal area, and the Sinai and Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights.

    Recent mandate renewals have included gender-specific language, inter alia: in support for civilian populations, including 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. The Council should support efforts to ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in ongoing negotiations and by strengthening references to the participation of civil society in the peace process.

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  • Great Lakes Region

    The Security Council addresses the Great Lakes Region in various discussions. In March 2016, the United Nations Regional Strategic Framework for the Great Lakes Region was launched, which seeks to better align the work of the United Nations in the Great Lakes region with the objectives of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework. The Strategic Framework has six pillars, namely, sustainable natural-resource management, economic integration, cross-border trade and food nutrition security, mobility, youth and adolescents, gender and sexual and gender-based violence, and justice and conflict prevention.

    Progress in implementing the strategic framework will greatly contribute to sustainable peace and development in the region. The Women’s Platform for the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework also continues to remain a catalytic instrument for women’s empowerment in the region.

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  • Guinea-Bissau

    Guinea-Bissau is on the agenda of the Security Council with UN Integrated Peace-Building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) with a mandate to support efforts to consolidate constitutional rule, further political dialogue and national reconciliation, assist with security sector reform efforts, and promote respect for human rights and the rule of law. Women, Peace and Security challenges include the support for women’s participation in conflict prevention, political processes, and peacebuilding efforts, as well as women’s role in security sector reform. The mandate includes language highlighting the importance of women’s role in the peace processes, and well as their protection in the conflict itself. should ensure UNIOGBIS, as a priority, addresses concerns surrounding Guinea-Bissau’s judicial system, which, if left unchecked, will allow impunity and corruption to grow. Increased attention on legal reform must coincide with efforts to ensure women’s participation and the protection of women’s rights.

    The Council should call for consultations with women and women’s civil society organisations (per SCR 2122 (2013), OP 2(c)). Furthermore, women should be included as leaders and stakeholders in ongoing security sector reform, national reconciliation processes, institution building and addressing the root causes of instability. Finally, the Council must acknowledge the role drug trafficking has on undermining rule of law and stabilisation reforms, take measures to address the differentiated impact drug trafficking has on women and acknowledge and encourage women’s role in addressing drug trafficking.

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  • Haiti

    Haiti is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) mandated to establish a secure and stable environment, to facilitate the protection of human rights, and to facilitate a transparent and fair political process. This mandate has been consistently renewed since June of 2004. Women, Peace and Security challenges include ensuring women’s full and equal engagement in Haiti’s future as well as addressing the increase of threats and harassment toward women-led civil society organisations, in particular toward those calling for justice for sexual and gender-based violence. The mandate includes language on women’s protection, especially from sexual violence, and on women’s participation in political processes.

    In its forthcoming mandate renewal for the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), it is vital for the Council to call for women’s full and equal participation and engagement in building Haiti’s future. This is particularly important in view of threats and harassment against women-led civil society organisations, including those calling for justice for sexual and gender-based violence.

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  • Iraq

    Iraq is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) established via Security Council resolution 1500 (2003) to coordinate UN and international agencies engaged in humanitarian assistance and reconstruction activities in Iraq. It also helps to advance efforts to restore and establish national and local institutions. The mission’s mandate was expanded under Security Council resolution 1546 (2004) to assist in the formation of institutions for a representative government. Women, Peace and Security challenges include displacement, discriminatory laws, prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, addressing family violence including so-called “honor killings,” and the provision of services and justice for survivors. Female leaders and activists continue to receive threats, which impact their physical safety and the ability of women to participate equally in public life. The conflict between the ISIL/Da’esh and Government forces, with assistance from allied militias, continues to dominate discussions on the human rights situation in Iraq.

    The Security Council must call for accountability for the serious violation of human rights against all groups and by all sides, including, abduction and human trafficking, sexual slavery and other forms of SGBV by ISIL (Da’esh); and reports of beatings, unlawful detention and the sexual exploitation and abuse of alleged ISIL-affiliated families by Government forces and allied militias during and after military offensives. Further, the Council should ensure the Iraq investigative team (established under S/RES/2379 (2017)) is inclusive, and composed of impartial and independent experts who have extensive expertise in collecting, consolidating, preserving and analyzing evidence, particularly pertinent to SGBV. The Council should  call for the expansion of current documentation and reporting requirements to cover all gender-based crimes including crimes against women human rights defenders, LGBTQI persons, men and boys, and their persecution for defying ISIL prescribed gender roles. In this regard, the Council should request an update on the implementation of the UN-Iraq Joint Communiqué on the prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence. The Council should also urge the Government to pass the draft Family Violence Protection law with proposed amendments from Iraqi women’s rights organizations, including provisions that clarify non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may provide shelters for women fleeing SGBV. Furthermore, the Council should call on the Government to immediately issue a directive to clarify that NGOs may provide such shelters while the draft law remains pending before the Iraqi Parliament.

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  • Israel/Palestine

    The situation in Israel and Palestine has been on the agenda of the Security Council since 1947, when hostilities erupted between the newly established State of Israel and its Arab neighbors. The Security Council called for cessation of violence and subsequently established the first peacekeeping mission to monitor the negotiated armistice, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), with the adoption of resolution 50 (1948).  The Security Council receives monthly briefings and holds periodic open debates on the situation in Palestine and Israel. There is often no mention of Women, Peace and Security in the discussions and mandate. Therefore there are significant missed opportunities to discuss the gender dimension of the conflict, occupation, to promote the role of women in the Israel and Palestine and regional peace processes, and to call for the end to violations that target women and girls. 

    The Security Council should recognise the gendered impact of military occupation and settlement expansion, strengthen gender-sensitive humanitarian responses, ensure women’s full and effective participation in conflict prevention, democratic transition, reconciliation efforts and humanitarian work and ensure accountability for the abuses and violations against women and women human rights defenders by Israeli forces.

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  • Kosovo

    Kosovo is on the Security Council’s agenda with  the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK). Since 1998, when violence increased between the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), the Council has discussed the situation. This increase of violence demanded full independence for both Kosovo and the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). UNMIK works alongside the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), which was also established via resolution 1244 (1999), and initially comprised of 50,000 troops, but stood at around 5,600 in 2012. Following the Declaration of Independence by the Kosovo authorities and the entry into force of a new constitution on 15 June 2008, the tasks of UNMIK were modified and its configuration changed. Women, Peace and Security challenges include women’s rights to political participation, and the prosecution of war crimes, including crimes of sexual violence, as well as the need for protection of witnesses. The mandate has not included Women, Peace and Security concerns.  In this vein, Council members must support women’s full participation in post-conflict peacebuilding, decision-making processes and projects to advance women’s human rights. This includes full implementation of the NAP on Women, Peace and Security, strengthening Kosovo’s civil society capacity to monitor and advise on governmental commitments to women, peace and security and providing protective services to survivors of domestic violence. Though Kosovo’s legal framework and mechanisms for gender equality are relatively comprehensive, implementation is uneven, and de facto discrimination against women and girls persists.

    The Council must address women’s unequal access to economic resources, education, public services, and post-conflict peacebuilding programs. Women and women’s organisations must be given the opportunity to participate in the prevention and countering of violent extremism. Post-conflict recovery in Kosovo is dependent on inter-ethnic cooperation. The Council must, therefore, support measures that ensure equitable access to justice and human rights for marginalised groups from all intersectional backgrounds, including ethnic minority women from the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities, LGBTI persons and the disabled.

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  • Liberia

    Liberia was on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which seized to exist on 30 March 2018. The Council has discussed the situation since 1989, when the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) entered Liberia, led by former President, Charles Taylor, and the country dissolved into civil war. The Women, Peace and Security concerns include women’s participation, sexual and gender-based violence, capacity of Liberian institutions with regard to issues of gender and reconciliation efforts. The mandate did not include Women, Peace and Security language. 

     It is imperative that, over the course of the transition, gender equality and women’s empowerment efforts are prioritized, including in the context of electoral and political processes, justice and security sector reform, and efforts to strengthen the rule of law, and any entities which take on transferred responsibilities have the necessary capacity and resources. The efforts undertaken by UNMIL in the lead up to the election (S/2017/510) should also be followed-up on in order to support ongoing engagement of women in civic processes. Finally, the Council should inquire about implementation of the 2015 National Action Plan (NAP) on Resolution 1325 (2000) (CEDAW/C/LBR/CO/7-8).

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  • Libya

    Libya is on the Security Council’s agenda with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), a political mission led by the Department of Political Affairs that was established in 2009. Since 1992, the Security Council has imposed sanctions on Libya following the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Nine years later, the Security Council adopted resolution 1973 (2011), enforced by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), which condemned the violations of human rights carried out by Muammar al-Gaddafi’s regime, demanded the protection of civilians, established a ‘no-fly zone’ over Libya except for humanitarian aircraft, enforced an arms embargo, decided to freeze assets of the Gaddafi network, designated travel bans for certain members of government, and established a panel of experts to assess the situation in Libya and make recommendations to the Council. Following the fall of the Gaddafi regime, Security Council Resolution 2016 (27 October 2011) terminated the provisions of resolution 1973, allowing the use of force to protect civilians and ensuring the no-fly zone, effectively ending the authorisation for the NATO military operation in Libya on 31 October 2011. With the deteriorating security situation and the threat posed by armed groups and illicit arms proliferation, active female public figures, including human rights defenders, civil society leaders, activists, journalists, and politicians, continue to be targets of assassinations, abductions, and SGBV.

    The report and any briefings should provide information on the implementation of WPS provisions in UNSMIL’s mandate (S/RES/2376 (2017), OP 4), as well as UNSMIL’s Action Plan for Libya. Updates regarding UNSMIL’s efforts to support the Government in ensuring women’s participation in the planning for future elections, electoral reform, democratic transition, national conferences, disarmament and arms control, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and peace processes, as well as efforts to engage with women’s CSOs and protect women’s rights (S/RES/2323 (2016)CEDAW/C/LBY/CO/5) should be provided. Further, the Council should call for information on Government efforts to curb the flow of small arms, including by ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and enforcing national laws and regulations.

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  • Mali

    The situation in Mali appeared on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda in 2012 following the forcible seizure of power from the democratically-elected government by some elements of the Malian armed forces. Currently there is no peacekeeping mission serving in Mali. However, the UN has welcomed efforts by the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and international partners to monitor the situation in Mali. Violence in the north of the country has been combined with ongoing political upheaval in the capital, resulting in physical insecurity for women with a simultaneous closing of political space for their voices to be heard. Key Women, Peace and Security concerns include the specific rights and protection concerns of women, in particular the rape and abduction of women and girls by armed groups in the north, and the full engagement of women in ongoing efforts for peaceful resolution.

    The Council must ensure that the mission is mainstreaming gender as a cross-cutting issue, including by supporting government efforts to promote women’s participation at all levels, particularly in implementing the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation (SCR 2295 (2016), OP 26) and efforts to counter violent extremism (SCR 2242 (2015), OP 13). In addition, the Council should ensure the mission is fully equipped with its intended gender capacity and expertise, including through the full deployment of WPAs (SCR 2295 (2016), OP 19(c)(iii)), strengthening the presence of women deployed in all security-related capacities as well as in civilian personnel deployment, and consulting with women’s civil society organisations on a consistent basis (SCR 2295 (2016), OP 9(a)(v)). The Council should inquire as to the mission’s efforts to increase the participation of women in human rights and conflict-related sexual violence training provided to Malian forces, police, gendarmerie and legal authorities, as well as the mission’s efforts to provide women associated with armed groups full access to disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR) programs, through consultation with women’s organisations (SCR 2295 (2016), OP 19 (v)). 

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  • Myanmar

    The last Security Council briefing on Myanmar was held on 17 April 2014. The “briefing focused on the situation in Rakhine, in particular the recent rise in inter-communal tensions there, the disruption of humanitarian aid and the controversy surrounding the census.” 

    The Government of Myanmar is the primary duty bearer with respect to protecting the rights of all people in Myanmar. In this moment of crisis, the Government must safeguard the security of humanitarian workers and, most critically, re-establish unfettered humanitarian access to ensure the delivery of life-saving assistance (including food, WASH, and medical services), protection measures to all people on the basis of need without discrimination.  The Security Council should also continue to discuss the situation in Myanmar and call for further action by the UN Secretary-General and other senior UN officials.

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  • North Korea

    The Security Council of the United Nations (UNSC) has adopted 21 resolutions concerning North Korea since 1950s. The sanctions on North Korea are mainly economic sanctions which regulate North Korea's economic activities such as trade with China. The resolutions' sanction is mainly about 'demands North Korea refrain from further nuclear or missile tests and return to the NPT'. Moreover, the sanctions resolutions try to regulate ban the exports of North Korea's natural resources such as coal and iron ore, and prohibit member states' export to North Korea which may contribute to North Korea's further nuclear and missile tests.

    In April 2018, the people of both South Korea and North Korea celebrated the historic Inter-Korean Summit and the Panmunjeom Declaration signed by both leaders, with an announcement to the world that “there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun.” 

    Yet given the overwhelming evidence of the constructive role women’s peace movements play in helping to realize peace agreements -- and far more durable ones -- we urge the two governments to include the significant participation of women leaders in the official peace process.

    Read the 28 April 2018 Statement by WomenCrossDMZ here>>

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  • Somalia

    Somalia has been on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda since 1991, following the outbreak of civil war and the failure of the opposing clans to unite around a replacement leader after the President was driven from the country. There are two key international peacekeeping and political missions in Somalia: The United Nations Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The United Nations Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS) was established in 1995. As per Security Council Resolution 1863 (2009), its mandate is to advance the cause of peace and reconciliation, to monitor the situation in Somalia, and keep the Council informed about developments in the country. AMISOM was established in February 2007 with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1744 (2007) and is the peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations. The mandate and tasks of the mission include supporting reconciliation, protecting Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIS), helping to implement the National Security Stabilisation Programme (NSSP), supporting disarmament and stabilisation, monitoring the security situation, facilitating humanitarian operations and working with refugees and internally displaced peoples (IDPs), and protecting AMISOM equipment and personnel.

    The Council should call on the mission to prioritize efforts to mainstream gender across all activities and ensure full resourcing as the mission moves towards transitioning some responsibilities to the Government. This should include appointing gender experts, building capacity of staff on the matter, adequately funding strategies and activities to mainstream gender across the work of the mission, as well as delivering standalone gender objectives. The range of efforts undertaken by AMISOM to ensure police prevent violations and protect the rights of women and girls (S/2018/59) must be maintained and taken forward by the Government by working with clan leaders, and promoting women’s participation in clan structures and women’s access to formal and informal justice mechanisms. Further, any technical support provided by the mission on gender mainstreaming in the context of the review of the Constitution and implementation of the action plan on preventing violent extremism must be continued and strengthened. Finally, the Council must call on Somali authorities, AMISOM and United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) to ensure women and girls are protected from SGBV, including SEA (S/RES/2102 (2013), OP 11), by supporting the efforts of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to adopt the draft Sexual Offences Bill, which is the result of two years of consultation with key stakeholders.

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  • South Sudan

    South Sudan first appeared on the Security Council’s agenda on 13 July 2011, following its independence from the Republic of Sudan four days earlier on 9 July 2011. The current peacekeeping mission, UNMISS was established via Security Council Resolution 1996 (2011) on 8 July 2011 to consolidate peace and security and to help establish the conditions for development with a view to strengthen the capacity of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to govern effectively and democratically and establish good relations with its neighbors. This mandate has been consistently renewed since July of 2011. The mandate includes language on the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, but many other Women, Peace and Security concerns are not mentioned.

    The Council must ensure it incorporates a gender perspective throughout its discussion, including prioritisation of women’s empowerment and promoting gender equity. Past mandates have contained strong language on women’s participation in the implementation of the peace agreement and women’s protection concerns, although the most recent mandate took a step back from these commitments. The Council should ensure that future reporting on UNMISS and the situation in South Sudan remains strong by inquiring into any lack of such reporting. Given the severe security and humanitarian situation, the Council should also ensure that UNMISS continues to protect civilians and call on the mission to hold regular consultations with local women’s civil society organisations to ensure protection strategies are responsive to women’s security concerns (SCR 2252 (2015), OP 8(a)(i), (v), (vi); (b)(i)(ii), (iii)) and humanitarian aid and reintegration assistance to returnees is gender-sensitive.

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  • Sudan

    The situation in Sudan has been on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda since 2003. The Security Council, by its resolution 1990 PDF Document of 27 June 2011, responded to the urgent situation in Sudan’s Abyei region by establishing the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). The Security Council was deeply concerned by the violence, escalating tensions and population displacement.

    The Council should ensure UNISFA’s human rights monitoring mandate is gender-sensitive by expanding the existing mandate (SCR 2287 (2016), OP 25) to include provisions which require UNISFA to specifically monitor for violations targeting women. Additionally, the Council should broaden its commitment to women’s participation, mentioned in the mandate’s preambular paragraphs, by providing concrete measures to promote the empowerment of women, including building women’s participation in decision-making processes, and addressing barriers to the implementation of the women, peace and security resolutions. The Council should also include gender training for security forces, and call for comprehensive implementation of the United Nations zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuses in accordance with SCRs 1990 (2011) and 2272 (2016).

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  • Syria

    Syria has been on the Security Council’s agenda since 2011, when a significant intensification of Syrian repression and demonstrations occurred, including by military forces with armored units- followed by the lifting of Syrian emergency laws in place since 1963. The United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), was established by United Nations Security Council resolution 2043 (2012), initially for a 90-day period, to monitor a cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties and to monitor and support the full implementation of the Joint Special Envoy’s Six-Point Proposal to end the conflict in Syria. On 15 June 2012, UNSMIS suspended its activities owing to an intensification of armed violence across the country. This suspension was to be reviewed on a daily basis. Security Council resolution 2059 (2012), adopted on 20 July, extended the mandate of UNSMIS for a final period of 30 days. Although the mission was suspended in mid-June, as of June 2012, the size and composition of the mission was estimated at 278 military observers, including three female Military Experts. The mandate was concluded in mid-August of 2012.

    Today, the Council should call for meaningful participation of Syrian women, girls, civil society, including women’s organisations, and human rights defenders in the design and implementation of gender-sensitive humanitarian aid strategies both inside Syria and in neighboring countries (SCRs 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015)). The Council should also ensure that women’s particular needs, such as secure access to sanitation facilities and hygiene, and health assistance including reproductive health, family planning, and maternal health services, are adequately addressed. Reporting should reflect the gender specific consequences of attacks against humanitarian convoys delivering medical supplies, and against medical workers and facilities, which have increased in Syria since the adoption of SCR 2286 (2016). The Council must also ensure Syrian women’s meaningful participation in the UN-facilitated political process (SCR 2254 (2015)), and in the design and implementation of ceasefire monitoring mechanisms. All mechanisms established to facilitate civil society participation should be fully resourced, supported, accessible and transparent, including engagement with diverse perspectives of civil society. The Council should inquire into any lack of reporting on concrete steps to be taken to ensure women’s full and meaningful inclusion in the peace process to ensure its effectiveness and sustainability, particularly in light of recent developments threatening its success. Reporting should also reflect local civil society, including women’s groups, efforts to ensure agreements are gender-sensitive and grounded in the experiences of local populations.

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  • Ukraine

    Ukraine has been on the Security Council agenda since February of 2014. In March 2014, The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights deployed a Human Rights Monitoring Mission to Ukraine in order to support the Ukrainian government in protecting human rights. There is also the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. The Mission gathers information and report on the security situation, establish and report facts in response to specific incidents, including those concerning alleged violations of fundamental OSCE principles. OHCHR has documented a pattern of SGBV against women detainees and the female relatives of men suspected of membership or affiliation with the armed groups. Cases of arbitrary detention, rape, and torture have also been well documented.

    WILPF believes that the specific Ukrainian context should shape the specific Ukrainian response. This response should also build upon the expertise, knowledge, and networks of Ukrainian civil society, in particular, women’s organisations and international Women, Peace and Security experience. Finally, the political and financial support of the Government of Ukraine is crucial.

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  • West Africa

    The situation in West Africa has been discussed by the Security Council since 2001, following an effort by the United Nations to increase sub-regional cooperation and support for capacity building and peace consolidation in conflict-affected areas. As part of this effort, the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) was established by the Security Council on 29 November 2001 through an exchange of letters between the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council. UNOWA’s mandate was focused on a number of priorities: encouraging recovery efforts in countries affected by crisis, consolidating good governance and the rule of law, promoting human rights and gender mainstreaming, and raising awareness of the imperative need for economic growth and the fair distribution of wealth. The mandate of UNOWA has consistently been renewed for three-year periods at a time. The current UN Mission based in West Africa that UNOWA works in cooperation with include Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI), Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), and Liberia (UNMIL). UNOWA also has been responsible for leading the UN response to the recent instability in Guinea and Mali. The UNOWA mandate does not include Women, Peace and Security language.

    The Security Council should expand upon UNOWAS’ strong women, peace and security mandate, which calls for gender and WPS to be considered throughout its work and request reporting and analysis on the regional implementation of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda. UNOWAS’ WPS strategy and collaboration with ECOWAS on a sub-regional plan of action for implementing SCR 1325 (2000) serve as good practice examples that should be maintained and strengthened at the regional level. The renewed mandate should also ensure regional efforts have political and financial support to build the capacity of women leaders and civil society organisations in urban and rural areas in order to fully participate in peace and security discussions on a regular basis.

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  • Western Sahara

    The situation in Western Sahara has been on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda since 1976, following the withdrawal of Spain in 1976 and the ensuing conflict over the territory between Morocco and the Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el-Hamra y de Río de Oro (Frente polisario), supported by Algeria. In the intervening years, the situation has become entrenched. The current peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), was established on 29 April 1991 pursuant to Security Council Resolution 690 (1991) in accordance with the settlement agreed to on 30 August 1988 by Morocco and the Frente polisario. MINURSO has been mandated to monitor the ceasefire, verify the reduction of Moroccan troops, implement a repatriation program for refugees, identify and register qualified voters, and organise and ensure a free and fair referendum on Western Sahara’s independence from Morocco. The mandate does not include any Women, Peace and Security language.

    As the Security Council discusses the situation in Western Sahara, including the expulsion of international civilian staff and the closure of the Dkhla liaison office to the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), human rights and gender should be key considerations. The mandate for MINURSO should be renewed with a a human rights monitoring and reporting presence which – unlike most other missions established under the authority of the Council – it currently lacks. The Council must also reaffirm the role and the mandate of MINURSO, ensuring it can fulfill the standard functions of peacekeeping, which include monitoring, evaluation, and reporting on local developments, by appointing personnel responsible for civil affairs to work systematically and directly with concerned communities.

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  • Yemen

    Yemen has been on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda since 2011, when a wave of anti-government social protests started in the country. There is no current peacekeeping mission.  Promoting a political solution that ensures that women’s participation and rights move from a secondary role into a primary one in resolving the conflict will be critical for democratic peace. As stated by Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in February 2017, “I remain convinced that there is no possibility of a military solution... Those who seek a military solution will only prolong the suffering caused by the war, allow the terrorist threat to continue to grow, and deepen the challenges of Yemen’s eventual recovery following the war.”

    In its expected discussion of the situation in Yemen, the Council should inquire about participation by women and women’s civil society organisations in conflict resolution and conflict management processes, as well as efforts to protect women, including women human rights defenders and civil society. The Council should also specifically request the UN Special Envoy to meet with women civil society representatives that reflect the diversity of Yemen’s population, including ethnic, geographical and political affiliation, and more broadly, all stakeholders, including the Arab coalition, must ensure women’s full participation in discussion, design and implementation of peace and security strategies, including those which aim to counter violent extremism (SCR 2122 (2013), OP 13 and SCR 2242 (2015), OP 13). The protection and promotion of women’s rights must be prioritised, and in this context, the Council should call for investigations of human rights violations, including increasing rates of SGBV, and ensure accountability for all perpetrators. Finally, all efforts to address the humanitarian situation must be gender sensitive and responsive to women’s differentiated experiences, including as heads of households, and must ensure that such assistance includes provision for the full-range of medical, including access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services, legal psychosocial and livelihood services, and the need for access during conflict and post-conflict situations (SCR 2122 (2013)). 

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