On 19 September 2014, the Security Council met concerning the situation in Iraq, specifically on the group calling itself the “Islamic State,” also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Twenty-five country representatives spoke and Nikolay Mladenov, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq, briefed the event. The United States held the presidency for the month and as Mr. John Kerry represented the US at this session, he issued a presidential statement to this effect.
Out of the twenty-six speakers at the event, twelve referenced gender. These representatives made mention of the enslavement of, forced marriages of and gender-based violence against women and girls by ISIL, as well as the need to protect women from these barbarous acts. In addition, the representative of Finland noted that “women's full participation is a priority in efforts to build an inclusive society” and said that it would financially contribute towards efforts to build women's political participation in Iraq. The representative of Australia also noted that it would make financial contributions towards the betterment of women and girls as a result of the continuing humanitarian catastrophe in the area. These statements aside, SCR 2122 implementation continues to remain limited. Implementation of the Women Peace and Security Agenda needs to be prioritized at the forefront of all peace and security efforts.
In briefing the debate, Mr. Mladenov explained that although some advances had been made by the Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi Security Forces, the atrocities perpetrated by the Islamic State are severe and undermine the efforts made in certain areas. Mr. Kerry denounced the actions of the terrorist group and insisted that steps taken to prevent further atrocities and alleviate the humanitarian crisis there. Six speakers referenced language pertaining to disarmament and fourteen referenced SCR 2170, which was adopted in August of 2014 and condemned the gross and widespread abuses of human rights by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In particular, references were made of the need to cut off funding in terms of money, weapons and foreign fighters. Additionally, the representative of Albania said that it supports Iraqi Security forces with weapons and ammunition to fight ISIL. However, there were no mentions of the effect of such increased militarization on women or girls. Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda requires speakers to have more political will in terms of gender-sensitivity and awareness.