The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security

Monday, March 5, 2012
Report Analysis: 
  • The March MAP is reflected in the report.
  • The Report stresses that women must play a role in the peace process.
  • In para 16, the SG states that there are positive trends in the number of female police officers, as well as overall confidence in the police as a whole.
  • Para 35 states that President Karzai should appoint women and other members of civil society as Commissioners at the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.
  • The Secretary-General, in para 36 discusses a seminar that was held for law enforcement and Government officials on forced and underage marriages and, in para 48, the notes that UNICEF is working to increase enrollment of girls in education as well as provide emergency obstetric care.
  • In line with the March MAP recommendations, the annex of the report details progress against benchmarks to evaluate the parties’ conformity with human rights obligations. Four out of eight of the benchmarks contain explicit and robust gender components and disaggregated data, including those in section II on peace, reintegration and reconciliation, section III on governance and institution building, section IV on human rights and section V on economic and social development.
  • The following benchmarks do not contain WPS elements: sustainable Afghan security institutions and processes capable of ensuring peace and stability and protecting the people of Afghanistan in section I on security; sustained and effective regional coordination in support of prosperity, peace and stability in section VI on regional cooperation; coherent support by the international community for Afghan priorities within an Afghan-led coordination framework in section VII on partnership between the Government of Afghanistan and the international community and sustained trend in the reduction of poppy cultivation, narcotics production and drug addiction in section VIII on Counter-narcotics.
  • In section II on peace, reintegration and reconciliation, in the benchmark on “national dialogue and regional engagement to pursue constructive and inclusive process to foster a political environment conducive to peace”, the Secretary-General details technical support provided by UN-Women to the High Peace Council on the adoption of the gender policy for the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
  • Included in section III on governance and institution building, the benchmark on “extension of government authority throughout the country through the establishment of democratic, legitimate, accountable institutions, down to the local level, with the capacity to implement policies and to be increasingly capable of sustaining themselves”, includes an indicator for “increased ability by Afghan authorities and independent electoral institutions to manage and conduct genuine and periodic elections, with due regard to women’s participation and constitutionally guaranteed quotas.” It details the ELECT II project, launched in December that will focus on, inter alia, conducting outreach to broaden participation in electoral processes.
  • In section IV on human rights, the benchmark for: “improved respect for human rights of Afghans, in line with the Afghan Constitution and international law, with particular emphasis on the protection of civilians, the situation of women and girls, freedom of expression and accountability based on the rule of law” includes indicators for the “improved impact of, and support for, legal and policy measures to combat violence against women and girls.” In this vein, the annex includes metrics for a by-law regulating the operation of women’s protection centers. It notes that the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women has been significantly underused and $742,246 of funding in 2011 by UN Women for women’s protection centers. The section includes also details of UN-Women support for the Government in preparing and submitting its initial periodic report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women for consideration in 2012.
  • The benchmark for: “government policies supported by the international community that promote sustainable economic growth and contribute to overall stability,” in section V on economic and social development, it includes reporting on UN-Women’s support for the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Rural Development in developing a national strategy on women’s economic security and rights, as well as details on a workshop organized for senior Ministry staff on gender and economic empowerment.

Analysis provided by the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, of which WILPF is a member.

PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding
Security Council Agenda Geographical Topic: 
Report of the Secretary General A/66/728–S/2012/133* (5 March 2012): The report is an update on the situation in Afghanistan since December 2011.