By Farida Ismail
Security Council Meets on Maintenance of International Peace and Security (Photo: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas)
Chapter eleven of the Global Study on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 examines the WPS and the United Nations Security Council, including its “conflict prevention toolbox.” It highlights that the Council has a conflict prevention role where the encouragement of women’s participation — both as a pillar and contributing factor — could significantly enhance conflict prevention. However, in practice the Security Council has rarely acted to proactively prevent conflict, and instead has focused largely on protection concerns, as reflected across its body of work.
The chapter argues that the Security Council's implementation of the WPS Agenda would be improved with dedicated high-level leadership on women, peace and security, as well as more consistent and accountable information flow from across the United Nations’ gender architecture. It is important to note that since the launch of the Global Study, the creation of the UNSCR 2242 Informal Expert Group (IEG 2242) has taken forward at least one key recommendation in this chapter.
Facts and Figures
Meetings with civil society, as well as Arria-formula meetings created to hear from women on specific country situations, remain ad hoc and too infrequent (Global Study 2015, 329);
While the Council has helped to set the WPS Agenda, implementation of that agenda has proven to be a wholly separate challenge, with the Council thus far being largely inconsistent in its oversight of how its decisions on women, peace and security have been translated into action (Global Study 2015, 330);
Of the currently 16 United Nations sanctions regimes, five have human rights and sexual violence related designation criteria. Out of more than 1,000 listings in these sanctions regimes, 15 individuals and four entities have been designated based on these criteria (Global Study 2015, 332);
Ultimately, any system of accountability that is institutionalised in the work of the Security Council and that can remain effective over time requires an approach that is resilient to the Council’s changing dynamics due to shifting geo-political realities, and to the annual turnover in Council membership of five elected members (Global Study 2015, 331).
Security Council should establish an informal expert group on women, peace and security in the Security Council to deal with both the protection and participation aspects of the agenda in country-specific situations (Global Study 2015, 339);
Security Council should invite regular civil society briefings, including women’s organisations in particular, not only on thematic but on country-specific deliberations (Global Study 2015, 342);
Security Council should increase the channels for flow of information from the Human Rights Council and related bodies, including from mandate holders with conflict relevant mandates, Commissions of Inquiry and other fact finding bodies, to provide important sources of information for Council deliberations and outcomes (Global Study 2015, 342);
Security Council should ensure greater and more effective capacity for gender analysis in conflict-affected countries (Global Study 2015, 342);
Security Council should ensure that Council members who are also members of the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee facilitate approval of resources required to implement gender components of Council mandates (Global Study 2015, 342).