Open Threats to International Peace and Security

On 19 November 2014, the Security Council held an open debate on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon gave opening remarks at the debate, and there were over 60 speakers in attendance. Despite the large number of speakers, only 14 speakers used gendered language in their statements. Of these 14 speakers, only 5 speakers discussed sexual and gender-based violence, 4 included women in their suggestions for combating violent extremism and 5 speakers noted the importance of protecting women. In addition to these references, 2 speakers also mentioned that women were being recruited to join extremist groups. A presidential statement (S/PRST/2014/23) was also issued, which emphasized addressing the root causes of violent extremism, however it was entirely gender-blind.

The use of military force in combating terrorism was heavily debated in this meeting. With regards to this, Secretary General Ban Ki Moon noted: “Looking at these challenges solely through a military lens has shown its limits” and emphasized a rights-centered approach. However, no speakers made any mention 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. Clearly, 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.

Read the full analysis here.