Recent Open Debates

Summary of S.C Debate on Children and Armed Conflict
June 16, 2010

Overall there was a positive reaction to the debate on Children and Armed Conflict, with most countries supporting the SG's Report, the listing and delisting of perpetrators, the inclusion of the maiming and killing of children and sexual violence and rape into the MRM's, and the statement made by Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative to the Secretary General at the outset of the debate. All countries were in agreement that the issue of abuses against children must end, and that the Security Council, Working Group, international community all have roles to play.

With regards to the mention of women and gender issues 30 of the 57 speakers discussed the vulnerability of women and girls and or the sexual violence and rape that they are so often the victims of in cases of armed conflict, or in post conflict societies. The speakers that most emphasized the importance of the recognition of rape and sexual violence against women/girls were; Turkey, Japan, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Finland, Afghanistan, Armenia, Indonesia and Hungary.

Security Council Open Debate: Rule of Law
June 29, 2010

During the Open Debate on Rule of Law, 7 Member States commented on issues relating to women, peace and security. Additionally, the representative of the European Union, the Deputy-Secretary General, and the Security Council President (on behalf of the Security Council) mentioned women in their statements.

Security Council Open Debate: Protection of Civilian in Armed Conflict
July 7, 2010

The Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict was well attended and featured remarks by key figure heads – including the Secretary-General, the USG for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, and the UN Commissioner for Human Rights – and more than 40 countries. Generally speaking, Member States shared similar messaging and key points. Major themes addressed by the Security Council and Member States were: access to civilians for humanitarian assistance organizations, security for humanitarian aid workers in light of increasing attacks against them, ending impunity for perpetrators of crimes that violate international humanitarian and human rights law and efforts to apprehend non-state actors committing violations against civilians in conflicts. 11 out of 15 Security Council Member States referenced the specific needs of women. Additionally, several Member States called for the protection of civilians to encompass the principle of R2P. Although Member States briefly addressed the epidemic of sexual violence in conflict, women's needs in general remained on the periphery of the debate. Furthermore, women are consistently referred to as victims throughout the debate; and while it is true that women constitute a vulnerable group, no mention of their ability to participate in their own protection or in the settlement of conflicts is made.

SCM Notes: Maureen Shaw & Katrina Clydesdale, NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. Rachel LaForgia, PeaceWomen