18 August 2014
The EU Comprehensive Approach on Women, Peace and Security stipulates that an exchange of information between the different actors engaged in the issue should be encouraged. With this in mind, the Informal Task Force on UNSCR 1325 was set up in 2009 and meets regularly in Brussels since. The Task Force aims at increasing inter-institutional coordination and promoting a coherent approach to gender-related issues. It is composed of staff working on both gender equality and security issues in the European External Action Service (EEAS), the Council Secretariat and Commission services, and is open to EU Member State participation. It meets regularly with the EU Special Representative on Human Rights, the Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD) and the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) of the EEAS. The Task Force also occasionally consults with civil society organisations. International organizations based in Brussels, like UN organisations and NATO, are invited to Task Force meetings.
An open exchange among EU Member States on national implementation of Resolution 1325 is organised once a year in view of sharing best practices and identifying joint interests, taking particularly into account difficulties encountered and lessons identified for the future. This exchange also provides a platform for civil society representatives from conflict-affected regions as well as the EU to deliver statements on their priorities and progress made at the local and national levels related to the implementation of UNSCRs 1325, 1820 and related resolutions.
Adopted on 31 October 2000, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 is the first Security Council resolution to address the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women. UNSCR 1325 reinforces prior international and regional legal commitments and conventions relevant to women, peace and security and establishes a series of new principles. It stresses the importance of women’s equal and full participation as active agents in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction. It calls on member states to ensure women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. It urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts, including Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) and Security Sector Reform (SSR).
On 19 June 2008, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1820 on sexual violence in conflict, which explicitly links sexual violence as a tactic of war with the maintenance of international peace and security. UNSCR 1820 reinforces Resolution 1325 in recognising that sexual violence is often widespread and systematic and can impede the restoration of international peace and security. The Security Council has now a clear mandate to address Sexual and Gender Based Violence, including through sanctions and training to empower field staff to prevent and respond to these issues. The resolution highlights that sexual violence perpetrated by arms bearers against civilians constitutes a war crime and demands parties to armed conflict to immediately take appropriate measures to protect civilians from sexual violence, including training troops and enforcing disciplinary measures.
UN Security Council resolution 1888 (2009) on acts of sexual violence against civilians in armed conflicts: The Resolution specifically mandates peacekeeping missions to protect women and children from rampant sexual violence during armed conflict, as it requested the Secretary-General to appoint a special representative to coordinate a range of mechanisms to fight the crime. To enhance the effectiveness of measures for the protection of women and children by peacekeeping missions, the Council decided to identify women’s protection advisers among gender advisers and human rights protection units. Other provisions of the text included the strengthening of monitoring and reporting on sexual violence, the retraining of peacekeepers, national forces and police, and calls to boost the participation of women in peacebuilding and other post-conflict processes.
UN Security Council resolution 1889 (2009) calls for a wide range of measures to strengthen the participation of women at all stages of peace processes, focusing on the period after peace agreements have been reached. It urges Member States, United Nations bodies, donors and civil society to ensure that women’s protection and empowerment is taken into account during post-conflict needs assessment and planning, and factored into subsequent funding and programming. It also calls on all those involved in the planning for disarmament, demobilization and integration programmes, in particular, to take into account the needs of women and girls associated with armed groups, as well as the needs of their children.
UNSCR 1960 (2010) reminds all states to comply with international law and for leaders to demonstrate commitment to prevent sexual violence, combat impunity and uphold accountability, as inaction would send the wrong message. Perpetrators of war crimes and genocide had to prosecuted, emphasising the primary responsibility of states to respect and ensure human rights of people within their territory. The resolution notes that ending impunity is essential if a society is to recover from conflict, and in this regard, there needs to be better access to health care, psychosocial support, legal assistance and the needs of persons with disabilities.
UNSCR 2106 (2013) requests relevant UN entities to assist national authorities in addressing sexual violence, with effective participation of women, in SSR and justice sector reform processes, specifically through training, increasing female recruitment and implementing vetting processes that exclude perpetrators of sexual violence from serving in security institutions.
UNSCR 2122 (2013) puts stronger measures in place for women to participate in all phases of conflict prevention, resolution and recovery, placing the onus of providing them with seats at the peace table on Member States, regional organizations and the United Nations itself.
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