IWTC Women's GlobalNet #363
Activities and Initiatives of Women Worldwide

 

UN SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS THIRD RESOLUTION ON WOMEN, PEACE & SECURITY
September 30, 2009
Joeyta Bose & Mavic Cabrera Balleza

1.   UN SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS THIRD RESOLUTION ON WOMEN, PEACE & SECURITY

2.   WOMEN FROM BURUNDI, DRC, GHANA, LIBERIA, SIERRA LEONE, BURMA, NEPAL, THE NETHERLANDS & CANADA GATHER TO DEVELOP COUNTRY STRATEGIES ON SCR 1820

3.   BLOGGING IWTC’S STRATEGY SESSION ON SCR 1820

 

1.  UN SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS THIRD RESOLUTION ON WOMEN, PEACE & SECURITY

On September 30, 2009, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that addresses the need to end sexual violence against women in conflict-affected countries. Introduced by the US government, at a session chaired by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the resolution builds on SCRs 1325 and 1820, both of which were instrumental in raising the issue of sexual violence on the Security Council’s agenda. In her address to the council, Clinton affirmed that “today, the United States joins with the international community in sending a simple and unequivocal message: violence against women and children will not be tolerated and must be stopped.”

Strengthening the commitments made in SCR 1820 which clearly links the prevention of sexual violence with the maintenance of peace and security, the new resolution (SCR 1888) asks for:

¨       The immediate appointment of a Special Representative to provide leadership, work effectively to strengthen existing UN coordination mechanisms and advocate on ending sexual violence against women with governments, military, judicial representatives and parties to armed conflict; 

¨       The creation of a team of experts, comprising specialists on rule of law, civilian and military judicial systems, mediation, criminal investigation, security sector reform, witness protection, fair trial standards, and public outreach. This team will assist governments, UN missions on the ground and peacekeeping forces to cope with sexual violence in armed conflict, enhance national capacity and to strengthen rule of law and state authority in preventing impunity;

¨       The appointment of women’s protection advisors in peacekeeping missions;

¨       The provision of data and information about the prevalence of sexual violence in reports made by peacekeeping missions to the Security Council;

¨       An annual reporting on the progress made on implementing SCR 1820 and this new resolution

France and other UN member states expressed concern about the recent violence in Guinea Conakry. They cited this as an example of a situation where women and other marginalized groups can become more vulnerable and international instruments like Resolutions 1820 and 1888 would be very much needed. The importance of Resolution 1325 as the foundation document that recognizes women’s role in peace building and conflict resolution was also highlighted by Vietnam and other Security Council members. The United Kingdom, Mexico and a number of other Security Council members also welcomed the creation of the new women’s entity in the UN system. The Security Council also received endorsements and statements from 40 other Member States but they were not read in today’s meeting.

A draft of the resolution, SCR 1888, can be found at: https://www.iwtc.org/1888.html

 

2. WOMEN FROM BURUNDI, DRC, GHANA, LIBERIA, SIERRA LEONE, BURMA, NEPAL, THE NETHERLANDS & CANADA GATHER TO DEVELOP COUNTRY STRATEGIES ON SCR 1820

IWTC organized a five-day strategy session where women from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burma, Nepal, the Netherlands and Canada came together to share experiences working in conflict-affected countries, to discuss the challenges of implementing international policies like SCR 1325 on the ground, and to begin a strategic and practical “grounding” in their work with SCR 1820.

 

Convened from September 21 to 25, 2009, the session focussed on developing country- specific strategies and exploring collective strategies for the full implementation of SCR 1820. Strategy development was further informed by experts who addressed the group on various issues related to the resolution, including the components of SCR 1820, entry-points for working with peacekeeping missions; means and methods of data and information collection for reporting on sexual and gender-based violence; the essential nature of psycho-social and medical support services for victims of violence; steps and suggestions for creating  just, legal systems for women; and evidence-based advocacy as a tool for lobbying. The strategies that emerged from the session will be available on the IWTC website in mid-October: https://www.iwtc.org/49001.html

 

In addition to organizing the session, IWTC also produced an assessment paper that presents a preliminary assessment of the opportunities and challenges for implementing UNSCR 1820 by describing the development of the resolution, identifying actors who have roles in its implementation, linking it to other relevant aspects of international law, and analysing its strengths and limitations. It also features case studies of Liberia and Nepal that examine the hopes and challenges for implementing UNSCR 1820 in these conflict-affected countries, and highlights critical issues raised by practitioners in the field. The paper can be accessed at: https://www.iwtc.org/1820blog/1820_paper.pdf

 

3. BLOGGING IWTC’S STRATEGY SESSION ON SCR 1820

A blog that chronicles the strategy session described above  is being hosted on IWTC’s website at: https://www.iwtc.org/1820blog. It includes papers and documents on SCR 1820; photographs, videos and mini-interviews with participants; as well as updates and blog posts from a few participants.

 

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