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1. In its presidential statement of 26 October 2006 on women and peace and security (S/PRST/2006/42), the Security Council welcomed the first follow-up report of the Secretary-General (S/2006/770) on the United Nations System-wide Action Plan1 for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) across the United Nations system. The Action Plan, covering the period 2005-2007, was mandated by the Council in its presidential statement of 28 October 2004 (S/PRST/2004/40). It constituted the first attempt by the United Nations system to develop a holistic and coherent United Nations strategy for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). The first implementation review of the Action Plan was held in 2006.2 It noted that while the United Nations system had made commendable efforts and significant progress in many areas of the Plan had been achieved, much more remained to be done to overcome institutional and organizational challenges. The development of essential elements, such as baseline data, performance indicators and timelines as effective tools for measuring performance, was required.
2. In its presidential statement of 26 October 2006 (S/PRST/2006/42), the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to update, monitor and review the implementation and integration of the Action Plan on an annual basis and report to the Council, as stipulated in the statement by the President of the Council of 27 October 2005 (S/PRST/2005/52). It further requested the Secretary-General to collect and compile good practices and lessons learned and to identify remaining gaps and challenges in that respect. The present report responds to those mandates.
II. Methodology for the System-wide Action Plan review and update
3. During the open debate of the Security Council on women and peace and security on 26 October 2006, Member States called for an update of the Action Plan within a results-based management framework across the United Nations system. They stressed the need for effective monitoring, evaluation and accountability systems for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).
4. The review of the implementation of the 2005-2007 System-wide Action Plan and its update for 2008-2009 was a consultative, collaborative process, with the participation of all concerned United Nations entities and in cooperation with civil society organizations. Internally, the main consultative bodies were the Inter-agency Network on Women and Gender Equality and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security. The consultations were launched with the Secretary-General’s letter of 28 February 2007 to heads of United Nations entities. Two follow-up letters, dated 20 April and 8 June 2007, of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women drew the attention of United Nations entities to the need to fully implement the 2005-2007 Action Plan and to transform it into a results-based programming, monitoring and reporting tool for 2008-2009. The Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, in collaboration with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security, held several inter-agency brainstorming sessions on priorities, coverage and indicators for an updated 2008-2009 Action Plan. Partners from civil society actively participated in those consultations. Following the sessions, the Office prepared three separate reporting templates on (a) the progress made in the implementation of the 2005-2007 Action Plan, (b) an updated 2008-2009 Action Plan and (c) good practices and lessons learned in implementing resolution 1325 (2000).
5. Responses to the second implementation review of the 2005-2007 Action Plan were received from the following 30 United Nations entities: Department of Economic and Social Affairs; Department of Political Affairs; Department of Public Information; Department of Peacekeeping Operations; Economic Commission for Africa (ECA); Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA); Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW); Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; Office for Disarmament Affairs; Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women; Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict; United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI); United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM); United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR); United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS); United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); United National System Staff College; World Bank; World Food Programme (WFP); and World Health Organization (WHO).
6. To update the Action Plan for 2008-2009, extensive consultations were held within both the Inter-agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security and the Inter-agency Network on Women and Gender Equality, including on such aspects as baselines, indicators, time frames and focus on results. A first “shell” outline of the updated Action Plan with performance indicators was discussed by the Network at its sixth annual session in February 2007. At its resumed session in July, the Network held further inter-agency consultations on the system-wide indicators for implementation of the 2008-2009 Action Plan and its format. The updated Action Plan for 2008-2009 has been posted on WomenWatch, the Network’s website (http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/wps).
III. Progress achieved since the first implementation review of the 2005-2007 Action Plan, held in 2006
7. The second implementation review focused on progress achieved by the United Nations system in the implementation of the Action Plan during the period 1 July 2006-1 July 2007. In conducting the second review, the same methodology as in 2006 was applied. The review was linked to the 12 strategic areas of action included in the 2005-2007 Action Plan3 and specific intergovernmental objectives derived from resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent related presidential statements of the Security Council (S/PRST/2001/31, S/PRST/2002/32 and S/PRST/2004/40). Under each area of action, United Nations entities reported on their activities to fulfil those intergovernmental objectives that fall within their respective mandates.
8. Analysis of the responses received from United Nations entities revealed that important groundwork has been laid for a longer-term effort by the United Nations system towards the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). Many entities reported an increased political commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment in peace processes (strengthened or new gender mainstreaming policies and procedures in various areas of action), strengthened capacity-building (support to national capacity-building, staff training and development of new tools and methodologies), an enhanced institutional environment (increased accountability, new mechanisms for monitoring and reporting on women’s status and contributions to peace processes, strengthened data collection and gender-sensitive resource mobilization); improved advocacy, enhanced leadership and greater support by senior officials; and better engagement with Member States and partnerships with national machineries for women, women’s associations and networks.
9. Many activities reported by United Nations entities fell under the category of capacity-building. Delivery was made in a broad range of settings at the headquarters, national and regional levels. The objective was to develop the capacity of United Nations peace support, peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations in order to more effectively support Member States in strengthening women’s human rights protection and women’s participation in the political, security and social sectors. The entities provided a broad range of training activities for preventing and responding to gender-based violence in armed conflict.
A. Conflict prevention and early warning
10. In this area of action, the strategic focus of United Nations system activities has been on mainstreaming a gender perspective in all conflict prevention work, including the development of gender-sensitive early warning mechanisms, increased female participation in all conflict prevention work and decision-making, and the provision of training on gender issues for all staff working on early warning and conflict prevention. Thirteen entities4 provided information on the efforts they undertook to meet those objectives. Of those, five entities — the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Office for Disarmament Affairs, UNEP and WFP — had an action plan for gender mainstreaming in all their work in the area of conflict prevention, which they were implementing. The Department of Political Affairs, for instance, completed the first biannual reporting on its action plan for integrating a gender perspective into its activities. Moreover, two of its five field missions developed individual action plans within the overall framework of the Department’s plan.
11. With regard to initiatives taken to increase women’s participation, the Office for Disarmament Affairs held two consultations with the Women’s Institute for Alternative Development, Trinidad and Tobago, and consulted with nine non-governmental organizations on women and conflict issues. In addition to consultations, the Department of Political Affairs, together with UNDP, co-sponsored the training of local actors in conflict prevention skills in Guyana. Thirteen of the 33 facilitators trained were female.
12. Seven United Nations entities undertook work on early warning mechanisms.5 UNICEF, in cooperation with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, operated a rapid response mechanism in four conflict-affected provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Through that mechanism, 34,086 victims of violence were identified in 2006, of whom 80 per cent were estimated to have been women and girls. OHCHR facilitated the special procedures of the early warning function on women’s human rights violations through communications with Governments, official country missions and women’s organizations. Since June 2006, the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its Causes and Consequences has sent 75 communications to Governments regarding cases of concern within her mandate.
13. The Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, OHCHR, UNDP, UNHCR and WFP continued to focus on training to raise awareness and develop the capacity of staff for conflict prevention work. As of July 2006, for example, all new staff of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at Headquarters had received such training. Ninety-two per cent of participants indicated that they had found that training to be “very useful” or “useful”.
B. Peacemaking and peacebuilding
14. In the area of peacemaking and peacebuilding, 12 entities of the United Nations system6 focused on the development of policies, conducting training and various capacity-building initiatives with a view to promoting women’s full participation in all stages of the peace process, including in the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements. The Department of Political Affairs, for example, reported that the development of individual action plans for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) by the field missions contributed to their work on promoting women’s participation in the peace process. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations conducted four national consultations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Liberia and Afghanistan to collect good practices on facilitating women’s participation in the electoral process, including through the introduction of quotas. WFP reached an 84 per cent female participation rate in its food-for-training programme, exceeding the 70 per cent target set in its gender policy. Since July 2006, UNICEF has provided gender training for 500 staff members of the community-based and international organizations in the Sudan. In cooperation with Save the Children-Sweden, UNICEF also trained 3,300 military observers, protection forces and civilian police officers in Darfur on gender-based violence and provided gender-awareness training for 200 staff members from the Fund’s partner organizations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
15. The United Nations entities also ensured that the Security Council missions included gender specialists in their teams and incorporated in their terms of reference a gender perspective and the rights of women and children. The Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women launched an awareness-raising campaign for the national implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) that comprised a training component, including the development of a national action plan. With the financial support of the Government of Norway, the implementation of the project has been initiated in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, in collaboration with ECA and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, respectively. UNIFEM facilitated meetings between local women’s groups and Council missions in the Sudan, Kosovo (Serbia) and Fiji, and advocated reference to resolution 1325 (2000) in the draft resolution on Kosovo. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs continued updating the Peacebuilding Portal, an interactive website, that now includes 2,300 profiles of prevention and peacebuilding organizations in sub-Saharan Africa, up by 300 since 2006, 290 of which focus on gender issues. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, UNIFEM and UNDP provided support to local women’s organizations. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations, for instance, reported that a total of US$ 140,000 had been disbursed for the capacity-building efforts for local women’s organizations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Timor-Leste.
C. Peacekeeping operations
16. United Nations system-wide efforts in this area mainly covered developing policy and operational tools to facilitate gender mainstreaming in all thematic and functional areas of peacekeeping, providing training to all peacekeeping personnel and developing and maintaining a knowledge base of learning, research and best practices. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations adopted a policy directive on gender equality in peacekeeping operations, which was successfully used to develop guidelines for facilitating a standardized approach to gender mainstreaming both at Headquarters and in the field. Progress was also recorded in the incorporation of gender expertise in all peacekeeping mandates. As a result, of 18 peacekeeping missions, 11 have a full-time gender adviser, 8 of whom are at the P-5 level, and 7 have gender focal points. In February 2007, an all-female police contingent from India was deployed to Liberia.
17. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Department of Public Information, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, OHCHR, UNICRI, UNIFEM and UNITAR highlighted their work in gender and human rights training. For instance, the UNITAR Programme of Correspondence Instruction in Peacekeeping Operations offers an online course on integrating a gender perspective in United Nations peacekeeping operations which is designed to educate all interested individuals. Over the first six months of 2007, 103 women enrolled, of a total of 558 from 59 Member States. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs delivered seven training courses, which included a gender equality aspect, to approximately 400 African civilian peacekeeping personnel, 30 per cent of whom were female. OHCHR continued to provide training to military and police personnel deployed or to be deployed to peacekeeping operations on gender issues, women’s rights and trafficking. The OHCHR training package is successfully used also by Member States in their pre-deployment training programmes. An evaluation of the UNICRI training package on human trafficking revealed that after having successfully completed the training, the skills and capacities among international police and justice administration personnel deployed in missions had been significantly enhanced.
18. In December 2006, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations launched the Gender Community of Practice, which seeks to facilitate sharing good practices and lessons learned in peacekeeping. As will be discussed later, the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, in collaboration with other United Nations entities, initiated the development of a database for the collection of good practices for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) (see section V below).
D. Humanitarian response
19. Some United Nations entities7 undertook activities for the further development and implementation of policies and strategies on mainstreaming a gender perspective into all humanitarian assistance and on providing operational support in that respect. The implementation of a common policy of mainstreaming gender equality programming in humanitarian action, including the strengthening of the monitoring and accountability frameworks, was facilitated by distribution of a Gender Handbook in Humanitarian Action (“Women, Girls, Boys and Men — Different Needs, Equal Opportunities”) prepared by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Force on Gender and Humanitarian Assistance, co-chaired by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and WHO. UNHCR reported on finalizing a three-year plan for the implementation of its age, gender, and diversity mainstreaming strategy. WFP conducted a second revision of its emergency food security and needs assessment handbook from a gender perspective. UNRWA revised the consolidated eligibility and registration instructions for aid so as to remove gender discrimination in the provision of services to women refugees married to non-refugees.
20. To facilitate gender mainstreaming, a number of entities8 provided training to humanitarian personnel. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda trained 96 investigators and legal personnel in gender research methodology and gender mainstreaming. Based on the feedback received, 95 per cent of the trainees were satisfied with the training they had received. UNHCR improved the level of active participation by refugee and displaced women in the humanitarian assistance programmes. As of the reporting date, their target of 50 per cent women’s representation had been achieved in 61 per cent of the 93 refugee camp food committees and in 37 per cent of the 114 refugees camp management committees.
E. Post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation
21. Over the reporting period, many United Nations entities9 had made progress in the development and implementation of both policies and strategies on gender mainstreaming in all post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes and had instituted activities specifically targeting women and girls. UNESCO and FAO supported research on gender mainstreaming in policies and projects for post-conflict reconstruction. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda established several policies and mechanisms to coordinate the short- and long-term physical and social rehabilitation of witnesses. WFP assisted Governments in mainstreaming gender into food security programmes. The World Bank assisted Governments in economic and social recovery by pursuing the policies of the post-conflict needs assessment and the rapid response to crisis and emergencies. Both policies paid particular attention to the needs of war-affected groups, especially women and children. Through its Post-Conflict Fund, the World Bank also financed projects on mainstreaming gender into physical and social reconstruction activities in Haiti and Iraq. ESCAP completed a technical background paper, “Strengthening gender-responsive governance in the UNESCAP region: a building block for post-conflict reconstruction policies”, while INSTRAW organized virtual discussions on mainstreaming a gender perspective into security sector reform for more than 150 participants around the world.
22. The United Nations Mine Action Service of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has been actively working on incorporating a gender perspective in mine action initiatives and operations. The first Gender Equality in Mine Action Workshop was organized in September 2006. Each of the six United Nations-managed and supported mine action programmes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, the Sudan and Yemen developed a specific gender action plan. In addition, they each have a gender focal point and an established reporting mechanism on gender balance. With the aim of integrating a gender perspective into a monitoring system for the protection of civilians, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs addressed the problem of protection of women and girls in 25 per cent of the reports to the Security Council on the protection of civilians.
23. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations, ESCWA, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UNHCR and UNIFEM undertook targeted activities focused on bridging the gap between men’s and women’s access to productive resources and capital. In this regard, ESCWA launched an e-caravan in Lebanon, a centre teaching men and women the use of information and communication technologies for future employment, while UNHCR started a multi-year business women’s initiative to assist displaced women to rebuild their livelihoods.
24. In order to further advance the promotion and protection of women’s human rights, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, ESCWA, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OHCHR, UNICEF and WFP promoted the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, its Optional Protocol and other human rights instruments through technical assistance projects, advisory services and training. The Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, through the Council’s Ad Hoc Advisory Group, supported the promotion of Convention implementation in Haiti, while the Division for the Advancement of Women of the Department organized consultations and training missions on the preparation of Convention reports for government officials and non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Similarly, ESCWA organized 12 advisory services missions within its region, including to Palestine, Lebanon and Yemen. In 2006, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda spent $509,765 on promoting human rights of women through its capacity development programmes. Technical assistance was also provided to the Governments of Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Sudan and Uganda by UNICEF in order to address gender concerns in legislative development and reforms.
25. Some entities, such as the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, INSTRAW, UNDP, UNESCO, UNIFEM and WFP, assisted mass media representatives in their advocacy efforts to promote human rights of women and children. UNIFEM conducted a consultation with 15 Iraqi journalists in regard to the campaign to stop violence against women in Iraq.
26. United Nations entities actively promoted the participation of women in decision-making. They advocated the effective involvement of women in post-conflict reconstruction and governance frameworks, including, as appropriate, through reviewing legislation, promoting positive measures and organizing leadership training. In this connection, OHCHR reviewed the Constituent Assembly Members Election Bill in Nepal to ensure inclusive and proportional representation of women in the Constituent Assembly; WFP conducted training in leadership skills, gender and HIV/AIDS in the field offices; ESCWA trained 100 Iraqi women in electoral reform and constitution drafting; UNDP commissioned a report on “Parliament, gender and conflict transformation” to ensure gender mainstreaming in parliamentary decision-making; and the Department of Political Affairs and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations focused their efforts on preventing marginalization of women in the electoral processes. A participatory assessment conducted by UNHCR in Angola revealed that of 19 community-level areas, only 5 had reached 40 per cent of female representation in decision-making bodies.
F. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration
27. Progress on mainstreaming a gender perspective and the integration of the special needs of women and girls in all relevant policies and programmes on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration was highlighted by a number of entities.10 For example, the World Bank incorporated a new gender programme, “Gender Learning for Equality, Access and Peace”, into its multi-country demobilization and reintegration programme to focus on the special needs of ex-combatant women and girls. The new programme includes activities such as gender mainstreaming, development of gender-sensitive monitoring and evaluation tools, as well as seminars and outreach with relevant stakeholders. The implementation by UNICEF of reintegration projects led to the release of 1,122 girls of a total of 2,155 girls from armed forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and 855 girls of 2,018 children in Sri Lanka. Through their reporting to the Security Council on its resolution 1612 (2005), the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict addressed the needs of girls in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes.
28. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations established the Integrated Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Standards, which addressed gender issues in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration procedures. Practical implementation and overall monitoring of the standards by the Inter-Agency Working Group on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration resulted in the increase of demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatant women and girls. For example, in Liberia, of 101,000 ex-combatants, 22,370 women and 2,440 girls were disarmed, demobilized and reintegrated in the community.
29. In order to enhance their effectiveness, United Nations entities organized a wide scope of gender-awareness training for different categories of personnel engaged in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration activities. The Office for Disarmament Affairs trained 42 female members of the law enforcement community on investigation techniques at the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. In Iraq, UNOPS focused on awareness-building through programmes to rehabilitate victims of torture, to empower women to actively participate in the electoral process and to promote a human rights culture.
G. Preventing and responding to gender-based violence in armed conflict
30. The Department of Political Affairs, ECA, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, OHCHR, the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNRWA, the World Bank and WFP provided details of actions taken to respond and prevent gender-based violence in armed conflict. The majority of them assisted Member States in their efforts to align national legal systems with international norms and standards, especially the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. For instance, in Uganda, OHCHR advocated the improvement of rape reporting mechanisms and the establishment of a national network of legal-aid providers for, among others, victims of gender-based violence. In Nepal, OHCHR worked with the Government and other United Nations entities to bring the domestic violence law into compliance with the international standards. ECA conducted a workshop in Algeria to accelerate the realization of women’s human rights, through human rights education in schools. UNRWA incorporated international humanitarian and human rights laws into its project activities. Gender-based violence constituted one of the issues contained in the Secretary-General’s reports to the Security Council prepared by the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee continues to pursue a multisectoral coordinated approach to gender-based violence programming in emergency settings through the organization of various workshops and training on the Committee’s gender handbook. For instance, the first international workshop for gender advisers in humanitarian areas was organized in May-June 2007.
31. The issue of ending impunity for gender-based violence attracted attention from many United Nations entities. Some organized training programmes, while others provided necessary expertise. UNIFEM and UNFPA conducted gender training of police in southern Sudan. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda provided training of Rwandese legal practitioners to enhance their capacity for prosecuting genocide perpetrators. To date, 33 judgements have been handed down, comprising 28 convictions, including 4 rape charges. In Uganda, UNIFEM conducted an assessment of the Mato Oput system, through which cases of atrocities against women were heard with a view to providing them with redress.
32. With regard to the prevention of and response to gender-based violence in armed conflict, certain progress was noted. For example, UNHCR aims at establishing in all its operations standard operating procedures to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence. To date, standard operating procedures have been established at 78 per cent of the 126 refugee camps and 54 per cent of 90 urban settings. UNIFEM has trained 30 Iraqi non-governmental organizations in identification of and combating gender-based violence. WHO, in partnership with UNHCR, UNFPA and the International Committee of the Red Cross updated the guidelines on the clinical management of rape in emergencies and developed training courses/modules to improve the response by the health sector to rape in emergency settings. UNICEF implemented several projects aimed at prevention of gender-based violence and response to the needs of victims of sexual violence committed in conflict zones in Afghanistan, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sri Lanka, the Sudan and Uganda. Conducted in partnership with UNFPA and UNHCR, two of those projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo provided medical and/or psychosocial care and/or economic reinsertion support to 34,086 victims of gender-based violence in 2006. A new joint initiative by 10 United Nations entities11 entitled United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict, chaired jointly by UNDP and WHO, was launched in 2006 to improve the quality of programming so as to address sexual violence, increase the coordination of efforts for comprehensive prevention and response services and improve accountability. The United Nations Action initiative was designed to highlight and create awareness about sexual violence during and after conflicts and, ultimately, to put an end to it.
H. Preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian and peacekeeping personnel
33. In order to determine how much progress had been achieved in this area, an assessment was made based on the extent to which implementation of the United Nations policy on zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse was adhered to by United Nations entities. It included the enhancement of monitoring mechanisms and the investigation of cases of alleged misconduct. A significant number of actions were undertaken during the reporting period. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations established specific procedures for investigation and monitoring in all peace operations. Adherence to those procedures is monitored either by conduct and discipline personnel or by focal points for sexual exploitation and abuse deployed in the missions. The Department conducted investigations of all alleged cases of sexual exploitation and abuse and took appropriate actions. Moreover, United Nations standards of conduct were incorporated in the draft model memorandum of understanding between troop-contributing countries and the United Nations. Similarly, WFP also established sexual exploitation and abuse focal points and investigation and monitoring mechanisms in its country offices. The Executive Committees on Peace and Security and on Humanitarian Affairs Task Force on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, chaired by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, created and disseminated training tools for awareness-raising at the Headquarters and field levels, organized regular monitoring and reporting, maintained statistics of allegations, developed a policy on victim referral and supported the establishment of victim referral mechanisms in the field.
IV. Update of the Action Plan for 2008-2009
A. Key challenges
34. Both the 2006 and the 2007 implementation reviews clearly demonstrated that progress had been made by United Nations entities in the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). However, they also identified a number of institutional gaps and challenges as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the Action Plan itself. Some challenges faced by the United Nations system in the area of women and peace and security are emblematic of the challenges identified by the High-level Panel on System-wide Coherence in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment12 in terms of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Such challenges include incoherence, inadequate funding of gender-related projects, fragmentation and insufficient institutional capacity for oversight and accountability for system performance as well as low capacity for gender mainstreaming. Although outside the scope of the System-wide Action Plan, those challenges contribute to the gap between implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) at the country level and the global, regional and national commitments on gender equality in peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction.
35. Adequate and predictable funding is crucial for efficient and sustainable implementation of the resolution. However, many United Nations entities do not have adequate core funding earmarked for women, peace and security. Extrabudgetary resources, which remain the main source of funding for gender-related projects, are neither sufficient nor predictable. An overwhelming majority of United Nations entities have therefore been able to provide only estimates of their allocations for implementation of the resolution.
36. One of the major lessons learned from the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in 2005-2007 is that without concerted efforts with Governments and civil society at the country level, the implementation of the resolution would remain elusive. Governments have the primary responsibility for implementing the resolution. In many conflict and post-conflict countries, national mechanisms and machineries for the advancement of women have been established but need to be strengthened to ensure women’s active participation in public policy formulation on matters of war and peace. Furthermore, the active support and involvement of a broad and diverse civil society is essential for the resolution’s implementation and monitoring. Yet, the establishment of effective links between the Action Plan and national implementation efforts remains a serious challenge.
37. Other challenges are more related to the format of the current System-wide Action Plan. The 2005-2007 Action Plan was not established as a tool for monitoring, evaluation and accountability. Moreover, it was not established as an integrated United Nations system-wide strategy but rather as a compilation of ongoing activities by United Nations entities or in those areas of action where expertise and resources were available. In addition, it did not provide a link between the actions reported and their impact on the lives of women in conflict and post-conflict situations. Taken together, such gaps and challenges constituted shortcomings of the system-wide action plan and limitations in the organizational capacity of the United Nations system to effectively implement resolution 1325 (2000).
38. The first implementation review of the System-wide Action Plan noted that “beyond 2007, the Action Plan would need to be reconceptualized in order to transform it into a results-based programming, monitoring and reporting tool”.13
B. Policy framework
39. The updated System-wide Action Plan for 2008-2009 is rooted, as was its predecessor, in intergovernmental mandates contained in resolution 1325 (2000) and the related presidential statements.14 The resolution and the statements provide the overall policy framework for identifying goals, results and implementation strategies in thematic areas of the updated Action Plan. The Plan for 2008-2009 was developed as a results-based framework. The updated Action Plan has the potential to produce concrete and replicable results, generate knowledge and enhance capacity at many levels within the United Nations system and in support of Member States.
40. A key lesson learned from the first and second implementation reviews of the Action Plan is that the 12 areas of action contained in the 2005-2007 Action Plan are too broad and need to be sharpened in the updated Action Plan. Accordingly, all activities of United Nations entities under the updated 2008-2009 Action Plan would be consolidated into the following five thematic areas: prevention; participation; protection; relief and recovery; and normative. In January and July 2004, two Security Council working round-table discussions addressing the integration of the thematic resolutions of the Council into the country-specific work of the Council, identified prevention, participation and protection as thematic areas common to the implementation frameworks of core thematic resolutions of the Council, namely resolutions 1265 (1999) and 1296 (2000) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, resolution 1366 (2001) on the role of the Security Council in the prevention of armed conflict, resolution 1460 (2003) on children in armed conflict and resolution 1325 (2000) on women and peace and security, and core themes for preventing conflict and building and maintaining peace and security. They are cross-cutting and interlinked, and provide Member States, the United Nations system and other stakeholders with the basis for cross-theme synergies to effectively implement and monitor activities under resolution 1325 (2000).
41. In addition to the three thematic areas of prevention, participation and protection, two additional thematic areas — relief and recovery, and normative — were included in response to the intergovernmental mandates contained in resolution 1325 (2000) and the subsequent presidential statements of the Security Council.14 It is important to ensure that the needs and concerns of women are addressed in a sustainable manner both in relief and recovery operations, as well as in policy and programme development. Moreover, those areas were identified as priorities for many United Nations entities in the Action Plan for 2005-2007.
42. The goals of the updated Action Plan in the five thematic areas are as follows:
(a) Prevention: mainstream a gender perspective into all conflict prevention activities and strategies, develop effective gender-sensitive early warning mechanisms and institutions, and strengthen efforts to prevent violence against women, including various forms of gender-based violence;
(b) Participation: promote and support women’s active and meaningful participation in all peace processes as well as their representation in formal and informal decision-making at all levels; improve partnership and networking with local and international women’s rights groups and organizations; recruit and appoint women to senior positions in the United Nations, including Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, and in peacekeeping forces, including military, police and civilian personnel;
(c) Protection: strengthen and amplify efforts to secure the safety, physical or mental health, well-being, economic security and/or dignity of women and girls; promote and safeguard human rights of women and mainstream a gender perspective into the legal and institutional reforms;
(d) Relief and recovery: promote women’s equal access to aid distribution mechanisms and services, including those dealing with the specific needs of women and girls in all relief recovery efforts;
(e) Normative: develop policy frameworks; ensure effective coordination and awareness-raising to advance the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).
43. Planning and reporting on resolution 1325 (2000) under the consolidated five thematic areas have been placed at the programme level, rather than at the level of individual activity, as it was in the 2005-2007 Action Plan. This will allow aggregation at the United Nations system-wide level and facilitate analysis of gaps and overlaps.
C. Implementation strategies
44. Within these thematic areas and based on resolution 1325 (2000), the following strategies by United Nations entities will guide the operationalization of the 2008-2009 Action Plan:
(a) Policy development: to develop policy directives, norms and standards, including for project design, reporting, monitoring and evaluation;
(b) Advocacy: through partnerships with Member States, civil society and other actors, to raise awareness, including through training, media and outreach and information campaigns about the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000);
(c) Capacity-building: to support national capacities to implement the resolution and provide related technical assistance, provide training, develop and update guidelines for gender analysis and mainstreaming and build individual and/or institutional capacity for implementation of the resolution;
(d) Partnership and networking: to develop and strengthen partnerships or networks with Governments, civil society and regional and international organizations for the implementation of the resolution;
(e) Provision of goods and services: to ensure equal access by women and their associations and networks to goods and services.
D. Results-based management framework
45. The results-based management framework of the 2008-2009 System-wide Action Plan is predicated on delivering concrete and measurable results at both the national and international levels for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). The framework has been designed to enable the United Nations system to effectively deliver the planned outputs through better system-wide coherence and inter-agency coordination. It is intended to strengthen the United Nations system’s ability to effectively use planning, monitoring, reporting and evaluation tools and to improve accountability for the results. The new framework of the Action Plan will provide information on
• Progress achieved in the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) at the level of the Action Plan by measuring progress made in achieving the goals under each of the five thematic areas (prevention, protection, participation, relief and recovery, and normative)
• Expected accomplishments or results for each activity planned by United Nations entities and how this activity would contribute to advancing one of the five thematic areas
• Qualitative or quantitative indicators of output/expected achievement to determine the changes produced by the activity
• Baseline data against which progress can be measured
• Resources available for implementation of the activities under the Action Plan to allow for an improved analysis of actual resources available for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).
E. Accountability, monitoring and reporting
46. Enhanced accountability is the cornerstone of the United Nations system’s efforts in implementing the 2008-2009 Action Plan. The Action Plan is posted online and serves as the basis for accountability within the United Nations system to major stakeholders, especially Member States. The goals and outcomes set in the Action Plan represent a shared accountability of the system to the Security Council, other Member States and, through them, to women whom all United Nations entities ultimately serve. Each entity will be held accountable for its contributions to the Action Plan. This translates into the accountability of the head of each entity, programme managers and the staff. The links to national implementation plans on resolution 1325 (2000) would provide additional accountability dimensions to women in focus countries and tailor United Nations actions to national gender-equality priorities and realities.
47. The results-based management framework would improve monitoring of the outcomes of the Action Plan. Each United Nations entity will continue to monitor and evaluate the outcomes for which it is responsible under the Action Plan, using the goals, indicators and outcomes, as planned. In consultation with all participating United Nations entities, a mechanism to oversee the implementation of the 2008-2009 Action Plan will be developed for the United Nations Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) through its subsidiary bodies.
48. The United Nations system will seek to improve inter-agency coordination through the High-level Committee on Programmes of CEB, as suggested in the original report of the Secretary-General outlining the 2005-2007 Action Plan.15 Inter-agency coordination is one of the core elements of the system-wide policy on gender equality and empowerment of women and the strategy on gender mainstreaming approved by CEB in December 2006.16 The implementation of the system-wide policy and strategy would improve the overall inter-agency coordination and coherence of the United Nations system.
49. The United Nations system will also further seek improved reporting on results of the implementation of the resolution. Using the set of common indicators, the system will report on the progress in achieving results under the Action Plan. The annual frequency of reporting and the related extensive consultations have proved not to be cost-effective. Moreover, with its reporting period being out of step with the biennial budget cycles of the United Nations system entities, it does not allow for proper planning of resources and activities under the Action Plan. Thus, it does not contribute to enhanced effectiveness in reporting and ensuring accountability for results. Accordingly, the Secretary-General reiterates his recommendation, contained in paragraph 26 of document S/2005/636, to report on the overall implementation of the System-wide Action Plan on a biennial basis. Such reporting would improve efficiency in terms of staff time and costs and provide more comprehensive information to Member States.
V. Building a database on good practices and lessons learned
50. As stated in paragraph 2 above, in its presidential statement of 26 October 2006 (S/PRST/2006/42), the Security Council requested the Secretary-General “to collect and compile good practices, lessons learned and identify remaining gaps and challenges in order to further promote the efficient and effective implementation of resolution 1325” (2000).
51. In response to that request, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security established a working group consisting of the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, UNDP, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme and UNIFEM to study mechanisms for collecting information on good practices and lessons learned. The working group invited United Nations entities to submit collectively or individually information about initiatives that have been pursued in the period between the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) on 31 October 2000 to date, which they considered might qualify as a good practice. By 15 June 2007, a total of 19 potential good practice cases had been received from 13 United Nations entities.
52. A special panel to be established by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security, consisting of women’s groups, external gender experts and representatives of the United Nations system, will evaluate proposals submitted by United Nations entities in accordance with the eligibility criteria. Subsequently, a database of good practices will be established.
53. The database, once established, would enable United Nations entities and national partners to generate and use knowledge resulting from good practices and lessons learned on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). It will comprise good practices and lessons learned that are implemented at the global, regional, national and/or local levels. The database will be focused on results, in particular on how the lessons learned will have contributed to advancing major goals in the areas of women, peace and security in the five thematic areas of the 2008-2009 Action Plan.
54. The database of good practices and the new planning and monitoring tools for the United Nations System-wide Action Plan would constitute an important step towards the establishment of an effective knowledge and information management system, an institutional gap that was identified in the implementation review of the 2005-2007 Action Plan. Through “good practices” it would be possible to demonstrate the impact of the implementation of the resolution on women’s lives, improve public policy at the national level based on what works and raise the awareness of decision makers at all levels of potential solutions to existing problems.
VI. Conclusions and further actions to accelerate the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000)
55. The United Nations system has made significant advances in implementing resolution 1325 (2000). Progress, though uneven, has been achieved in many substantive areas of the 2005-2007 Action Plan. The United Nations entities focused on development and implementation of policies and strategies on mainstreaming a gender perspective and human rights, in the areas of peace and security; strengthening advocacy; enhancing capacity-building; training; developing of gender-mainstreaming handbooks, manuals and guidelines; improving institutional mechanisms for accountability, monitoring and reporting and building strategic partnerships with women’s national machineries and women’s organizations and networks. However, the implementation review of the 2005-2007 Action Plan confirmed the existing institutional and organizational gaps and challenges in the implementation by the United Nations system of resolution 1325 (2000).
56. The 2008-2009 Action Plan has been reconceptualized to become a results-based programming, monitoring and reporting tool. A sharpened focus on five thematic areas of prevention, protection, participation, relief and recovery and normative, strengthened synergies and partnerships, and increased results-based orientation present an opportunity for the United Nations system to scale-up significantly its efforts to implement resolution 1325 (2000) as well as to support Governments to fulfil their commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the area of peace and security. By shifting focus from project to programme implementation, the System-wide Action Plan provides a broader framework linked to national peace and reconstruction processes and further commits the United Nations system to enhance coherence and integrate a gender perspective in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
57. The overarching goal of the 2008-2009 System-wide Action Plan is to develop the capacity of United Nations peace support, humanitarian and post-conflict reconstruction operations so that they can support the efforts of Member States in strengthening national capacity to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment in peace and security areas consistent with national priorities and international gender equality norms and policies set by resolution 1325 (2000). Demand-driven support for national capacity development will be at the core of the 2008-2009 Action Plan. To implement the Plan, the United Nations system would need to fully engage Governments and civil society. It is therefore essential that the United Nations system build on the progress made so far in implementing the Action Plan and integrate more closely its activities and strategies with national efforts for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). The goals and outcomes of the Action Plan would need to be included in national planning systems on the implementation of the resolution and Member States would need to be supported in meeting their national priorities in areas of women and peace in an effective and sustainable manner. Special attention should be paid to assisting Member States emerging from conflict to develop national plans for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). In a few countries, mostly developed ones, national action plans and strategies for the implementation of the resolution have been formulated to coordinate domestic policies, development aid and implementation activities. However, in many others, the resolution needs to be publicized and implemented more effectively.
58. To further accelerate the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and improve and sustain the United Nations system-wide efforts in the area of women and peace and security, it is recommended that:
(a) Member States, particularly those in conflict and post-conflict situations, develop national action plans to drive the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), improve oversight and emphasize results;
(b) The United Nations system provide support and assistance in the rapid development of national action plans, including financial and human resources, to Member States, particularly those affected by conflict;
(c) The United Nations system work closely with national mechanisms responsible for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), including, where appropriate, through the United Nations country teams;
(d) The international community support national implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and the United Nations System-wide Action Plan, including by providing adequate financial resources in a timely and sustainable manner;
(e) The United Nations system assist national authorities in their efforts to review the performance of United Nations entities, donors and other international and national stakeholders in implementing resolution 1325 (2000);
(f) The United Nations system accelerate the development of a comprehensive knowledge and information management system, accessible to Member States, in order to share good practices and lessons learned on the implementation of the resolution;
(g) The United Nations system, working through the CEB High-level Committee on Programmes and with the participation of all concerned United Nations entities, enhance operational inter-agency coordination and promote joint programming and resource mobilization;
(h) All stakeholders engage high-level leadership in advocacy and raising public awareness of resolution 1325 (2000), especially in conflict and post-conflict countries;
(i) All stakeholders support and learn from informal and innovative grass-roots initiatives led by women’s organizations and networks;
(j) The Secretary-General ensure the inclusion of progress in the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and concerns related to women, peace and security in all country-specific reports to the Security Council using the five thematic areas of the System-wide Action Plan where appropriate;
(k) The Secretary-General develop, in cooperation with all participating entities, a system-wide monitoring and evaluation mechanism, conduct a system-wide evaluation in 2010 of the progress achieved in the coordinated implementation of the resolution through the 2008-2009 System-wide Action Plan and reports to the Security Council;
(l) Member States strengthen monitoring and accountability for the national implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), including through the establishment of a Security Council mechanism to monitor national implementation.
3See S/2005/636, annex.
4The Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, ECA, the Office for Disarmament Affairs, OHCHR, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNIFEM and WFP.
5The Department of Political Affairs, ECA, OHCHR, UNDP, UNICEF, UNIFEM and WFP.
6The Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, ESCAP, INSTRAW, OSAGI, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNIFEM and WFP.
7The Department of Political Affairs, FAO, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OHCHR, UNHCR, UNIFEM, UNFPA, UNRWA, WFP and WHO.
8FAO, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, OCHA, OHCHR, UNHCR, WFP and WHO.
9The Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, ESCAP, INSTRAW, the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNIFEM and WFP.
10The Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Office for Disarmament Affairs, the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNOPS, the World Bank and the Inter-Agency Working Group on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration.
11The Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OHCHR, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIFEM, WFP and WHO.
12See report of the High-level Panel (A/61/583, paras. 47-49).
13See S/2006/770, para. 43.
14S/PRST/2001/31, S/PRST/2002/32, S/PRST/2004/40, S/PRST/2005/52, S/PRST/2006/42 and S/PRST/2007/5.
15See S/2005/636, para. 25 (b).
16See CEB/2006/2, annex.