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2. Building on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, as well as the work of the Security Council and other legislative bodies on peace and security, resolution 1325 (2000) called for women’s equal participation with men and their full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. It reaffirmed the need to fully implement international humanitarian and human rights law to protect women and girls from human rights abuses, including gender-based violence. It identified the need to mainstream gender perspectives in relation to conflict prevention, peace negotiations, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance, post-conflict reconstruction and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration initiatives.
3. This report provides illustrative examples of the progress achieved thus far and identifies gaps and challenges in the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), as well as recommendations for further action which the Security Council and other actors may wish to consider. It is based on contributions from Member States 1 and entities of the United Nations system.2 It draws on the assessment of progress and recommendations made in my report of 16 October 2002 on women, peace and security, 3 an in-depth study mandated by resolution 1325 (2000), and other studies and reports, including the assessment of an independent expert commissioned by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). 4
II. Progress in implementation
4. Initiatives have been taken by a broad range of actors to implement resolution 1325 (2000), inter alia, by developing policies, action plans, guidelines and indicators; increasing access to gender expertise; providing training; promoting consultation with and participation of women; increasing attention to human rights; and supporting the initiative of women’s groups. Resolution 1325 (2000) has been effectively utilized by civil society organizations as an advocacy and monitoring tool. Despite significant achievements, major gaps and challenges remain in all areas, including, in particular, in relation to women’s participation in conflict prevention and peace processes; the integration of gender perspectives in peace agreements; attention to the contributions and needs of women in humanitarian and reconstruction processes; and representation of women in decision-making positions. Increased incidence of sexual and gender-based violence in recent years and the failure to provide adequate protection is a critical issue and will be treated in a separate section of this report.
A. Intergovernmental processes
1. Security Council
5. The Security Council held three open debates in 2002 and 2003 at which progress and challenges in implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) were discussed. Two presidential statements 5 were issued calling on Member States, entities of the United Nations system, civil society and other relevant actors to develop clear strategies and action plans with goals and timetables, including monitoring mechanisms on the integration of gender perspectives in peace support and humanitarian operations and in post-conflict reconstruction.
6. In recent resolutions, the Security Council reaffirmed resolution 1325 (2000) and included specific mandates 6 for the protection of women and children in the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB), the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). Overall, in 15.6 per cent of Security Council resolutions adopted from January 2000 to June 2004 attention was paid to women or to gender concerns. In addition, discussions by the Council have increasingly recognized the interrelationship between gender perspectives and other thematic issues before the Council, such as children in armed conflict, protection of civilians, conflict prevention, the rule of law and transitional justice.
7. In adopting resolution 1325 (2000), the Security Council expressed its willingness to ensure that missions mandated by the Council take into account gender considerations and the rights of women including through consultation with local and international women’s groups. Members of the Council met with local women’s groups during all Council missions to West Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Great Lakes Region and Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004. The Council mission to West Africa in June 2004 specifically called on UNOCI to mainstream gender perspectives into its operations. As a comparison, from 2000 to 2002, the Council consulted with women’s groups at 4 out of 10 missions. Briefing notes, prepared by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security since 2003 provided information on women’s groups and on gender equality concerns in the countries visited.
8.8. Members of the Security Council also expanded their engagement with civil society through several “Arria Formula” meetings. Two round tables hosted in 2004 by the Permanent Missions of Canada, Chile, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in coordination with the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, brought together Council members, Member States, United Nations entities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) 7 and civil society representatives to discuss linkages between the various thematic reports and resolutions, and the importance of participation of women, the incorporation of gender perspectives and the protection of civilians. These interactions resulted in a draft checklist for integrating attention to the needs, priorities and contributions of women into the work of the Council.
2. General Assembly
9. The General Assembly has considered women, peace and security issues in some of its discussions and resolutions 8 on country and thematic issues, including on protection and assistance to internally displaced persons, the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, human rights and mass exoduses, trafficking in women and girls and the girl child. The Assembly condemned the widespread use of sexual violence against women and children as a weapon of war. It urged all parties to conflict to meet the special needs of women and girls in post-conflict reconstruction. It also urged all parties to conflict to implement all necessary measures to put an end to the widespread violations of human rights and impunity, in particular with regard to sexual violence against women and children. In 2003, the Assembly adopted a resolution on women and political participation, 9 in which it reaffirmed the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflict and stressed the importance of their full and equal participation in all efforts to promote and maintain peace and security in accordance with resolution 1325 (2000) and other relevant resolutions of the Assembly.
3. The Economic and Social Council and its functional commissions
10. At its substantive session of 2004, the Economic and Social Council, following up on its agreed conclusions 1997/2 on gender mainstreaming in all programmes and policies of the United Nations, adopted resolution 2004/4, in which it requested all United Nations entities to strengthen their efforts at gender mainstreaming and to develop action plans with specific timelines for implementing the gender mainstreaming strategy. The resolution also called for measures to strengthen commitment and accountability at the highest levels within the United Nations and underscored the importance of monitoring and reporting. United Nations entities were also asked to provide effective support to gender specialists, gender focal points and gender theme groups. The resolution urged continued efforts towards full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).
11. 11. At its forty-eighth session, the Commission on the Status of Women reviewed the thematic issue of women’s equal participation in conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peace-building. Building on resolution 1325 (2000), the Commission, in its agreed conclusions, 10 made a number of recommendations to Governments and other relevant participants on the participation of women and incorporation of gender perspectives in conflict prevention, peace processes, and post-conflict peace-building, including in elections and reconstruction and rehabilitation.
B. Conflict prevention and early warning
12. In its resolution 1325 (2000) the Security Council reaffirmed the important role of women in the prevention of conflict and stressed the need to increase their role in decision-making in conflict prevention. Women’s contributions to preventing conflicts are particularly important in “people to people” diplomacy. Women can call attention to tensions before they erupt in open hostilities by collecting and analysing early warning information on potential armed conflict. Women play a critical role in building the capacity of communities to prevent new or recurrent violence. Women’s organizations can often make contact with parties to conflict and interface with Governments and the United Nations.
13. Reflecting the importance of women’s participation in conflict prevention, in my report on prevention of armed conflict, 11 I encouraged the Security Council to give greater attention to gender perspectives in its conflict prevention efforts; and in my interim report 12 I recognized the need to prioritize the proactive role women can play in peace-building.
14. At the forty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women, Member States emphasized the need to: improve the collection, analysis and inclusion of information on women and gender issues as part of conflict prevention and early warning efforts; ensure better collaboration and coordination between efforts to promote gender equality and efforts aimed at conflict prevention; support capacity-building, especially for civil society and in particular for women’s organizations, to increase community commitment to conflict prevention; and ensure women’s participation in the elaboration and implementation of strategies for preventing conflict.
15. Member States, United Nations entities, civil society and NGOs are engaged in a constructive dialogue to support the process of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict in follow-up to the open debate on the role of civil society in the prevention of armed conflict held on 4 September 2003. 13 The Global Partnership is organizing consultations in the lead up to an international conference planned for June 2005. Women’s involvement in the Global Partnership needs to be strengthened. On a regional level, the African First Ladies Peace Mission, currently chaired by the First Lady of Burkina Faso, has worked to enhance women’s role in conflict prevention.
16. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency has developed an overall strategy for conflict management and peace-building and has supported NGOs on implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), including on conflict prevention. Between 2001 and 2002, the Swiss Peace Foundation, International Alert and the Forum on Early Warning and Early Response developed a set of gender-sensitive early warning indicators, which allows for previously overlooked signs of instability to be taken into account and concentrates on early warning at the grassroots level.
17. Within the United Nations system, UNIFEM has developed a set of gender-based early warning indicators that are currently being tested in four field-based pilots in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Solomon Islands and areas of central Asia. These indicators, drawn from a wide range of women’s experiences in the build-up to and during armed conflict, vary from such obvious signs as sex-specific refugee migrations and rising violence against women to less obvious measures such as media scapegoating of women and the silencing of women leaders through intimidation.
18. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the Secretariat has established a Task Force on Conflict Prevention, Peace-building and Development, which is developing a work plan covering the underlying causes of conflicts such as poverty, socio-economic and gender inequalities, endemic underdevelopment, weak or non-existent institutions and the absence of effective governance. The Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women has compiled a list of gender contacts on peace and security, including on conflict prevention and resolution.
19. Despite these efforts, women’s knowledge and experiences are underutilized in the prevention of violent conflict while gender perspectives have been neglected in early warning exercises and the development of response options. System-wide efforts, such as the Interdepartmental Framework for Coordination on Early Warning and Preventive Action, should draw more systematically on women’s contributions to conflict prevention and fully incorporate gender perspectives into responses at Headquarters and on the ground. Special representatives and envoys, regional and country teams and other relevant actors should identify, engage and support local women and their associations in conflict prevention efforts.
20. I intend to develop a comprehensive system-wide strategy and action plan for increasing attention to gender perspectives in conflict prevention, with particular emphasis on monitoring and reporting mechanisms.
21. I urge Member States, United Nations entities, NGOs and other relevant actors to work collaboratively to ensure the full participation of women and incorporation of gender perspectives in all conflict prevention work and to strengthen interaction with women’s organizations to ensure that their contributions as well as their needs and priorities are included in the collection and analysis of information to guide conflict prevention strategies and early warning efforts.
C. Peace processes and negotiations
22. Resolution 1325 (2000) calls on all actors to ensure the full participation of women in peace processes and to adopt gender perspectives when negotiating peace agreements. Various initiatives of Member States, the United Nations and civil society have focused on supporting and increasing the representation of women in peace negotiations and mainstreaming gender perspectives into peace agreements.
23. The Government of the Philippines has sought women’s participation in the peace process, involving them in dialogues and workshops to integrate their experiences and perspectives. The Australian Government has provided support to organizations that promote women’s participation in peace processes, including the Bougainvillean Women’s Forum, which drew up recommendations to further the peace process and to identify post-conflict development priorities. The Canadian International Development Agency has supported Sudanese women on building consensus on a platform for peace. In Sri Lanka, the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, supported by Norway, established a subcommittee on gender issues to elaborate gender-sensitive guidelines for the peace process.
24. The Division for the Advancement of Women of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs provided technical support and training to 70 African women leaders on negotiation and mediation skills from 2001 to 2003, to support their integration into formal peace negotiations. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) advocated the inclusion of gender-specific responses in the peace process in Liberia, and in particular, for the prioritization and recognition of the rights of women and girls associated with fighting forces. In Somalia, UNIFEM helped women to come together across factional lines to define a common agenda for women’s role in peace and reconstruction focusing on issues of women’s representation.
25. There is increasing recognition that efforts to enhance women’s participation at the peace table must be complemented by steps to give systematic attention to gender issues in all aspects of peace processes. Within the United Nations system, in December 2003, the Division for the Advancement of Women, in collaboration with the Department of Political Affairs and the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, convened an expert group meeting on peace agreements as a means for promoting gender equality in preparation for the forty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women. A framework of model provisions 14 on promoting gender equality was developed, providing a set of standards for mediators, facilitators and funding entities involved in preparing peace agreements. It has been widely disseminated to field offices. During the annual meeting of field presences of the Department of Political Affairs in May 2004, the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General held a special session on gender mainstreaming to exchange field experiences on achievements and obstacles.
26. Indigenous women play a unique role in conflict resolution as mediators and peace builders. At its third session, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues acknowledged these contributions and recommended that United Nations entities integrate the special concerns, priorities and contributions of indigenous women in all aspects of conflict prevention, peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction.
27. The women’s movement has made major contributions to building partnerships for peace. In Azerbaijan, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Great Lakes Region, Liberia, the Middle East, Nepal, Northern Ireland and Somalia, for example, women have worked collaboratively across ethnic and religious lines to make valuable contributions to peace processes. One lesson learned from the peace negotiations in Liberia is that women need to receive early support and training in order to facilitate their active participation in the negotiation of peace agreements. There are also a number of regional and international efforts to support women as peacemakers, for example the Mano River Women’s Peace Network, which was awarded the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 2003 and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
28. While the impact of the contribution of women to informal peace processes is well known, obstacles to their participation and to the systematic incorporation of gender perspectives in formal peace processes remain. The number of women who participate in formal peace processes remains small. The leadership of parties to conflict is male-dominated and men are chosen to participate at the peace table. The desire to bring peace at any cost may result in a failure to involve women and consider their needs and concerns. In addition, women’s organizations often do not have the resources needed to effectively influence lengthy peace negotiation processes.
29. I urge Member States, entities of the United Nations and civil society to develop comprehensive guidelines and training initiatives based on the framework of model provisions on promoting gender equality in peace agreements. 14
30. I intend to review recent peace processes and analyse the obstacles to and missed opportunities for women’s full participation in peace negotiations and develop strategies accordingly.
D. Peacekeeping operations
31. The most significant progress in the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) has been made in the peacekeeping arena. The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations has increasingly paid attention to issues concerning women, peace and security and has called for the full implementation of the resolution. 15 In 2000, there was minimal mention of gender issues in peacekeeping mandates and only two gender advisers were assigned to peacekeeping operations. Today, gender concerns are raised in all new peacekeeping mandates and there are 10 full-time gender adviser positions in 17 peacekeeping operations, including those in: Afghanistan, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro), Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste as well as in the advance mission in the Sudan. Every new multidimensional peacekeeping operation created since 2000 has included gender advisers. In 2003, Member States approved the creation of a post of gender adviser at the Headquarters level within the Department of Peacekeepin g Operations. The gender adviser will work primarily as a catalyst in supporting the mainstreaming of gender perspectives in all offices of the Department; provide ongoing support and policy and operational guidance to gender advisers in the field; and capture and disseminate lessons learned and best practices related to gender and peacekeeping.
32. Gender units and advisers in peacekeeping operations are working to provide technical guidance to the heads of operations, to ensure increased efforts to mainstream gender perspectives into all functional areas of peacekeeping and to increase the participation of women leaders and organizations in the implementation of the mandate of the operation.
33. The incorporation of gender perspectives from the inception of a mandate has proven to be crucial. Gender advisers participated in inter-agency assessment missions conducted prior to the establishment of the mandates of operations in Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti and Liberia, which resulted in a better reflection of gender issues in reports submitted to the Security Council prior to the establishment of peacekeeping operations in these four countries and translated into explicit references to gender issues in the ensuing Security Council resolutions. Gender checklists for needs assessments have been developed to guide this process.
34. Training of military, civilian police and civilian peacekeeping personnel on the protection, rights and particular needs of women, as well as the importance of involving women in all peacekeeping functions, has received considerable attention from Member States, the United Nations and civil society. Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have developed a gender training initiative for military and civilian personnel involved in peace support operations that educates personnel on the topic of gender issues. Several other countries, including Argentina, Australia, Germany and Switzerland, reported on measures taken to incorporate gender perspectives in training for personnel involved in peace support operations. Within the United Nations system, the Department of Management has supported a variety of capacity-building initiatives on mainstreaming gender perspectives in peace and security, including in peacekeeping.
35. 35. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations has focused on improving the training materials and tools available to all staff on mainstreaming gender perspectives into their daily work. In 2003, the Department developed gender-awareness training materials for use in pre-deployment and induction training for military and civilian police personnel. In 2004, it produced a “Gender Resource Package for Peacekeeping Operations”, providing guidance on gender issues in the various functional areas covered by multidimensional peacekeeping operations. In addition, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) conducted training on women and children for civilian personnel in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro) and Timor-Leste.
36. Training for peacekeepers on HIV/AIDS has also progressed under the guidance of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Gender-sensitive HIV/AIDS awareness training is included in induction training, and all peacekeeping operations have either an HIV/AIDS focal point or an adviser and are establishing voluntary counselling and testing facilities. In June 2004, UNAIDS and Department of Peacekeeping Operations undertook a joint mission to Haiti to establish an HIV/AIDS programme before the arrival of the main contingents, setting an important precedent for future operations. In Sierra Leone an inter-agency project on HIV/AIDS training for peacekeepers was undertaken by UNAIDS, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNIFEM.
37. An emerging problem in some peacekeeping operations is the issue of human trafficking. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations developed a policy on human trafficking in 2004 and is producing a package of guidance for peacekeeping operations, supported by the United States of America. The package includes model legislation and awareness-raising materials. It will assist operations, including operations in Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro) and Timor-Leste, which have already developed legislation on human trafficking but face challenges in implementation, as well as operations, such as the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which support capacity-building of national actors on this issue. The International Organization of Migration (IOM) is working with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to combat trafficking through prevention and assistance to trafficked persons, including by providing shelter and assistance with voluntary return home. Up until June 2004, 430 trafficked persons had been assisted by IOM in Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro).
38. A number of peacekeeping operations have established specific units in police stations to assist victims of sexual violence. For instance, at operations in Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro), Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste, United Nations civilian police have created units to improve assistance in the context of specific crimes such as sexual violence, child sexual and physical abuse and domestic violence.
39. Continued attention needs to be paid to the incorporation of gender concerns into the planning of new operations. A more coherent strategy for gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping is needed to increase the understanding of the relevance of gender issues to peacekeeping and to detail how to integrate gender concerns into the various pillars of an operation, including greater attention to data collection and reporting. Experience reveals that gender units in peacekeeping operations are most effective when adequately staffed at sufficiently senior levels and where they have direct access to and support of senior management.
40. I intend to develop a comprehensive strategy and action plan for mainstreaming gender perspectives into peacekeeping activities at Headquarters and in peacekeeping operations, in particular in the planning of new operations, with specific monitoring and reporting mechanisms, and urge the Security Council to monitor the implementation of the strategy and action plan.
E. Humanitarian response
41. Resolution 1325 (2000) calls on all actors to respect the civilian and humanitarian character of refugee camps and settlements and to take into account the particular needs of women and girls, in particular in their design. Use of gender analysis should ensure that the different experiences and contributions of women and men are brought into the planning and implementation of emergency relief efforts. Placing refugee and displaced women in decision-making positions and involving them in camp design and management needs to be complemented with skills-building and support. There have been repeated calls for proper individual documentation and registration of women affected by conflict, including refugee women. Despite improvements made in registration, women, including heads of households, may be without the documentation they need to access basic supplies and services.
42. A number of actors have worked to strengthen women’s participation and gender mainstreaming in humanitarian situations. Member States have provided assistance in ensuring that gender perspectives are incorporated in humanitarian interventions. A strategy and action plan for promoting gender equality included in Finland’s policy for development cooperation for 2003-2007 requires that humanitarian partner organizations have gender expertise and mainstream gender perspectives into their work. Similarly, when supporting humanitarian action, Norway requests implementing partners to incorporate gender perspectives in their efforts.
43. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Force on Gender and Humanitarian Assistance has developed strategies to ensure that gender perspectives are mainstreamed into all humanitarian activities. In 2003, the Task Force commissioned an external evaluation of gender mainstreaming in the Consolidated Appeals Process. The evaluation noted that gender mainstreaming in the Process was limited, gender analysis was not systematically undertaken and data was not usually disaggregated by sex. Subsequently, the Technical Guidelines and the Needs Assessment Matrix and Framework for the Consolidated Appeals Process were revised to provide adequate direction concerning gender mainstreaming. Gender experts participated in the training of trainers for facilitators of the Process. In 2004, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee undertook an evaluation of its 1999 gender policy, in which it noted that, while some progress had been achieved in the integration of gender perspectives in all humanitarian protection and assistance activities, important gaps remained, and recommended that the policy be implemented fully.
44. The majority of United Nations agencies working in the humanitarian field have produced policies, guidelines and action plans and supported training efforts on gender mainstreaming. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has developed a policy and plan of action on gender mainstreaming in humanitarian advocacy and information management, humanitarian policy development, coordination of humanitarian response and resource mobilization. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have jointly produced guidelines on socio-economic and gender analysis in emergency and rehabilitation programmes to assist staff at Headquarters and in the field to integrate gender perspectives into all phases of the emergency project cycle, including needs assessment, project formulation, targeting and monitoring and evaluation. Gender policies and guidelines, which have long been in place in humanitarian agencies, need to be operationalized and monitored and accountability mechanisms established or reinforced.
45. In 2002, an independent 10-year assessment of the implementation of the policy and guidelines of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on refugee women was conducted by the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children. UNHCR is now updating its policy and guidelines to reflect the recommendations of the assessment. A mainstreaming methodology based on gender and age is being tested in 10 countries. This process actively engages refugees in planning, implementation, monitoring and data collection on the gender and age dimensions of displacement and the related protection risks. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees also made five commitments to refugee women, principal among which is to ensure 50 per cent representation of women in refugee management committees. Field operations have reported difficulties in achieving quality participation owing to persistent gender discrimination.
46. Greater coordination among United Nations entities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and refugee and displaced women’s groups is needed. While the Consolidated Appeals Process has worked to improve the incorporation of gender concerns, gender mainstreaming and women-specific programmes remain underfunded.
47. I urge Member States and entities of the United Nations to:
(a) Strengthen the incorporation of gender perspectives in the Consolidated Appeals Process and ensure routine monitoring of the Process from a gender perspective, including the financial resources provided;
(b) Establish a coordinated humanitarian response monitoring system with specific indicators to determine attention to gender perspectives at field level.
F. Post-conflict reconstruction
48. In resolution 1325 (2000), the Secretary-General called on all actors to incorporate gender perspectives in post-conflict reconstruction efforts and to take into consideration the special needs of women and girls. In its presidential statement (S/PRST/2002/32), the Security Council reaffirmed the importance of gender mainstreaming in post-conflict reconstruction and encouraged the development of targeted activities, focused on the specific constraints facing women and girls in post-conflict situations, including their lack of land and property rights and access to and control over economic resources.
49. The need to include gender perspectives in the rebuilding and reforming of the judicial, legislative and electoral sectors in countries emerging from conflict has received increased attention in the last few years. In my report on the rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies, 16 I specifically recommended that the differential impact of conflict and rule of law deficits on women and children be recognized and that all initiatives ensure gender sensitivity in restoration of rule of law and transitional justice, as well as the full participation of women.
50. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women provides the basis for realizing equality between women and men and creates obligations for States parties to take all appropriate measures towards this end. Of the countries with United Nations peace support missions, all but Somalia and the Sudan have ratified the Convention; however, a large number of them have never reported on the implementation of the Convention or their reports are overdue. The Division for the Advancement of Women is implementing technical assistance activities with several countries emerging from conflict, including Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste with financial support from New Zealand. UNIFEM based its support for constitutional, legal, electoral and administrative reform in Afghanistan, Iraq, Rwanda and Timor-Leste on the Convention.
51. A conference on gender justice in post-conflict situations, co-organized by UNIFEM and the International Legal Assistance Consortium, was held in September 2004, bringing together a wide range of women in legal and judicial positions from conflict-affected countries and representatives from Member States, the entities of the United Nations, NGOs and civil society. The conference provided a platform for views on critical gender justice concerns, best practices and actions required to ensure gender-responsive institutional and legal reforms in countries emerging from conflict.
52. 52. While it is recognized that truth and reconciliation commissions facilitate the healing process in post-conflict societies, the involvement of women in these processes, and the degree to which the processes address the needs and concerns of women, is not well known. In Timor-Leste, the Commission on Reception, Truth and Reconciliation highlighted the impact of the conflict on women and held a public hearing dedicated to women’s experiences. Concerns were raised, however, that there was insufficient time and support provided to women victims asked to provide testimony to the Commission. Fears of reprisals by victims and witnesses may hamper women from coming forward and telling their personal stories. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Sierra Leone is in the process of finalizing its report, which should provide greater insights on women’s participation and the inclusion of their concerns, or lack thereof, in the proceedings of the Commission. More information is needed on how these commissions directly or indirectly support women as well as on other mechanisms used by women to promote healing from the suffering faced during conflict.
53. At a meeting in Skopje in January 2003, Ministers of the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men agreed that if women were not fully involved in rebuilding democracy, efforts to create a stable society were likely to fail. Policy guidelines were drawn up for incorporating gender perspectives into all activities related to peace and security, including democracy-building and eliminating policies that marginalize women, such as family voting at elections. The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Network on Gender Equality of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) held a joint workshop with the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality entitled “Gender and post-conflict reconstruction: lessons learned from Afghanistan”. The meeting identified good practices and lessons learned from promoting gender equality in post-conflict reconstruction, drawing on experiences from Afghanistan and other post-conflict contexts.
54. Women have increasingly participated in the formulation of new constitutions. In Afghanistan, women were involved in the drafting of the new constitution and held approximately 100 seats, or 20 per cent, of the 500 seats of the constitutional Loya Jirga, a major advance compared with the constitutional Loya Jirgas in 1964 and 1977 when only 4 and 12 women participated, respectively.17 The Afghan constitution adopted on 4 January 2004 provides for equal rights before the law.
55. Elections can provide an opportunity for change, including for the increased participation of women and the integration of gender perspectives in democratic electoral processes in post-conflict situations. A notable example is Rwanda where the constitution set aside 24 of 80 seats for women in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Parliament. In the October 2003 elections, women won an additional 15 seats bringing the total number of women in the Chamber to 39. Women now hold nearly 49 per cent of the seats, a greater proportion than in any other parliament worldwide. 18
56.56. The United Nations assists the holding of democratic elections in countries emerging from conflict. In January 2004, the Department of Political Affairs and the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues convened an expert group meeting at which obstacles, lessons learned and good practices on women’s participation in electoral processes in post-conflict countries were analysed. A set of briefing notes on ways to ensure women’s participation throughout the electoral process are under preparation. 19
57. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has instituted a number of measures to ensure that women participate in all aspects of the electoral process, including registration. Some 4,000 single-sex voter registration sites have been set up and a public information campaign was launched including posters and leaflets that urged women to register to vote and participate in the reconstruction of the country. Nearly half of the 14,000 registration workers are women. As of September 2004, some 10.5 million voters were registered, with women accounting for approximately 41 per cent of that total. In accordance with the new constitution, on average, two seats per province will be held by women, or 68 of the total 249 seats in the lower house. 20
58. Beyond ensuring that women register to vote, women running for office need skills building and support. Political parties need to have internal democratic and transparent nomination procedures and adopt voluntary targets or quotas for women on their candidate lists. One area vital to women’s full participation, and one often overlooked, is the involvement of women in electoral management bodies. In Iraq, the presence of women in the electoral management body has been a critical element in ensuring that women can participate and that their needs and priorities are addressed at all stages of the process.
59. Member States, United Nations entities and other actors have also made efforts to ensure that gender perspectives are incorporated in social and economic reconstruction efforts. The United Nations Development Group has been working with UNIFEM to promote the incorporation of gender issues as a cross-cutting theme in the needs assessment processes in countries emerging from conflict, including Haiti, Iraq, Liberia and the Sudan. Sector-specific gender checklists, covering areas such as health, education, shelter and employment, were developed and utilized. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has incorporated gender perspectives in policies and programmes for sustainable agriculture and rural development in post-conflict settings. In Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro), FAO supported training of rural development officers on gender analysis with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development. In Iraq, UN-Habitat delivered some 22,000 housing units to displaced populations, targeting mainly war widows, and conducted training on gender issues with local government officials. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has worked to incorporate gender perspectives in employment, income generation and skills training in post-conflict situations.
60. Targeted support has also been provided for women’s groups and networks in post-conflict situations by Member States, United Nations entities and NGOs. The United Nations regional commissions in Africa and Western Asia provided assistance to skills building in women’s groups and networks and supported national machineries in countries emerging from conflict.
61. Member States and other actors have an important role in ensuring that funds are available for initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality. In Afghanistan, several Member States have funded projects for women and girls, including Belgian Development Cooperation, which provided funding for the strengthening of the Ministry for Women’s Affairs. The United States has allocated funding for projects that assist women with democratic organization and advocacy. The World Bank has supported a number of gender initiatives through its Post Conflict Fund.
62. A majority of reconstruction efforts do not, however, systematically include gender perspectives into initial surveys, appraisals and needs assessments of programmes and projects; target initiatives for women and girls; or include a gender analysis of budgets. Without such measures, reconstruction efforts may not identify or address gender-specific problems relating to issues such as land, property and inheritance rights, health, education, employment or security concerns. Sustained attention by national and international partners is needed to ensure gender analysis is systematically utilized when developing reconstruction strategies and programmes.
63. I urge Member States, United Nations entities and civil society to:
(a) Develop approaches and guidelines and guidelines for ensuring that all programmes and policies in support of the rule of law, including constitutional, judicial and legislative reform, promote gender equality and women’s human rights;
(b) Systematically use the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women as a guiding framework in programmes and other support in post-conflict countries;
(c) In consultation with women and girls, plan and implement specific initiatives for women and girls and systematically incorporate gender perspectives in the planning, implementation and monitoring of all reconstruction programmes and budgets to ensure that women and girls benefit directly from resources mobilized through multilateral and bilateral sources .
64. I intend to review the extent to which women have participated and their concerns have been met in truth and reconciliation processes and make recommendations to guide the development of future reconciliation processes.
65. I also intend to set indicators and benchmarks for women’s equal participation in all aspects of elections process, based on a review of good practice.
G. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration
66. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes have increasingly acknowledged and provided support to women and girls as combatants, abductees, supporters of armed groups, wives and dependants of male combatants and as community members to provide assistance both in disarming fighters and reintegrating them into families and communities, as encouraged in resolution 1325 (2000). In September 2003, in its resolution 1509 (2003) on Liberia the Security Council called, for the first time, for a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme that specifically included attention to the special needs of children and women. In 2004, stronger resolutions on Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire and Haiti called for the needs of women and children associated with armed groups to be comprehensively included in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes.
67. Some progress has been made on incorporating gender perspectives in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone and, very recently, in planning under way in the Sudan. However, in general, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes remain primarily focused on male ex-combatants even though women and girls are involved in all aspects of armed groups, either voluntarily or forcibly. The use of gender analysis is crucial to understanding the different needs, concerns and contributions of women and men, girls and boys, although it has not been consistently or effectively used in planning, implementing and evaluating disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes.
68. In April 2003, the Department of Disarmament Affairs prepared a gender mainstreaming action plan for the work of the Department. Its implementation will be systematically monitored and reported on. The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) has dedicated an issue of Disarmament Forum to women, men, peace and security, which provides further insight into how women and men participate in and are affected by conflict.
69. Under the auspices of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, UNIFEM drafted standard operating procedures on gender and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, which provide field-based guidance on incorporating the needs and concerns of women and girl combatants in peace agreements and utilizing gender analysis in the planning of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, including in the social reintegration of combatants into communities. The United Nations Mine Action Service of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations is developing a guide to gender mainstreaming for mine action. UNICEF has completed the mine risk education component of the International Mine Action Standards, which includes gender-specific standards to which all United Nations entities and their operational partners should adhere. UNICEF coordinates all disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes for children associated with fighting forces and armed groups. Girls remain disadvantaged both in their access to demobilization and in their reintegration into communities. Many girls who become pregnant during armed conflict face stigmatization on return.
70. In the Sudan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has employed a gender adviser who works directly with national counterparts to ensure gender concerns are fully integrated in the planning of the comprehensive disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme. These initiatives should be monitored closely to ascertain their effectiveness and documented, where appropriate, as good practices.
71. The involvement of women and women’s groups in all aspects of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes should be strengthened, including their involvement in arms collection. Increased attention must be paid to procedures that verify eligibility of women and girls associated with fighting forces. Separate procedures should be established to ensure that women and girls who have been involved in armed conflict receive medical care and psychosocial support.
72. I call on Members States, entities of the United Nations system and NGOs to develop guidelines, based on a review of good practice, on increasing attention to the needs and contributions of women and girls in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes and to monitor and report regularly on their implementation.
III. Preventing and responding to gender-based violence in armed conflict
73. In its resolution 1325 (2000), the Security Council called on all parties to conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, and all other forms of violence in situations of armed conflict. The resolution has contributed to increased recognition of the escalation in scope and intensity of sexual and gender-based violence as one of the most visible and insidious impacts of armed conflict on women and girls and of the need for improved prevention and protection mechanisms.
74. Faced with massive incidents of gender-based violence during armed conflicts, Member States, entities of the United Nations system and civil society have focused on addressing the consequences of violence against women and girls. Thus far, the international community has not been able to prevent acts of violence against women from occurring during armed conflict. Early warning mechanisms either do not exist, or we have not been able to respond effectively to indications of impending hostilities.
75. My reports to the Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 21 children and armed conflict22 and country-specific reports provide stark and disturbing evidence of gender-based violence and of the fact that compliance of parties to conflict with international humanitarian, human rights, refugee and criminal law remains woefully inadequate.
76. 76. Gender-based violence is a form of discrimination that seriously inhibits the ability of women to enjoy their rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men. The unacceptable violence against women and girls in peacetime is further exacerbated during armed conflict and in its aftermath. Both State and non-State actors are responsible for severe violations of women’s human rights, including killings, abductions, rape, sexual torture and slavery, as well as denial of access to food and health care, with dramatic consequences. Although the occurrence of violence against women in armed conflict is now increasingly acknowledged and widely documented, our collective response, as measured against the magnitude of this violence, remains inadequate. The facts on the ground point to our collective failure in preventing such violence and protecting women and girls from the horrors of gender-based violence and heinous violations of international human rights, criminal and humanitarian law. Sexual and gender-based violence has been recently reported in Afghanistan, Burundi, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Darfur, the Sudan. 23
77. States on whose territory conflict and its resulting evils of war crimes, genocide, sexual violence and gender-based crimes occur have the primary responsibility for the protection of women and children. Where a State is unable or unwilling to provide protection and assistance to its citizens, the United Nations system is increasingly called upon to work with Member States to develop an integrated response. In several instances, the Security Council has expanded the mandates of multidimensional peacekeeping operations to assist in carrying out protective and monitoring functions to address the security challenges and threats to women and girls. However, factors such as delay in deployment, low numbers of peacekeepers or insufficient financial resources have hampered the successful implementation of such mandates.
78. The United Nations system has established and implemented strategies and programmes to prevent, monitor and respond to gender-based violence. Human rights observers from the United Nations system, regional organizations such as the African Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, NGOs and civil society are critical for ensuring women’s rights violations are monitored and reported on and for investigating allegations of sexual violence. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights intensified its efforts to monitor and report on gender-based violence, and human rights officers are now a standard component in new peace operations. Within the framework of their mandates, the Special Rapporteurs of the Commission on Human Rights have paid particular attention to the occurrence of gender-based violence, the special vulnerability of displaced women, the needs of women heads of household in times of war, the role of women in conflict resolution and the situation of women in countries in transition. The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, has a particularly important role to play in this regard. Since 2000, an annual report 24 has been presented to the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, outlining new developments in international criminal, human rights and humanitarian law on the issue of systematic rape, sexual slavery and slavery-like practices in situations of armed conflict.
79. Efforts to monitor and report gender-based violence in situations of armed conflict must be complemented by practical measures to end impunity and to bring those who are responsible for abhorrent crimes against women and girls to justice. International humanitarian, human rights and criminal law provides a solid framework of protection of individuals affected by armed conflict. More recently, this framework has been significantly strengthened to address crimes of sexual and gender-based violence experienced by women and girls. The establishment of the International Criminal Court holds promise for meaningful accountability for gender-based crimes against women in armed conflict. The formal referrals from the Governments of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo will provide opportunity for the Court to implement its statute, which includes provisions for improved investigation of gender-based crimes, protection of female witnesses, appointments of advisers with legal expertise on sexual and gender violence and direct participation of the victims in the proceedings of the Court.
80. The International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda have broken new ground in the area of jurisprudence on sexual violence under international law. While both Tribunals have charged a number of individuals for crimes that involved either rape or sexual assault, progress in carrying out investigations and creating systems to protect victims and witnesses has not been commensurate with the requirements of timely justice, thus resulting in few guilty verdicts. 25 The Special Court for Sierra Leone has included crimes of sexual violence in a number of its indictments. The Court includes two gender crimes investigators and has conducted gender sensitivity training for its investigation teams.
81. While the International Tribunals have played an important role by providing a direct form of accountability for perpetrators of gender-based crimes, it is critical that States recognize their responsibility and have the capacity to enforce law, end impunity, prosecute perpetrators of violence and provide redress and compensation to survivors of gender-based violence.
82. Many Member States, United Nations entities, including the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNIFEM and the World Health Organization (WHO), and international and national NGOs have conducted training programmes for their staff, partners and local populations on the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, and appropriate care for survivors. In 2003, UNHCR revised its 1995 guidelines on sexual and gender-based violence to better reflect lessons learned through field-based practice. Inter-agency task forces on gender-based violence have been established in some refugee settings to coordinate multisectoral responses and set local protocols for interventions.
83. In Rwanda, Belgium and other international donors have supported programmes for survivors of physical and sexual abuse resulting from the genocide. In Haiti, under the leadership of the Ministry for the Status of Women, United Nations entities have emphasized the need to strengthen coordinated actions on prevention and support to victims of gender-based violence. UNFPA provided Governments and implementing partners with emergency reproductive health kits in order to treat survivors for sexually transmitted infections and other consequences of sexual violence. Health partners in some refugee situations are equipped to care for survivors of violence with HIV/AIDS, but this is not a universal practice.
84. Innovative strategies need to be developed to ensure compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law by a variety of actors, including the military and non-State armed groups. Parties to conflict must be forcefully reminded of their responsibilities to protect women and girls and to cease their attacks on civilians or face sanctions. Member States need to send stronger signals to parties to conflict that gender-based violence will be investigated and perpetrators will be prosecuted.
85. One of our key challenges is to bring perpetrators of violence against women to justice through international tribunals, mixed tribunals and national courts. To ensure effective prosecution of gender-based violence, witness and victim protection programmes need to become more effective, and judges, prosecutors and investigators need to be trained on gender issues.
86. The consistent provision of human and financial resources to deliver care to women victims of violence as well as ongoing training for all actors continues to be of critical importance. Deploying human rights and other monitors at an early stage can serve as a potential deterrent to violence. Effective monitoring and reporting mechanisms to gather timely and accurate data on gender-based violence are essential both in terms of identifying potential situations of armed conflict and providing information on the perpetrators of violence.
87. I submit the following actions for the attention of the Security Council, Member States, United Nations entities and other relevant bodies:
(a) Apply increased pressure on parties to armed conflict, including during missions and peace negotiations, to cease all violations of the human rights of women and girls, including sexual and gender-based violence;
(b) End impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, including sexual and gender-based violence, and ensure that international and national courts have adequate resources, access to gender expertise, gender training for all staff and gender-sensitive programmes for victim and witness protection in order to more effectively prosecute those responsible for such crimes;
(c) Ensure that human rights and other monitors have gender expertise, conduct gender-responsive investigations and report findings systematically to the Council.
88. I call on the General Assembly to ensure adequate human and financial support to programmes that provide care and support through legal, economic, psychosocial and reproductive health services to survivors of gender-based violence.
IV. Enhancing implementation
89. The following issues need to be specifically addressed in order to further enhance the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in all areas discussed above.
A. Gender balance in recruitment
90. Increasing women’s representation in decision-making and expanding the roles and contributions of women in peace and security issues was a major element of resolution 1325 (2000). Many Member States reported on national initiatives designed to improve gender balance and representation of women in civilian and uniformed services and to increase their participation in international peace operations. Denmark has developed a long-term strategy for the recruitment of women in armed forces. In France, the percentage of women in the military increased from 6.9 per cent in 1998 to 13 per cent in 2004. Germany opened all career tracks to women in the armed forces. Spain has a number of highly qualified women participating as international observers in electoral processes, and 15 per cent of its personnel serving in peace operations are women. The United Kingdom has been actively deploying female officers to peace operations, including as senior gender experts to Iraq. Several other countries, including Argentina, Australia, Malawi and Switzerland, also reported on efforts to actively recruit more women to serve in international peace operations. A senior Australian policewoman served as the United Nations Police Commissioner in Timor-Leste from June 2003 to May 2004.
91. As of June 2004, women constituted 1 per cent of military personnel and 5 per cent of civilian police personnel assigned by Member States to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations. These figures remain unchanged since 2002. With regard to international civilian staff administered by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, 26 women constituted 27.5 per cent overall, and 12 per cent at the D-1 level and above, up from 24 and 4.2 per cent respectively in 2002. 27
92. Resolution 1325 (2000) called for the appointment of more women as special representatives and envoys. Currently, out of 27 peace operations, 2 are headed by women: ONUB and the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG). Three women serve as deputy Special Representatives in the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA), UNAMA and the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG).
93. In order to encourage female candidates to apply for peacekeeping operations, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has introduced specific language into vacancy announcements, targeting professional women’s organizations. The Department has also made efforts to increase the representation of women among uniformed personnel serving under United Nations auspices, including by highlighting the need for greater numbers of women, when corresponding with troop- and police-contributing countries. Efforts should be made by Member States to increase the representation of women in military and police contributions and strive for levels commensurate with respective national representation.
94. Within humanitarian entities in the United Nations system, as of August 2004, none of the 18 humanitarian coordinators was a woman. At UNHCR and the World Food Programme (WFP), women constitute 40 per cent of professional staff, making up 23 and 26 per cent, respectively, at senior levels. Individual agencies have made commitments to ensure the representation of women on their staff. At least 50 per cent of the staff recruits and 75 per cent of all local food aid monitor recruits at WFP are to be qualified women. The Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women has also encouraged the broadening of the recruitment base for peace operations to cover international and national professional and civil society organizations and has regularly supplied lists of suitable women candidates for special representatives and envoy posts and for regular peace operations staff to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Department of Political Affairs and the offices of the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General.
95. Within the resident coordinator system, which includes organizations of the United Nations system dealing with operational activities for development in post-conflict reconstruction, the representation of women was 21 per cent as of August 2004 (26 of 122).
96. Mechanisms to target women in the recruitment process for senior-level posts in all areas of peace and security need to be strengthened. These include: the use of specialist headhunting agencies; allocation of funds for outreach activities to attract women candidates; and the further development of a database of precertified women candidates.
97. While recruitment of women at senior level is critical, a clear understanding of gender perspectives in peace and security should become a key criteria for recruitment of all senior and middle-level staff. Training on gender issues should be provided to all staff at decision-making levels, men as well as women. Predeployment briefing of Special Representatives of the Secretary-General is critical.
98. I call on Member States, United Nations entities and civil society organizations to:
(a) Further analyse the obstacles to increasing women’s representation in peace operations and humanitarian response and develop and implement recruitment strategies aimed at increasing the number of women, particularly in decision-making positions, including in military and civilian police services;
(b) Create a pool of precertified female candidates for senior level positions to ensure rapid deployment.
B. Preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian and peacekeeping personnel
99. Sexual exploitation and abuse are forms of gender-based violence that can be perpetrated by anyone in a position of power or trust. 28 The involvement of United Nations personnel, whether civilian or uniformed, in sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of local populations is particularly abhorrent and unacceptable and a serious impediment to the achievement of the goals of resolution 1325 (2000) on the protection of women and girls. In May 2004, the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) uncovered allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, including of minors, by civilian and military personnel in Bunia. Such abuses must be prevented and the perpetrators must be held accountable.
100. Initiatives have been taken by some Member States to address sexual exploitation and abuse. Finland has developed a code of conduct for peacekeeping missions that includes information on sexual exploitation and forbids the use of prostitutes. The code of conduct is monitored and immediate action taken in the case of any violation.
101. The United Nations, working with NGOs, has instituted a number of measures to address sexual exploitation and abuse by personnel. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee created the Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises, co-chaired by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and UNICEF, which led to the issuance of a Secretary-General’s bulletin on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. 28 The Task Force developed a number of tools to facilitate the implementation of the bulletin such as implementation guidelines, model information sheets on sexual exploitation and abuse for local communities and model complaints forms. In addition, focal points on sexual exploitation and sexual abuse are to be appointed in each United Nations entity and NGO at country level, creating a network to ensure the full implementation of the bulletin in both emergency and development contexts.
102. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations has made progress in implementing the Secretary-General’s bulletin in peacekeeping operations through improved training materials, complaints mechanisms and the production of a compilation of its disciplinary directives for civilian, military and civilian police personnel. In addition, MINUSTAH, MONUC and ONUB now have Personnel Conduct Officer positions to support mission efforts to address misconduct. The Department is currently conducting a review of its procedures for addressing sexual exploitation and abuse, including human trafficking, with a view to improving its ability to prevent, identify, respond to and report on this problem, as well as to advocate with Member States on their role in addressing this issue. However, significant challenges remain.
103. I reaffirm my conviction that sexual exploitation and sexual abuse are totally unacceptable forms of behaviour and reiterate my commitment to the full implementation of the special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse as set forth in my bulletin. I further urge Member States, intergovernmental and regional organizations, international and national aid and civil society organizations to apply the same standards to peacekeeping personnel, including military and civilian police.
C. Coordination and partnership
104. Coordination is critical to ensure complementarity among all actors and effective use of resources. Member States, United Nations entities and non-governmental and civil society actors at all levels have worked together in innovative ways to implement resolution 1325 (2000). Spearheaded by Canada, an informal group of approximately 25 Member States, the “Friends of Women, Peace and Security”, acts as an advocate for and supports intergovernmental coordination, allocation of resources and acceleration of implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) by United Nations entities.
105. In recognizing that effective institutional arrangements and improved collaboration can significantly contribute to the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), a number of Member States have set up working groups and task forces at the national level. In 2001, Canada created the Canadian Committee on Women, Peace and Security, which is a national coalition, comprised of parliamentarians, civil society representatives and government officials that focuses on advocacy, capacity-building and training. In Colombia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Presidential Advisory Office on Gender Equality, set up a working group on women, peace and security, which supports women’s participation related to the promotion of peace in Colombia. In 2003, the Ministries of Defense, Foreign Affairs and the Interior and Kingdom Affairs of the Netherlands established a task force on women in conflict situations and peacekeeping, which is charged with implementing resolution 1325 (2000). In Norway, a forum comprised of representatives from relevant ministries and members of civil society has been established to follow up the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). In Azerbaijan, a national “Coalition 1325”, comprised of women parliamentarians, NGOs and media representatives, has been established to raise awareness of resolution 1325 (2000) and women’s role in decision-making processes, including in conflict resolution and peace-building.
106. I have requested my Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women to play a lead advocacy role and to promote a wide variety of actions in support of gender mainstreaming, including on peace and security. My Special Adviser has provided regular updates on women, peace and security issues to the Executive Committee on Peace and Security and has urged that gender equality issues be incorporated in discussions and recommendations. To support my Special Adviser, the Finnish Government provided funding support for a full-time P-5 position to work on peace and security for one year. 29
107. My Special Adviser also chairs the Inter-Agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security of the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality, which is comprised of 20 United Nations entities, with 5 NGOs as observers. The Task Force has ensured a coordinated approach to gender mainstreaming in peace and security activities within the United Nations, supported and monitored implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and carried out liaison activities with Member States and NGOs. It facilitated the development of gender checklists for needs assessments and a roster of gender experts. It is critical that my Special Adviser and the Inter-Agency Task Force continue to play a catalytic role in promoting full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), in close coordination with all entities working on peace and security.
108. The inter-agency task forces under the umbrella of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on gender and humanitarian response and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse as well as the United Nations Mine Action Service gender working group, are also good examples of United Nations coordination efforts to mainstream gender issues into substantive work areas.
109. In post-conflict countries United Nations theme groups on gender equality, for example in Afghanistan, have achieved some success in providing a platform for joint planning among United Nations entities, governmental and non-governmental actors. However, more efforts are needed to strengthen such theme groups to facilitate systematic and effective inter-agency coordination and attention to gender perspectives at the field level in post-conflict countries.
110. Resolution 1325 (2000) has been an effective advocacy tool, which has galvanized actors at different levels to develop alliances and partnerships and work in a coordinated manner to support its implementation. This momentum needs to be reinforced and sustained. Enhanced coordination with regional and subregional intergovernmental entities and at the local level with women’s groups and networks is needed in order to maximize progress in the incorporation of gender perspectives in the promotion of peace and security.
111. I call on Member States, entities of the United Nations, NGOs and civil society to:
(a) Enhance coordination to facilitate the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) at all levels in developing partnerships with key actors at the regional level and with women’s groups and networks at the local level;
(b) Strengthen gender theme groups in countries emerging from conflict by ensuring clear mandates and authority, staff with sufficient levels of seniority and expertise, adequate resources and access to senior managers.
D. Monitoring and reporting
112. An analysis of gender perspectives in 264 of the reports of the Secretary-General to the Security Council prepared from January 2000 to September 2003 revealed that only 17.8 per cent of the reports made multiple references to women and gender concerns, while 15.2 per cent made minimal reference and 67 per cent of the reports made no or only one mention of women or gender issues. 30 The majority of reports referring to gender issues described women and girls primarily as victims of armed conflict and not as potential actors in early warning, reconciliation, peace-building or post-conflict reconstruction. A checklist to support improved reporting on gender issues in the reports of the Secretary-General was widely disseminated to peace support operations at headquarters and in the field. The analysis was updated in July 2004. In the first six months of 2004, a trend of improved reporting was noted, with 23.5 per cent of reports having multiple references to gender issues.
113. It is important to continue to ensure that all reports to the Security Council make appropriate reference to gender perspectives and the advancement of women, including by providing data disaggregated by sex and age. The Council is urged to monitor the incorporation of gender perspectives in reports that provide an important basis for resolutions adopted.
114. I intend to routinely incorporate gender perspectives in all thematic and country reports to the Security Council and continue to monitor the progress made.
115. I urge the Security Council to review the issue of women, peace and security on an annual basis.
E. Information dissemination and exchange
116. Resolution 1325 (2000) has been broadly disseminated and utilized and has been translated into approximately 60 languages. 31 Member States, United Nations entities and NGOs have held numerous conferences to increase awareness of the resolution and have produced a wide range of practical resources to assist policy makers, actors at the field level and the general public on gender issues in peace and security. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, in cooperation with the Committee on International Gender Equality, hosted a conference on “Women, Peace and Security” in Copenhagen in September 2004. A number of Member States, including Canada, the Netherlands, Senegal, Sweden and the United Kingdom, prepared, or are in the process of launching, major reports on women and peace and security which will guide national policy initiatives related to women’s roles in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction.
117. Within the United Nations system, UNIFEM has created a web portal 32 as a centralized repository of information on women, peace and security. The International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) has developed a special collection of information resources on gender aspects of conflict and peace. 33 An inventory of resources, including operational guidelines, training materials, manuals and reports on the different thematic areas concerning women, peace and security, produced by 20 United Nations entities, was compiled by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security. In the area of awareness raising and advocacy, the Department of Public Information has underscored the issue of women as peacemakers as one of the top 10 unreported stories.
V. Conclusions and the way forward
118. In the four years since the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000), there has been a positive shift in international understanding of the impact of armed conflict on women and girls and the importance of women’s participation as equal partners in all areas related to peace and security. Member States, United Nations entities and civil society actors have made significant strides in implementing the resolution, including by incorporating gender perspectives in policies, programmatic tools and capacity-building activities. The real test of the adequacy of these efforts is, however, in their impact on the ground. In no area of peace and security work are gender perspectives systematically incorporated in planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting. The peacekeeping and humanitarian arenas have seen the most dramatic improvement in terms of new policies, gender expertise and training initiatives. An outstanding challenge is increasing the number of women in high-level decision-making positions in peacekeeping operations. In the areas of conflict prevention, peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction, women do not participate fully and more needs to be done to ensure that the promotion of gender equality is an explicit goal in the pursuit of sustainable peace.
119. T he protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls in armed conflict is a pressing challenge. The reality on the ground is that humanitarian and human rights law are blatantly disregarded by parties to conflicts and that women and girls continue to be subject to sexual and gender-based violence and other human rights violations. Much more sustained commitment and effort, including partnerships with men and boys, is required to stop the violence, end impunity and bring perpetrators to justice.
120. Much of the work on increasing attention to gender perspectives, protecting the human rights of women and promoting women’s participation has been done on an ad hoc basis through voluntary contributions. Inadequate specific resource allocations have contributed to slow progress in the implementation of the resolution in practice. We must ensure that regular budgetary resources are specifically allocated for both gender mainstreaming and initiatives targeted at women and girls.
121. Resolution 1325 (2000) holds out a promise to women across the globe that their rights will be protected and that barriers to their equal participation and full involvement in the maintenance and promotion of sustainable peace will be removed. We must uphold this promise. To achieve the goals set out in the resolution, political will, concerted action and accountability on the part of the entire international community are required. I urge the Security Council, Member States, United Nations entities and civil society organizations to reaffirm their commitment and strengthen efforts to fully implement resolution 1325 (2000), and call for regular monitoring of its implementation through the Security Council.
1 The Member States responding to the note verbale were: Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Panama, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
2 United Nations entities responding to the questionnaire were: Department for Disarmament Affairs, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Department of Management, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Department of Political Affairs, Department of Public Information, Economic Commission for Africa, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, International Atomic Energy Agency, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Civil Service Commission, International Telecommunication Union, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, United Nations Development Fund for Women, United Nations Development Programme, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, United Nations Institute for Training and Research, United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations University, World Bank, World Food Programme, World Health Organization, World Meteorological Organization and International Organization for Migration.
4 Elisabeth Rehn and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Women, War and Peace: The Independent Experts’ Assessment, Progress of the World’s Women, vol. I (New York, United Nations Development Fund for Women, 2002).
5 S/PRST/2001/31 and S/PRST/2002/32.
6 For example, see Security Council resolutions on Burundi 1545 (2004), Côte d’Ivoire 1528 (2004), Haiti 1542 (2004) and Liberia 1509 (2004).
7 Femmes Africa Solidarité, Hague Appeal for Peace, International Alert, International Women’s Tribune Centre, Women’s Action for New Directions, Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries, the United Methodist Church and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Affiliate members include: Amnesty International and the Women’s Environmental and Development Organization.
8 General Assembly resolutions 58/177, 58/196, 58/169, 57/176 and 57/189.
9 General Assembly resolution 58/142.
10 Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 2004, Supplement No. 7 (E/2004/27), chap. I, sect. IV.
13 A/57/864, annex.
14 Peace agreements as a means for promoting gender equality and ensuring participation of women — A framework of model provisions (EGM/PEACE/2003/REPORT), December 2003.
15 Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 18 and corrigendum (A/58/18 and Corr.1).
18 Inter-Parliamentary Union ( www.ipu.int).
19 See www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/meetings/2004/EGMelectoral/index.html.
22 A/58/546-S/2003/1053 and Corr.1.
23 See A/59/1.
24 See E/CN.4/Sub.2/2004/35.
25 Human Rights Watch World Report, 2004.
30 “An analysis of the gender content of the reports of the Secretary-General to the Security Council, 2000-2003”, Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, September 2003.
31 See www.peacewomen.org.