A new resolution on women, peace and security?

SoME Gavobevis 2023

13 October 2015

It has now been two years since the Security Council adopted a resolution on the women, peace and security-agenda. To be effective, the structure in UN and their mechanisms needs to be adjusted and updated according to changing circumstances. Therefore, the expected outcome of this month’s High-level Review of the implementation of resolution 1325, is a new resolution. However, it seems that the Security Council is experiencing difficulties in achieving this aim.

Members of the Security Council have been trying to agree upon a new resolution that includes many of the recommendations from the Secretary-General’s report on how the UN system could improve its implementation of resolution 1325. But the process has not been an easy one. Challenges have been emerging from an ambitious draft text that lays out several new initiatives and very little time to negotiate. For example, the draft resolution relates to the new issue of violent extremism and terrorism; proposes an improvement of the work routines within the UN system; and also calls for action to better embrace a gender perspective in peace operations. After one week of difficult consultations, the negotiation process of the draft resolution has now been cancelled.

The most difficult issues seems to be the operational language in the resolution related to the convening of an informal expert group of the Council on women, peace and security; improving how gender is incorporated into the Council’s sanction regimes; language describing an improved gender architecture in the UN system; sexual exploitation and abuse; and how the women, peace and security agenda should be integrated into strategies to counter violent extremism and terrorism.

The most critical countries to the “specific” draft text is by no surprise China and Russia. They resisted many elements which they interpreted as an expansion of the women, peace and security agenda, or which they perceived as an infringing on state sovereignity. Other controversial issues included the intention to invite women’s civil society to brief the Council on country-specific issues, which apparently was an issue for Russia. Concern was also raised from France about the proposal to keep the Council regulary informed of developments regarding sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel.

Last, but not least, much criticism has been directed against Spain for having changed the time of the Open Debate. This resulted in many CSO:s – mainly women – no longer being able to attend. Again, women are being shut out of the political power to make decisions, which is very contradictory and worrying when it’s all about promoting the women, peace and security agenda

It remains to be seen whether the negotioations of the draft resolution will be resumed again, and also who will be involved in the process.

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