The UN Security Council is in the process of preparing a new resolution on women, peace, and security (WPS), with a particular focus on sexual violence in conflict.
The UN Security Council is in the process of preparing a new resolution on women, peace, and security (WPS), with a particular focus on sexual violence in conflict. If adopted in June, it will be the sixth resolution on WPS and the fourth which focuses on sexual violence in conflict.
Operation 1325 welcomes the Security Councils continued focus on WPS but is concerned that women’s participation in all matters to do with peace and security is being overlooked. The proposed new resolution continues the momentum of previous resolutions addressing sexual violence in conflict and recent developments in the international community, such as the G8s declaration on sexual violence presented in April.
Nevertheless, it is important not to forget that sexual violence thrives in patriarchal societies and structures where women are marginalised and lack political participation. Measures to address impunity, reform the security sector, and provisions in peace agreements etc. are crucial to addressing sexual violence in conflict; however, without the empowerment of women and their full and equal participation, sexual violence is likely to continue to plague women and girls. When women are empowered it changes attitudes and over time entire societies, patriarchal structures are broken down and violence levels drop as a result.
The Need for a Holistic Approach
13 years after the adoption of UNSCR 1325, which laid the foundation for the WPS agenda much remains to be done when it comes to its implementation. The resolution manifested a holistic approach to addressing sexual violence in conflict and the lack of women’s participation in all matters to do with peace and security. A new resolution on sexual violence which does not strengthen the commitments made in UNSCR 1325 on participation risk being counterproductive and a step further away from a holistic approach to the WPS agenda.
Therefore, Operation 1325 hope that the Security Council will ensure that the new resolution being drafted do not merely restate what has already been stated in previous resolutions, but actually promotes their operationalisation through the realisation of UNSCR 1325 at the local, national, and regional levels. Moreover, we hope that the Security Council includes support (including financial) to civil society initiatives on building peace and addressing sexual violence through women’s participation.
Operation 1325 and a number of other non-governmental organisations working with the WPS agenda have shared these concerns with the Security Council. It is our hope that the members of the council take this into consideration before the new resolution is presented in June.
Update: a blog post on UNSCR 2106, written by our team members Emmicki Roos and Valter Vilkko, is now available here.