posted on Mon 11 Apr 2011 3:55 PM
Insights on Women, Peace and Security

The head of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, will brief Council members tomorrow (Tuesday, 12 April) during informal consultations. This will be her first briefing to the Council since she was appointed as Under Secretary-General for UN Women which was set up in January. Her briefing is expected to focus on some specific situations on the Council’s agenda as well as update Council members on the set up and structure of UN Women.

The briefing seems likely to focus on issues at the political level rather than on technical aspects of the 1325 indicators. While it is unclear which situations Bachelet will focus on, it is likely that this first briefing will focus on a small number of cases. She may also outline possible cases that could be taken up in the future.
A key area that Bachelet is expected to emphasise is the role of the Council in increasing women’s participation in peace negotiations. Given her recent visit to Liberia, she may choose to outline some developments in Liberia to illustrate women’s participation in the peace process.

This briefing appears to have flowed out of the Council’s February consultations on protection issues as a whole. Some Council members, including Portugal, have been keen for the Council to consider the issue of women, peace and security more than once a year and to focus on specific situations on the Council’s agenda.

It appears that at least for this first briefing both Bachelet’s office and Council members were more comfortable with a closed rather than an open format. However, if such briefings continue in the future and the comfort level grows, there may be more scope for a open briefing where appropriate as well as closed informal discussions.