posted on Mon 23 Apr 2012 5:44 PM
Briefing on Women, Peace and Security

Tomorrow morning (24 April) Council members will be briefed on women, peace and security by the Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, and the Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, Hervé Ladsous. The public briefing will be followed by consultations.

It seems Bachelet’s briefing will focus on women’s political participation, rule of law and transitional justice in post-conflict situations with Ladsous focusing on protection and training issues from a peacekeeping perspective. It also seems both Bachelet and Ladsous are likely to focus on women’s participation as voters and candidates as well as the issue of gender-based election-related violence.

It appears that Bachelet’s briefing may focus on the Arab Spring as a period of transition critical for increased women’s political participation in the region as well as the resulting challenges. In particular, Bachelet may touch upon the constitutional redrafting taking place in several Arab states, including Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, and the importance of quotas for women parliamentarians. Council members will likely be particularly interested in her assessment of Libya and Syria. Though outside the context of the Arab Spring, some Council members may be interested in hearing about the challenges for women in having their perspectives taken into account as the peace and reconciliation process unfolds in Afghanistan.

It appears Ladsous will brief on the peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivore, Liberia, Haiti and Timor-Leste. He is likely to focus on the participation of women in elections, security sector reform and on the broader issues of sexual violence, gender-based violence and protection issues. He is also expected to talk about how DPKO is building capacity through its training activities, in particular police training and active recruitment of women into national police and to discuss the issue of the deployment of women protection advisers in peacekeeping.

There is no outcome expected following tomorrow’s briefing and consultations. It seems many Council members are interested in establishing a practice of having semi-annual briefings from Bachelet and there may be interest in discussing this during consultations. (The Council’s October 2010 presidential statement (S/PRST/2010/22) invited UN Women to regularly contribute to the Council’s work on women, peace and security and Bachelet briefed the Council in April and October of 2011 and it’s likely she will brief again later in 2012.)

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