Keeping 1325 Alive: Women in Peacekeeping: Security Council Resolutions From 2000 to 2015

United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 recognized the importance of involving women in conflict resolution and peacekeeping activities. Since 2000, there have been a total of 7 resolutions adopted by the UN regarding Women, Peace and Security (WPS). This blog post will summarize and highlight key components of these 7 resolutions and how their implementation impacts WPS issues.

Security Council Resolution 1325 (Adopted in 2000)

UNSCR 1325 was the first resolution developed by the UN to acknowledge gender equality and the involvement of women in conflict resolution and peace processes. This resolution was ground-breaking for the WPS mandate. It focused on emphasizing and recognizing the dire need to involve women in peacekeeping and peace-building and promoted gender equality by “mainstream[ing] a gender perspective” in peace operations (p. 2). Through active lobbying by multiple women’s organizations worldwide, the adoption of this resolution encouraged UN member states to also adopt and implement this strategy based on the four pillars of:

  1. Prevention – ensuring an active female role in conflict resolution;
  2. Protection – of women and girls in conflict situations;
  3. Participation – “in peace processes, conflict prevention and reconstruction processes”; and
  4. Relief and Recovery – during the rebuilding and recovery process, it is crucial to involve women within all levels of decision making.

UNSCR 1325 emphasizes all of these core concepts regarding the involvement of women in all decision-making levels with the goal to potentially avoid or minimize conflict situations. The adoption of this resolution was revolutionary at the time as this was a move away from the notion of merely making conflict situations safer for women and girls/children.

Security Council Resolution 1820 (Adopted in 2008)

To take UNSCR 1325 one step further, UNSCR 1820 was adopted to further emphasize gender equality and active female participation in conflict resolution and during peacekeeping operations. This resolution recognizes the continued existence of obstacles that prevent women from gaining equal access to involvement in these aforementioned discussions. The development of this resolution is crucial as it introduces and stresses the importance of preventing and adequately responding to sexual violence in conflict situations. Upon the adoption of this resolution, sexual violence was recognized by the UN as a “tactic of war” and thus is to be treated as a war crime to ensure the protection of civilians from sexual violence through a zero tolerance policy, as it was demanded by the Security Council for “immediate and complete cessation by all parties to armed conflict of all acts of sexual violence against civilians”.

Security Council Resolution 1888 (Adopted in 2009)

To further build on both UNSCR 1325 and 1820, UNSCR 1888 expanded the discussion of sexual violence in conflict. Not only was there a focus on improved response mechanisms, through leadership and support, there was also improvement within the monitoring and reporting mechanisms within this resolution. To achieve this, the Resolution requested the appointment of a Special Representative specifically to “provide coherent and strategic leadership” to prevent and respond to sexual violence in conflict (p. 4). It also included the importance of “retraining peacekeepers, national forces and police” to enhance the zero tolerance policy of sexual violence that was first adopted with UNSCR 1820.

Security Council Resolution 1889 (Adopted in 2009)

UNSCR 1889 was adopted by the Security Council to improve monitoring and accountability of UN member states to uphold all of the Security Council Resolutions with regards to increasing the involvement of women throughout all levels of conflict resolution and other peace processes. This resolution calls for member states to recognize women not as victims of conflict, but as “leaders and stakeholders who can help address and resolve war”.

Security Council Resolution 1960 (Adopted in 2010)

Despite progress, issues with UN member states’ monitoring and reporting mechanisms within UNSCR 1820 and 1888 arose. In response to this, UNSCR 1960 was adopted and improves on this by ensuring “specific and time bound commitments to address sexual violence”, by involving the use of sanctions committees, and by strengthening data analysis in regards to sexual violence in conflict (p. 1).

Security Council Resolution 2106 (Adopted in 2013)

UNSCR 2106 is the fourth resolution involving sexual violence in conflict which has been adopted and focuses on providing increased accountability mechanisms for dealing with those found guilty of practicing and promoting sexual violence in conflict.

Security Council Resolution 2122 (Adopted in 2013)

As for the most recent resolution adopted by the UN, UNSCR 2122 attempts to resolve obstacles surrounding the implementation of these resolutions for WPS issues. There were multiple gaps noted within the previous resolutions on WPS, therefore leading to the adoption of UNSCR 2122. These gaps were noted specifically within the pillar of participation, and this resolution aims to address and stress the importance of the participation of women in all aspects of conflict resolution and peace building processes.

 

We want to hear your opinions! Let us know what you think the next course of action should be regarding United Nations Security Council Resolutions on WPS – should we continue to further develop and strengthen the UNSCRs, should there be a new Resolution, or should we focus on implementation? Add to the discussion! Comment below!

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