On October 18th, the UN Security Council met for an open debate on Women, Peace & Security. The debate included the presentation of the Secretary General’s 2013 report on women peace and security.
The highlight of the day was the unanimous adoption of a new resolution, 2122, which would break down the barriers hindering women from full participation in the peace process.
Resolution 2122 expresses the importance of having women in leadership roles in conflict resolution and peace building activities. Additionally, it strengthens measures mentioned in an earlier resolution, 1325 (2000).
Some of the key measures are: The request that all UN commissioned investigations on situations on the Security Council’s agenda would include information specific to the impact on women and girls; request that the Secretary General would have gender experts available to all UN mediation teams and to support women as senior mediators; the charge that women must be fully involved in gender-specific transitional justice strategies.
The resolution also emphasized the need for humanitarian aid to provide comprehensive health coverage for women who were pregnant as a result of war rape. This coverage would include access to abortion services.
Resolution 2122 is the second resolution related to women’s role in conflict and security passed in 2013. An earlier resolution, 2106 adopted in June, focused on strengthening the monitoring and prevention of sexual violence in conflict.
The adoption of Resolution 2122, and its focus on women’s role in the peace process, addresses the concern voiced by delegates that women would not be seen principally of victims in conflicts. This document sets in place strong measures to ensure that they would be acknowledged as pivotal actors who are needed at the table of economic, political, and social discussions from the ground up.