This is the Secretary General’s 2013 report (S/2013/525) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). It notes there were measurable advances in all areas of the women, peace and security agenda. It stresses numerous good practices while also outlining several deficits, notably lack of women’s leadership, poor provision of resources necessary for addressing women’s rights and needs, and the failure to place women’s participation and protection at the centre of all approaches carried out by peace and security actors.
The report adopts a more holistic approach to tackling WPS issues than has been the case with the recent focus on sexual violence. The report reminds member states of the need to address the full spectrum of women’s human rights violations caused by conflict and it also addresses women’s economic security. Focus on non-traditional aspects of security issues like this supports longstanding calls for an integrated approach to human security based on women’s experiences. The report accords considerable attention to addressing the root causes of violence against women and provides concrete recommendations on much needed capacity building and legislative measures.
In comparison to reports from previous years, this year’s report breaks new ground by calling for humanitarian aid to include the ‘provision for the full range of medical, legal, psychosocial and livelihood services to victims of rape, including access to services for safe termination of pregnancies resulting from rape, without discrimination and in accordance with international humanitarian law.’ It also reflects a shift towards more genuine gender mainstreaming efforts within to the UN system by calling for the harmonisation of gender markers, more frequent briefings to the Council, the inclusion of gender issues in all thematic debates and attributing more systematic attention to the implementation of women, peace and security commitments in its own work.
The Secretary General’s Report highlighted gaps in the implementation of the WPS framework and put forward recommendations to address these gaps. Particularly important recommendations were to close the funding gap, appoint more women to senior mediation and leadership positions, and to reach the 20% target of female military peacekeeping personnel.