Report of the Secretary-General on women and peace and security (S/2019/800) [EN/AR/RU]
The present report is submitted pursuant to the presidential statement dated 26 October 2010 (S/PRST/2010/22), in which the Security Council requested annual reports on the implementation of its resolution 1325 (2000), and resolution 2122 (2013), in which it called for updates on progress, challenges and gaps across all areas of the women and peace and security agenda.
The report for 2019 is presented on the eve of many significant benchmarks and anniversaries in 2020: 75 years since the creation of the United Nations; 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; and 20 years since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), which places women’s participation as central to conflict prevention and resolution efforts. Commitments by the United Nations, Member States and regional organizations to promote women’s rights, gender equality and the full and meaningful participation of women across all decision-making contexts, have continued to evolve over the past two decades. The correlation between gender inequality and a society’s propensity for civil or inter-State conflict is now well established. Addressing the root causes of gender inequality, prioritizing conflict prevention and emerging threats to peace and security, and ensuring the holistic implementation of the women and peace and security agenda must be priorities for all of us committed to conflict prevention, sustainable peace, sustainable development and human rights.
We still live in a world where women face exclusion from peace and political processes; where the number of attacks against women human rights defenders, humanitarians and peacebuilders continues to rise; where the attempted erosion of international human rights standards persists; and where xenophobia, racism, intolerance, homophobia, transphobia and violent misogyny continue to spread. We also continue to see high levels of conflict, violence and instability and are grappling with the imminent threat of climate change which, if unaddressed, will fuel further global insecurity and crises. Bold and urgent action is needed to ensure that next year’s twentieth anniversary of the women and peace and security agenda gives rise to concrete commitments and impactful action rather than empty rhetoric.
In line with my previous report, I requested United Nations system entities to take stock of the implementation of the recommendations relating to women and peace and security that are relevant to the United Nations system, as drawn from the three peace and security reviews undertaken in 2015, so the United Nations, supported by Member States, can take immediate action to strengthen the implementation of the women and peace and security agenda, in the lead up to the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) and beyond. In order to support this analysis, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) commissioned an independent assessment of the implementation of the gender recommendations contained in the three 2015 peace and security reviews. The report is also informed by analysis of progress and trends based on data and information provided by entities of the United Nations system, Member States, regional organizations, civil society and globally recognized data sources. The report captures advances that have been made by the United Nations, Member States and regional organizations. It also contains a further call to action regarding the progress still needed. Key findings include:
(a) Women still make up only 4.2 per cent of military personnel in United Nations peacekeeping missions;
(b) Record levels of political violence targeting women were demonstrated in new data published in May 2019;
(c) Over 50 parties to conflict are credibly suspected of having committed or instigated patterns of rape and other forms of sexual violence in situations on the agenda of the Security Council;
(d) At least 1 in 5 refugee or displaced women experience sexual violence and 9 out of the 10 countries with the highest rates of child marriage are in fragile contexts;
(e) In 2019, nearly 132 million people need humanitarian aid and protection, including an estimated 35 million women, young women and girls who require lifesaving sexual and reproductive health services, and interventions to prevent genderbased violence and respond to the needs of survivors;
(f) Refugee girls at secondary level are only half as likely to enrol in school as boys, even though girls make up half of the school-age refugee population;
(g) Findings by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders show that the rise of misogynistic, sexist and homophobic speech by political leaders in recent years has contributed to increased violence against women, against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex individuals, and against women human rights defenders;
(h) Fewer than 20 per cent of all Security Council resolutions in 2018 contained references to the importance of and the need to ensure fundamental rights and freedoms for civil society, women’s groups and women human rights defenders;
(i) In 2018, only 28 per cent of humanitarian needs overviews articulated the differentiated impact faced by women and girls in crises, as well as the underlying factors affecting vulnerability;
(j) In the period 2016–2017, only 0.2 per cent of total bilateral aid to fragile and conflict-affected situations went directly to women’s organizations;
(k) Nearly 40 per cent of economies limit women’s property rights and nearly 30 per cent restrict women’s freedom of movement. The lack of economic rights increases women’s vulnerability in conflict and fragile settings and affects recovery;
(l) In 2018, the global share of parliamentary seats held by women only slightly increased to 24.3 per cent, while for conflict and post-conflict countries, the average stands at 19 per cent;
(m) In 2018, total world military expenditure reached $1.8 trillion. The Beijing Platform for Action contains a strategic objective to reduce excessive military expenditures and control the availability of armaments;
(n) Only 41 per cent of Member States have adopted national action plans on women and peace and security and just 22 per cent of all plans included a budget for the implementation thereof, at the time of adoption.
- At a moment when I am prioritizing efforts to do more and better in implementing the women and peace and security agenda, the report presents evidence-driven and time-bound commitments for the United Nations and recommendations for Member States, regional organizations and the Security Council, for 2020 and beyond. The collective scorecard is clear. There remains a stark contrast between rhetoric and reality, where previously agreed commitments have not been matched by action.