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UNSC Resolution 1325 and related resolutions


The main thrust of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ work on gender and peacekeeping is derived from Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), the first resolution in which the Council addressed the disproportionate and particular impact of armed conflict on women and girls. Security Council Resolution 1325 stresses the importance of women’s full and equal participation in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace building and peacekeeping. It calls on Member States to ensure the full and equal participation of women in all efforts to maintain peace and promote peace and security, and urges all actors to increase the participation of women and to take gender into account in all areas of peacebuilding.

Recognising the impact of sexual violence in conflict, and on the maintenance of peace and security, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1820 (2008), which clearly links sexual violence as a tactic of war to issues of women, peace and security. As a follow-up, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1889 (2009), which calls for further strengthening women’s participation in peace processes and developing indicators to measure progress in the implementation of Resolution 1325.

This resolution reinforces Resolution 1325 and emphasises that sexual violence in conflict is a war crime and requires parties to armed conflict to take immediate and appropriate measures to protect civilians from such violence, including through training and disciplinary action.

Resolution 1888 (2009), an extension of Resolution 1820 (2008), mandates peacekeeping missions to protect women and children from sexual violence in armed conflict and requests the Secretary General to appoint a Special Representative to address sexual violence in armed conflict. The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General is specifically responsible for the issue of sexual violence in conflict.

Subsequently, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1960 (2010), which goes further and broadens the scope of women, peace and security issues related to sexual violence.

As a follow-up to Resolution 1960 (2010), the Security Council adopted Resolution 2106 (2013), which calls for the strengthening of efforts by Member States and UN agencies to meet their obligations and to continue to fight impunity. The Resolution also reaffirms that gender equality and the political, social and economic empowerment of women are central to long-term efforts to prevent sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations.

Resolution 2122 (2013) aims to give effect to the priorities adopted in Resolution 1325 and stresses the importance of women’s participation in all phases of conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

Resolution 2242 (2015) in which the UN Secretary General personally committed to ensuring that 15% of peacebuilding funds are spent on projects that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Resolution addresses, among other things, the issue of sexual abuse by UN peacekeeping personnel and the issue of terrorism and violent extremism. By unanimously adopting this Resolution, the Security Council “reiterates” its call on Member States to ensure that women are better represented in national, regional and international mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution. It also calls on countries to provide financial and technical assistance to women involved in peace processes.

Of the above-mentioned resolutions, Resolution 2272 (2016) on measures applicable in the event of sexual abuse and exploitation in peacekeeping operations is the most recent.

In times of armed conflict, weapons are frequently used as a tactic of war and terror to commit sexual and psychological violence against civilians, particularly women. Thus, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) adopted on 2 April 2013 by UN member states, requires in its Article 7(4) the arms exporting state to “take into account the risk that conventional arms (…) may be used to commit, or facilitate the commission of, serious acts of gender-based violence or acts of violence against women and children”.

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