Insights on the Peace & Security Council –  Continental Results Framework on Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa

Date | 15 May, 2018

Tomorrow (16 May) the Peace and Security Council (PSC) will hold its session on the Continental Results Framework (CRF) for Monitoring and Reporting on the Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Africa. In its last two meetings on women, peace and security (in 2017), the PSC called for the finalization and presentation of the CRF for its consideration. It is expected that the first report on this framework will be presented to the PSC.

During this session, Bineta Diop, the Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU)Commission for Women, Peace and Security, is set to provide the briefing to the PSC on the theme and the report. Smaïl Chergui, African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, is expected to make a statement. Others expected to participate in this session include the African members of the UN Security Council (A3), representatives of Regional Economic Communities (RECs)/Regional Mechanisms (RMs) and the UN.

The CRF was developed following the Council’s 476th meeting, which urged ‘the AU Commission, through the coordination of the Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security to formulate a Continental Results Framework to monitor the implementation by AU Member States and other relevant stakeholders of the various instruments and other commitments on women, peace and security in Africa.’ The presentation of the continental results framework duringtomorrow’s session comes following the 21 November 2017 session of the PSC emphasizing the need for ‘the finalization of the Continental Results Framework for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa for consideration by Council, as soon as possible’.

The objectives of this session, as highlighted in the summary the PSC program of work for this session are ‘to encourage AU member states to renew their commitment and to elaborate national action plans on the implementation of Resolution 1325.’ The session also aims to achieve collaboration with RECs/RMs to harness mechanisms to monitor and report on the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, to enhance partnership with CSOs and Centers of Excellence to support the implementation of the CRF, and perhaps importantly to sensitize member states in the derive for monitoring and reporting on the theme.

The statement from Smaïl Chergui is expected to welcome the framework as an important instrument for tracking progress in the women, peace and security agenda. While various measures have been taken over the years as part of the women, peace and security theme, the statement would make particular mention to recent initiatives notably the establishment of the Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation (FemWise-Africa). It is also expected to highlight the contribution of PSD to the elaboration of the CRF and how the CRF complements all these existing mechanisms and importantly how it helps in addressing existing gaps and challenges in implementing the women, peace and security agenda.

In her briefing, Diop is expected to inform the PSC on the development of the continental framework and the constituent elements of the framework. As a framework to monitor progress made by member states on their commitments, the CRF avails to member states a set of indicators for reporting on their gender commitments to the various reporting mechanisms. Various stakeholders including states, RECs/RMs, AU bodies and civil society would through this framework have useful tool not only for identifying what is working and the progress being made but also in understanding and targeting existing gaps and challenges in implementing the agenda. Other issues that the briefing might touch on include the important role and contribution that various actors bring in advancing the cause of this agenda, including in the elaboration of the framework. These role players include not only state-centered ones such as regional and continental intergovernmental bodies and national state actors but also non-state actors such as women’s groups and research and training institutions.

Beyond presenting the elaboration of the CRF and introducing the framework itself, the report on the continental results framework would be of interest for understanding how the framework works and how states could use the framework both for assessing their performance and reporting on their progress in implementing their commitments. Through canvasing the progress made in terms of measures adopted at national, regional and continental levels and existing challenges, the report also helps in putting in perspective the CRF. The report would also be useful in drawing attention to the importance of statistical data, analysis and research on measures taken and on the state of women with respect to the various indicators as well as the funding for the women, peace and security agenda.

From the perspective of the PSC, the CRF will be seen through the prism of its role and its follow up on its standing thematic agenda on women, peace and security. Indeed, since its establishment as a standing thematic agenda of the PSC at its 223rd meeting, ‘women, peace and security’ has become institutionalized. As the report and the intervention from PSD would highlight, apart from featuring on the PSC agenda annually, the theme has over the past few years been anchored institutionally around the Office of the Special Envoy of the Chairperson on Women, Peace and Security and the PSD’s Gender and Peace and Security Program. Member states and RECs/RMs would in particular be keen to be informed how the CRF would be used, including the benchmarks for undertaking the assessment and preparation of reports on performance. Also of interest is what expectations and role this framework sets for national, regional and continental actors in terms of assessing their performance and reporting on the implementation of the commitments of states on women, peace and security. PSC members would also like to hear about coordination and collaboration with various relevant actors, such as the Special Rapporteur of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women and international actors most notably relevant UN bodies.

The expected outcome of this session is a communiqué. PSC is expected to welcome this framework and call on member states, RECs/RMs and civil society to support the use and implementation of the framework in making assessment and preparing national reports on progress made. The PSC would also call on member states to put in place national implementation mechanisms and the institutionalization of gender analysis and mainstreaming in national, regional and continental policies and programs. Other themes to receive attention in the outcome of the PSC session include the strategies to be followed in operationalizing the CRF including the promotion of national measures, coordination between all regional, continental and national processes and the provision of support for states’ assessment and reporting endeavors.