On July 13, 2018, for the first time, the Presidents of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and the Human Rights Council convened publicly—alongside the Security Council presidency-holder—to underscore the centrality of cross-pillar approaches to achieving the United Nations’ core missions.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Gender Parity Strategy (GPS), which aims to ensure parity at all levels of the UN by 2026 (and by 2028 in the UN’s peace and security components), was launched in September 2017. An informal review of implementation one year later concluded that the strategy is on track when it comes to senior appointments, but significant challenges lie ahead in the middle-management levels and in peacekeeping missions, particularly in the context of a downsizing organization. Linking the GPS to broader gender equality issues also remains a work in progress, in order to get beyond discussions of “the numbers” to deeper substantive issues.
This week, the UN member states meet in the General Assembly for its 73rd session. As in previous years, we expect to hear more statements highlighting the role of women in peacebuilding and the need for more inclusive and gender-sensitive peace processes. Nearly two decades after the landmark resolution, why is implementation still sorely lagging?
Tens of thousands of individuals have been arbitrarily or unlawfully detained in Syria, and in many cases forcibly disappeared, since civil war broke out in 2011. In recent months, while some of their families have come to know of their deaths, many questions remain unanswered. This article warns of the “impunity gap” that is likely to arise from this situation, and gives practical recommendations for obtaining justice for victims and survivors.