In the four years that have elapsed since the Security Council voted to improve the ratio of women to men dealing with peace and security issues, the greatest progress has been made in United Nations peacekeeping missions, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says.
"The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations has increasingly paid attention to issues concerning women, peace and security and has called for the full implementation of the resolution," he says in a report to the Council.
"Today, gender concerns are raised in all new peacekeeping mandates and there are 10 full-time gender adviser positions in 17 peacekeeping operations, including those in: Afghanistan, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro), Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste, as well as in the advance mission in the Sudan."
Using a wide range of women's experiences, the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) is testing gender-based early warning indicators of brewing conflicts, including sex-specific refugee migrations, rising violence against women, media scapegoating of women and silencing women leaders through intimidation, he says.
For post-conflict work, the UN and some Member States have been training troops, civilian police and peacekeeping personnel on the protection, rights and needs of women, as well as on HIV/AIDS awareness, while the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), in particular, has been improving its guidance on gender issues in multi-dimensional operations, he says.
The UN Institute on Training and Research (UNITAR) has conducted training courses for civilian personnel on the issues faced by women and children in half a dozen peacekeeping missions and police units have been set up to deal with violence against women and children, Mr. Annan says.
Human trafficking has emerged as a problem for some missions and new information packages have included model legislation and awareness-raising materials, he says.
In the peacebuilding process, Mr Annan says, "I intend to review the extent to which women have participated and their concerns have been met in truth and reconciliation processes and make recommendations to guide the development of future reconciliation processes.
"I also intend to set indicators and benchmarks for women's equal participation in all aspects of the elections process, based on a review of good practices."