Enforcing all the Security Council Resolutions: Who Comes to the Peace Table and Why Inclusivity Matters
The Geneva II peace conference faces tough challenges, as Gen. Salim Idris, the head of the opposition group Free Syrian Army stated recently, “We will not stop fighting at all, either during the Geneva conference or after the Geneva conference.” He noted that it had not yet been made clear to the opposition whether the conference would result in President Bashar al-Assad’s removal from power. This and ongoing debates concerning conditions and preconditions for peace talks have dominated the news media in recent weeks. Significant ink has been spilt debating the significance of the presence or absence of different opposition factions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, much less has been said about the importance of including women in the state and non-state delegations. Syria is a test case for the functionality and enforcement capacity of international law along multiple dimensions. It is also a test case for the robustness of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the meaningful inclusion of women in peacemaking processes. Harold Koh has underscored here the importance of effectively managing the Syrian conflict to advance US national security interests. Other commentators have identified that Syria has been a long-standing US national security concern primarily, though not exclusively, in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At this juncture, it should also be evident that a durable and “secure” peace in Syria is in the national security interests of the United States. A secure peace remains elusive in many conflict contexts, but this post reflects on one, often under-appreciated, dimension of enabling a comprehensive and security enhancing peace process.
The landmark UNSC Resolution 1325 resolution affirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, and post-conflict reconstruction.… continue »