|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6453rd Meeting (PM)
Security Council Adopts Text Requesting Detailed Information on Suspected
Perpetrators of Sexual Violence during Armed Conflict
Measures Proposed in Resolution 1960 (2010)
Include Listing, Enhanced Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting
As it began a two-day open debate on women and peace and security, the Security Council today requested the Secretary-General to supply it with detailed information on parties credibly suspected of responsibility for patterns of sexual violence during armed conflict.
Expressing deep concern that sexual violence in situations of armed conflict continued to occur — becoming in some situations “systematic and widespread, reaching appalling levels of brutality” — the Council expressed its intention to use such a list of perpetrators as a basis for action, including the consideration of sanctions and other targeted measures.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1960 (2010), the Council called upon parties to armed conflict to make specific and time-bound commitments to combat sexual violence, prohibiting such crimes through clear orders down chains of command, codes of conduct and other means, while investigating alleged abuses and holding perpetrators accountable in a timely manner. It requested the Secretary-General to monitor the implementation of such commitments and regularly update the Council on their fulfilment.
By other terms of the wide-ranging text, the Council also requested enhanced monitoring, analysis and reporting on all sexual violence in conflict, and better cooperation between all United Nations actors for a system-wide response to sexual violence, while anticipating the appointment of more women protection advisers to peacekeeping missions.
Anticipating also the Secretary-General’s elaboration of scenario-based training materials on combating sexual violence, the Council encouraged Member States to use those as a reference, as part of enhanced peacekeeper training. and to deploy more female military and police personnel. It encouraged the Secretary-General to improve the capacity of peacekeeping missions to communicate effectively with local communities for the purpose of protecting civilians.
Opening the meeting, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked Council members for adopting the resolution, saying: “You are putting in place a vital building block for holding perpetrators accountable.” However, he also reminded them that even as they spoke, armed elements were targeting civilians, raping women, as well as men, while terrorizing entire populations.
Pledging to do everything possible to ensure that the resolution led to real protection for populations at risk, he outlined the steps already being taken by the United Nations system in the wake of the mass rapes in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo earlier in the year. In light of the critical importance of national efforts, he called on leaders around the world to join him in declaring “enough is enough”.
Margot Wallström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, said the resolution responded to the proposed system outlined in the Secretary-General’s report. She said she had made ending impunity her top priority, stressing also the need for recognition and reparation. The aim was to bring perpetrators to justice, but also to bring justice to victims, she added.
“We cannot bring justice to every victim throughout the history of war. But what we are here to do today, and from this moment on, is to ensure that conflict-related sexual violence no longer goes unreported, unaddressed or unpunished,” she said, welcoming the resolution’s adoption while emphasizing that what mattered most was its implementation. She urged the Council to give the matter continuous consideration.
Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said that in the course of 2010, his Department and the Department of Field Support had launched initiatives to improve protection mandates and support them. At the same time, peacekeeping missions were but one protection agency among others and could not guarantee absolute protection, he cautioned.
He said the operational concept for protection included guidance for the development of protection strategies within missions, training modules, assessment of resources, consideration of the processes necessary for the protection of civilians pre- and post-deployment, and capacity-building initiatives. He also underlined efforts to employ women in peacekeeping operations at all levels, stressing that their empowerment in relevant countries was critical, so that women could participate in shaping protective institutions.
Babacar Gaye, Military Adviser in the Office of Military Affairs in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and former Force Commander of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), stressed that the fight against sexual violence had been incorporated into the global strategy to protect civilians, with those in positions of leadership committed to coming up with a detailed strategy in support of national authorities and translating them into operational directives. He assured the Council that the present Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Office of Military Affairs were working diligently in that regard, in coordination with other actors.
Following those presentations, speakers agreed that the resolution just adopted was an important new tool to combat sexual violence, while stressing the key importance of implementation. They noted with deep concern the continued prevalence of sexual violence despite previous international action.
Ms. Wallström’s focus on ending impunity and prosecution, while stressing care for victims, was met with wide approval, as was the listing of perpetrators proposed in the resolution. With regard to the latter, however, the representative of the Russian Federation warned that the effectiveness of such listings would be determined by their timeliness and accuracy.
Also speaking were the representatives of the United Kingdom, Mexico, France, Lebanon, Nigeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Uganda, China, Brazil, Gabon, Japan, Austria, United States, Armenia (as Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women), Germany, Liechtenstein, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Canada, Luxembourg, Finland (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Israel and Ireland.
The meeting began at 3:14 p.m. and suspended at 6:32 p.m. It was scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. Friday, 17 December.
As the Security Council met to consider the question of women and peace and security, members had before them the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolutions 1820 (2008) and 1888 (2009) (document A/65/592-S/2010/604), which provides an analytical framework of conflict-related sexual violence to inform practice, and updates situations on the Council’s agenda, progress made by the Organization in implementing the resolutions, and recommendations.
Resolution 1820 (2008) addresses acts of sexual violence against civilians and opens the possibility of imposing targeted sanctions against warring factions that commit rape and other forms of violence against women and girls, the report says. (See Press Release SC/9364 of 19 June 2008) Resolution 1888 (2009) builds on resolution 1820 (2008), calling on the Secretary-General, among other things, to rapidly deploy a team of experts to situations of particular concern. It also strengthens monitoring and reporting on sexual violence and calls for the inclusion of women’s protection advisers among gender advisers and human rights protection units. The Council thus recognizes sexual violence as a peace and security deficit, the Secretary-General says.
According to the report, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict solicited input from Member States, non-governmental organizations and experts through the 13-entity network known as the United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UN Action). While the scope of the present report is confined to situations on the Council’s agenda, it bears noting, the Secretary-General stresses, “that sexual violence is not specific to any era, culture or continent, but traverses all of history and geography”.
The report emphasizes that under international law, sexual violence is not synonymous with rape, but encompasses sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, trafficking, inappropriate medical examinations and strip searches. It can constitute a war crime, a crime against humanity, an act of torture or a constituent act of genocide. Any amnesty ordinance reached at the end of a conflict must, as a matter of consistent United Nations policy, exclude international crimes and gross breaches of human rights. That helps to ensure that parties committing or commissioning acts of sexual violence cannot escape liability, and that there is no impunity for such conduct.
In contemporary conflicts, sexual violence is not a side effect, but a frontline consideration, the report notes, adding that wartime sexual violence generally accompanies other crimes, including indiscriminate killing, torture, forced displacement and looting. It may be motivated by ethnic, religious and underlying economic factors, and is therefore not a straightforward extension of the gender-based violence existing in all societies. Sexual violence against men and boys often becomes part of the repertoire of armed and political violence employed to attack community norms and structures or to extract information during interrogation.
The report goes on to state that sexual violence as a war crime should be addressed on an equal basis with others war crimes, emphasizing also that large-scale atrocities by armed groups, as in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in July and August, should not eclipse the equally serious abuses routinely committed by members of national security forces. From country-level contributions to the report, three common themes emerge: the need to change social attitudes in tandem with legal and policy reforms to reduce stigmatization; the need for standardized reporting; and the need for coherent and sustained support to national authorities by the United Nations system and donor countries.
Addressing the implementation of resolutions 1820 (2009) and 1888 (2009), the report notes that progress has been made in carrying out the Special Representative’s five-point priority agenda: addressing impunity; empowering women to seek redress and claim their rights; mobilizing political leadership; increasing recognition of rape as a tactic of conflict; and ensuring a more coherent response by the United Nations system. A conceptual framework for a rapidly deployable team of experts has been developed and a monitoring, analysis and reporting system proposed. Emphasis will be placed on the analysis of trends, patterns and early-warning indicators.
“Tragically, laudable progress made at the level of policy has been overshadowed by the surge of sexual violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and its continuing prevalence elsewhere,” the Secretary-General notes, recommending that the Council put additional measures in place to deliver tangible protection outcomes. They should include the adoption of sanctions and other targeted measures against individuals and entities involved in patterns of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict.
Among other recommendations, he urges the use of all other means to influence parties to comply with international law, including referrals to the International Criminal Court, mandating international commissions of inquiry, explicit condemnations and mandated listings in annual reports of those parties that have engaged in patterns of sexual violence as a basis for the application of targeted measures. Parties to conflict should make specific, time-bound commitments to cease all acts of sexual violence through proactive measures. Access for the United Nations to verify the fulfilment of such commitments would provide a basis for the de-listing of parties.
The Secretary-General also recommends support for the establishment of monitoring and reporting arrangements on sexual violence, engaging all relevant stakeholders, in order to ensure a coherent and coordinated approach at field level. Systematic consideration should be given to sexual violence in the authorization and renewal of peacekeeping and political missions. The Council should also focus on the topic during its field visits and invite senior United Nations officials to brief on the subject, in addition to soliciting the views of women’s organizations and sexual violence survivors, through Arria formula meetings and other means.
Today’s meeting follows the Council debate of 26 October, which marked the tenth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) on women and peace and security. A record 91 speakers participated in the anniversary meeting. (For more information, see Press Release SC/10071)
BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, thanked Council members for adopting the resolution, saying: “You are putting in place a vital building block for holding perpetrators accountable. You have sent a resounding message to those who would violate both women’s bodies and the law that impunity will not be tolerated.” However, he also reminded Council members that even as they spoke, armed elements were targeting civilians, raping women and men and terrorizing entire populations.
In many places, he continued, the threat was so pervasive that women could not attend to their daily work, and often the worst cruelty was reserved for children who were intentionally traumatized by being forced to watch as their mothers were attacked and being attacked themselves. In the mass rapes earlier this year in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, he recalled one 5‑year‑old girl who had suffered such severe injury she may never fully recover. Many victims of rape were subjected to silence through stigmatization.
“Attacks on women are attacks on peace itself,” he said, and that was why more must be done to fight stigma, protect women’s security and help the victims with services and comprehensive reparations. In addition, he called on national leaders to join him in saying “enough is enough”.
He said the United Nations was seeing positive results from its efforts to protect populations and prevent impunity around the world. In Walikale, peacekeepers of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) had arrested one commander allegedly responsible for the mass rapes. MONUSCO and the United Nations system were also conducting targeted protection operations and helping the Democratic Republic of the Congo authorities to investigate the crimes, protect witnesses and bring perpetrators to justice. At the international level, rebel leaders had been arrested in France and Germany and the International Criminal Court was active on sexual violence.
Noting that today’s resolution provided sharper tools in the fight against sexual violence by giving the Secretary-General a mandate to list those who committed such acts, he pledged to do everything possible to ensure that it led to real protection for populations at risk. He said that the Council’s sustained support for the deployment of teams of experts and protection advisers would be critical. In addition, the entire United Nations system was mobilized under his “UNiTE” campaign to end violence against women. Together, the United Nations, national Governments and the international community could eliminate the scourge.
MARGOT WALLSTRÖM, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, said “international peace and security is indivisible from women’s peace and security”, as had been recognized in Council resolutions over the past decade. Today, as throughout history, wartime sexual violence was never adequately recognized, reported or remedied. Rape in the context of conflict and unrest persisted, because without the credible threat of consequences, there was no deterrent. A measure of success must be implementation of a system whereby timely and reliable information on sexual violence flowed from the country to the global level as a basis for accountability and action. “Under the long shadow cast by the mass rapes in Walikale, the UN can do no less than bring all of its accountability tools to bear.”
She said the proposed system outlined in the Secretary-General’s report was structured around four pillars: monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements in relevant countries; a mandate to list parties to conflicts on the Council’s agenda that were suspected of committing patterns of sexual violence; engage those parties in a structured dialogue; and tracking measures to prevent and punish sexual violence that could result in either de-listing or referral to Sanctions Committees. Sexual violence had been recognized as a grave breach of international humanitarian law since the 1990s. The new structure would help to ensure that mass rape was never again met with mass impunity.
A reliable monitoring and accountability system must be built on a common conceptual foundation, which was why the report had defined the concept of “conflict-related sexual violence”, she said. Sexual violence as a tactic or consequence of war could not be captured under existing categories. Cases against men and boys did not fall under “violence against women”; “harmful traditional practices” mischaracterized sexual violence as cultural or traditional; and “gender-based violence” did not reflect sexual violence as a method of ethnic cleansing or a tactic of terror. It was a myth that sexual violence was opportunistic or inevitable. Sexual violence was ignored in peace talks and absent from peace agreements. It had rarely been included in ceasefire agreements.
She said the report provided a number of examples of sexual violence as a matter of peace and security, including sexual violence linked with forced displacement, to control territory or natural resources, to destabilize a peace process, in the context of elections, or to extract information. Such violence could not be separated from the broader security challenges confronting the Council. “Rape victims are the only casualties of war a nation dishonours, rather than honours,” she said. Their war wounds represented not sacrifice, but shame. From visits to the field, such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she had learned that not a single victim had received reparations of sexual violence. Rape was still rampant in Liberia, despite the reintegration of former combatants. The reason for rape she had heard most was “the way women dress”.
Significant challenges and opportunities remained in implementing her mandate, she said. She had made ending impunity her top priority, as she was convinced that prosecution was prevention. Beyond prosecution, there was a need for recognition and reparation. Her aim was to bring the perpetrators to justice, and also to bring justice to the victims. The team of experts on the rule of law would help Governments enhance accountability. She encouraged troop-contributing countries to invite the “mobile support team on sexual violence” to provide training. While today’s resolution was welcome, what mattered most was to uphold it. “I urge the Council to give sexual violence continuous consideration.”
“Long after the guns fall silent, the consequences of rape remain,” she said in conclusion. Sexual violence had often been called a “war within a war”, but often continued as a “war within the peace”. War lived on in the children born of rape and orphaned by violence. By attacking shared values, sexual violence destroyed not only people, but also their sense of being a people. “We cannot bring justice to every victim throughout the history of war. But what we are here to do today, and from this moment on, is to ensure that conflict-related sexual violence no longer goes unreported, unaddressed or unpunished.”
ALAIN LE ROY, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said that in the course of 2010, the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support had launched targeted initiatives to improve protection mandates, concentrating on prevention and support. Peacekeeping missions were but one protection agency among others and could not guarantee absolute protection.
He said the operational concept concentrated on five key priorities: the development of a strategic reference framework to guide development of protection strategies within missions; training modules on protection of civilians; assessment of resources and capacities necessary for the implementation of the protection mandate; a study on the processes necessary for the protection of civilians pre- and post-deployment; and capacity-building initiatives. His Department had also undertaken specific initiatives to combat sexual violence.
Addressing impunity, for example through the establishment of the rule of law and accountability, was another key feature of ongoing efforts to address conflict-related sexual violence, he said. Together with Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), his Department had developed the conceptual framework for a rapidly deployable team of experts on sexual violence in armed conflict. Members of the team were being recruited. The military legal adviser of MONUSCO was providing technical support to Congolese military justice authorities in the conduct of the Walikale investigation. The Mission, among other things, was also establishing prosecution support cells to assist the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) military justice authorities. The United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) provided technical support to the Government of Southern Sudan to review, amend and enact legislation that ensured protection from sexual and gender-based violence, and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was training prosecution and investigation teams.
The training of United Nations peacekeeping personnel in conflict-related sexual violence was being addressed in a comprehensive manner, he said. Capacity-building continued on the ground through the establishment of specialized police units and training curricula for investigators. The two Departments were planning to launch a United Nations police standardized best practices toolkit on gender and police in peacekeeping in 2011. A training curriculum on gender mainstreaming for military components was being developed. The Department’s operational guidance to assist civilian, military and police components of peacekeeping missions to implement resolutions 1820 (2008) and 1888 (2009) was in its final stages. His Department, in concert with the Office of the Special Representative and OHCHR, had taken steps to appoint women Protection Advisers in peacekeeping missions and was consulting with missions about the advisers’ role and responsibilities.
Among the systemic challenges preventing provision of effective protection from conflict-related sexual violence was the insufficient number of female uniformed personnel, he said. Because of that, missions were unable to reach out effectively to those they were mandated to protect, the majority of whom were women and children. Despite those constraints, the missions were doing their best within their limited capacities. The national community liaison assistants had provided the necessary link between troops and local communities in the Kivus, for example. That outreach capacity must be supported by sufficient numbers of female community liaison assistants, he said, noting that sometimes cultural constraints were involved with the use of female assistants. The proportion of female police officers in the missions had risen from 7.8 per cent to nearly 10 per cent in one year. Women accounted for 24 per cent of UNAMID police personnel.
He stressed that “the economic, social and political empowerment of women in societies affected by armed conflict is fundamental to eradicate sexual and gender-based violence. Women must participate in reforming and building the institutions that will provide for their protection and indeed, for the protection of all civilians.”
BABACAR GAYE, Military Adviser, Office of Military Affairs, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, recounted his arrival as Force Commander of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), where he had soon been made aware of the gravity and magnitude of the sexual violence that was prevalent in the country, when he was informed of raids by the Forces démocratiques pour la liberation du Rwanda (FDLR)on villages where women were kidnapped for sex slavery, only to be released when they became pregnant.
He stressed that the fight against sexual violence had been incorporated into the global strategy on protection of civilians, with those in positions of leadership committed to come up with a detailed strategy, in support of the national authorities. MONUC had worked diligently in that context, in coordination with protection partners.
Addressing sexual violence, he said, required clear commitment from the leadership all the way from the top down, with the commitment translated into operational orders and directives. Awareness of security threats from the perspective of the local community was critical, as was the strengthening of civilian-military relationships. The capacity to address emergency situations was also needed, as was the ability to build confidence at all levels within the local community.
As Force Commander in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he had ensured that all policies reflected the task of protecting civilians. All leaders of military units understood the mandated protection responsibility and translated it into practical operations. It was also important to identify high-risk areas and vulnerabilities and plan accordingly, and to coordinate with humanitarian partners, United Nations agencies and all other actors. The strategy against sexual violence should take account of lessons learned to identify the weaknesses within the system and make the necessary adjustments.
In his current capacity as Military Adviser, he pledged to ensure that military planning processes integrated protection priorities, that force-generation efforts responded to the capabilities required and that appropriate training was provided. In addition, he considered it a priority to issue specific guidance for heads of military components on the protection of civilians. He urged Member States to deploy female military personnel and, where needed, personnel with expertise in sexual violence issues. He stressed the need for partnership in preventing sexual violence through an integrated approach.
The Council then adopted unanimously resolution 1960 (2010), the full text of which reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Reaffirming its commitment to the continuing and full implementation, in a mutually reinforcing manner, of resolutions 1325 (2000), 1612 (2005), 1674 (2006), 1820 (2008), 1882 (2009), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009) and 1894 (2009), and all relevant statements of its President,
“Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 24 November 2010 (S/2010/604), but remaining deeply concerned over the slow progress on the issue of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict in particular against women and children, and noting as documented in the Secretary-General’s report that sexual violence occurs in armed conflicts throughout the world,
“Reiterating deep concern that despite its repeated condemnation of violence against women and children in situations of armed conflict, including sexual violence in situations of armed conflict, and despite its calls addressed to all parties to armed conflict for the cessation of such acts with immediate effect, such acts continue to occur, and in some situations have become systematic and widespread, reaching appalling levels of brutality,
“Reiterating the necessity for all States and non-State parties to conflicts to comply fully with their obligations under applicable international law, including the prohibition on all forms of sexual violence,
“Reiterating the need for civilian and military leaders, consistent with the principle of command responsibility, to demonstrate commitment and political will to prevent sexual violence and to combat impunity and enforce accountability, and that inaction can send a message that the incidence of sexual violence in conflicts is tolerated,
“Recalling the responsibilities of States to end impunity and to prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other egregious crimes perpetrated against civilians and, in this regard, noting with concern that only limited numbers of perpetrators of sexual violence have been brought to justice, while recognizing that in conflict and in post-conflict situations national justice systems may be significantly weakened,
“Welcoming the progress made in rendering operational the team of experts to assist national authorities to strengthen the rule of law in accordance with resolution 1888 (2009); reaffirming the importance of deploying it rapidly to situations of particular concern with respect to sexual violence in armed conflict, working through the United Nations presence on the ground and with the consent of the host Government and in this regard, appreciating the voluntary contributions to support its work,
“Recognizing that States bear the primary responsibility to respect and ensure the human rights of all persons within their territory and subject to their jurisdiction as provided for by international law,
“Reaffirming that parties to armed conflict bear the primary responsibility to take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians,
“Recalling that international humanitarian law affords general protection to women and children as part of the civilian population during armed conflicts and special protection due to the fact that they can be placed particularly at risk,
“Reaffirming that ending impunity is essential if a society in conflict or recovering from conflict is to come to terms with past abuses committed against civilians affected by armed conflict and to prevent future such abuses, drawing attention to the full range of justice and reconciliation mechanisms to be considered, including national, international and ‘mixed’ criminal courts and tribunals and truth and reconciliation commissions, and noting that such mechanisms can promote not only individual responsibility for serious crimes, but also peace, truth, reconciliation and the rights of the victims,
“Recalling the inclusion of a range of sexual violence offences in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the statutes of the ad hoc international criminal tribunals,
“Reaffirming the importance for States, with the support of the international community, to increase access to health care, psychosocial support, legal assistance, and socio-economic reintegration services for victims of sexual violence, in particular in rural areas, and taking into account the specific needs of persons with disabilities,
“Welcoming the proposals, conclusions and recommendations included in the report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (A/64/19) on the need for adequate capabilities and clear and appropriate guidelines to enable peacekeeping missions to carry out all their mandated tasks, including prevention of and response to sexual violence; stressing the importance of ensuring engagement by senior mission leadership on protection of civilians, including the prevention of and response to instances of sexual violence in armed conflict, with a view to ensuring that all mission components and all levels of the chain of command are properly informed of and involved in the mission’s mandate and their relevant responsibilities; welcoming progress made by the Secretary-General in developing operational tools for the implementation of protection of civilians mandates; and encouraging troop- and police-contributing countries to make full use of and provide feedback on these important materials,
“Recognizing the efforts of the Secretary-General to address the underrepresentation of women in formal peace processes, the lack of mediators and ceasefire monitors with proper training in dealing with sexual violence, and the lack of women as Chief or Lead peace mediators in United Nations-sponsored peace talks; and encouraging further such efforts,
“Welcoming the inclusion of women in peacekeeping missions in civil, military and police functions, recognizing that their presence may encourage women from local communities to report acts of sexual violence,
“Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 24 November 2010 (S/2010/604) and stressing that the present resolution does not seek to make any legal determination as to whether situations that are referred to in the Secretary-General’s report are or are not armed conflicts within the context of the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols thereto, nor does it prejudge the legal status of non-State parties involved in these situations,
“1. Reaffirms that sexual violence, when used or commissioned as a tactic of war or as a part of a widespread or systematic attack against civilian populations, can significantly exacerbate and prolong situations of armed conflict and may impede the restoration of international peace and security; affirms in this regard that effective steps to prevent and respond to such acts of sexual violence can significantly contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security; and expresses its readiness, when considering situations on the agenda of the Council, to take, where necessary, appropriate steps to address widespread or systematic sexual violence in situations of armed conflict;
“2. Reiterates its demand for the complete cessation with immediate effect by all parties to armed conflict of all acts of sexual violence;
“3. Encourages the Secretary-General to include in his annual reports submitted pursuant to resolutions 1820 (2008) and 1888 (2009) detailed information on parties to armed conflict that are credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for acts of rape or other forms of sexual violence, and to list in an annex to these annual reports the parties that are credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for patterns of rape and other forms of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict on the Security Council agenda; expresses its intention to use this list as a basis for more focused United Nations engagement with those parties, including, as appropriate, measures in accordance with the procedures of the relevant sanctions committees;
“4. Requests the Secretary-General, in accordance with the present resolution and taking into account its specificity, to apply the listing and de-listing criteria for parties listed in his annual report on sexual violence in armed conflict consistent with paragraphs 175, 176, 178, and 180 of his report A/64/742-S/2010/181;
“5. Calls upon parties to armed conflict to make and implement specific and time-bound commitments to combat sexual violence, which should include, inter alia, issuance of clear orders through chains of command prohibiting sexual violence and the prohibition of sexual violence in Codes of Conduct, military field manuals, or equivalent; and further calls upon those parties to make and implement specific commitments on timely investigation of alleged abuses in order to hold perpetrators accountable;
“6. Requests the Secretary-General to track and monitor implementation of these commitments by parties to armed conflict on the Security Council’s agenda that engage in patterns of rape and other sexual violence, and regularly update the Council in relevant reports and briefings;
“7. Reiterates its intention, when adopting or renewing targeted sanctions in situations of armed conflict, to consider including, where appropriate, designation criteria pertaining to acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence; and calls upon all peacekeeping and other relevant United Nations missions and United Nations entities, in particular the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, to share with relevant United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committees, including through relevant United Nations Security Council Sanction Committees’ monitoring groups and groups of experts, all pertinent information about sexual violence;
“8. Requests the Secretary-General to establish monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence, including rape in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict and other situations relevant to the implementation of resolution 1888 (2009), as appropriate, and taking into account the specificity of each country, that ensure a coherent and coordinated approach at the field-level, and encourages the Secretary-General to engage with United Nations actors, national institutions, civil society organizations, health-care service providers, and women’s groups to enhance data collection and analysis of incidents, trends, and patterns of rape and other forms of sexual violence to assist the Council’s consideration of appropriate actions, including targeted and graduated measures, while respecting fully the integrity and specificity of the monitoring and reporting mechanism implemented under Security Council resolutions 1612 (2005) and 1882 (2009) on children and armed conflict;
“9. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to ensure full transparency, cooperation and coordination of efforts between the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict;
“10. Welcomes the work of gender advisers; looks forward to the appointment of more women protection advisers to peacekeeping missions, in accordance with resolution 1888 (2009); notes their potential contribution in the framework of the monitoring, analysis, and reporting arrangements to be established pursuant to operative paragraph 8 of the present resolution;
“11. Welcomes the elaboration by the Secretary-General of scenario-based training materials on combating sexual violence for peacekeepers and encourages Member States to use them as a reference for the preparation and deployment of United Nations peacekeeping operations;
“12. Underlines that, in order to carry out their mandate, missions must communicate effectively with local communities; and encourages the Secretary-General to improve their capacity to do so;
“13. Expresses its intention to give due consideration to sexual violence in mandate authorizations and renewals and to request the Secretary-General to include, as appropriate, gender expertise in technical assessment missions;
“14. Encourages the entities comprising United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict, as well as other relevant parts of the United Nations system, to continue to support the work of the aforementioned Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and to enhance cooperation and information-sharing among all relevant stakeholders in order to reinforce coordination and avoid overlap at the headquarters and country levels and improve system-wide response;
“15. Encourages Member States to deploy greater numbers of female military and police personnel to United Nations peacekeeping operations, and to provide all military and police personnel with adequate training on sexual and gender-based violence, inter alia, to carry out their responsibilities;
“16. Requests the Secretary-General to continue and strengthen efforts to implement the policy of zero tolerance on sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeeping and humanitarian personnel, and further requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide and deploy guidance on addressing sexual violence for predeployment and inductive training of military and police personnel, and to assist missions in developing situation-specific procedures to address sexual violence at the field level and to ensure that technical support is provided to troop- and police-contributing countries in order to include guidance for military and police personnel on addressing sexual violence in predeployment and induction training;
“17. Invites the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict to continue to provide briefings on sexual violence, in accordance with resolution 1888 (2009);
“18. Requests that the Secretary-General continue to submit annual reports to the Council on the implementation of resolutions 1820 (2008) and 1888 (2009) and to submit his next report by December 2011 on the implementation of resolutions 1820 (2008) and 1888 (2009) and the present resolution to include, inter alia:
(a) a detailed coordination and strategy plan on the timely and ethical collection of information;
(b) information on progress made in the implementation of the monitoring, analysis, and reporting arrangements mentioned in paragraph 8;
(c) detailed information on parties to armed conflict that are credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for acts of rape or other forms of sexual violence, and an annex with a list of parties that are credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for patterns of rape and other forms of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict on the Security Council agenda;
(d) updates on efforts by United Nations Mission focal points on sexual violence to work closely with Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC), the United Nations Country Team, and, where appropriate, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and/or the Team of Experts, to address sexual violence;
“19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
MARK LYALL GRANT ( United Kingdom) said that, unfortunately, the issue of sexual violence in conflict was all too relevant to the work of the Council. In less than a year, Special Representative Wallström had made a big impact on the issue by making it prominent in the public debate. In order to resolve conflict effectively, women must be protected from sexual violence. Political commitments must be translated into tangible, lasting action on the ground. His country had set out its commitments in its new Nation Action Plan, launched on the International Elimination of Violence against Women Day. His Government had also announced the appointment of a minister with special responsibility for combating violence against women overseas.
He said sexual violence continued to be widely used as a weapon of warfare. Impunity for such crimes could prevent a society recover from conflict. Today’s resolution included a new provision to identify parties to armed conflict that were credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for acts of rape or other forms of sexual violence. It had also established increased monitoring, analysis and reporting. The arbitrary division that had been created by a monitoring and reporting mechanism for children in armed conflict who were subjected to patterns of sexual violence when no such protection was afforded to those older than 18 had been addressed.
YANERIT CRISTINA MORGAN SOTOMAYOR ( Mexico) said that, over the past two years, steps had been taken to ensure that women and children were no longer the principal victims of conflict. The impact of sexual violence as a tactic of war on society was so great, however, that it should be seen as part of the maintenance of peace and security. She called for strengthening the International Criminal Court in order to enable it to prosecute perpetrators of sexual violence. The atrocities committed in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and other regions were a reminder of the flagrant violation of existing norms. States must strictly comply with their obligations under international law, human rights law and refugee law. The Special Representative had shown that it was possible to design an effective response.
The Council had taken solid steps, she said, to address the problem and must continue its work on resolution 1888 (2009), based on security sector reform, combating impunity and providing support and reparation for victims, among other things. The Council must systematically include in its mandates a gender component and a component for the prevention of sexual violence. Overall, it should step up its efforts to more effectively combat the problem.
GÉRARD ARAUD (France), joining in the statement to be made by the European Union, said that the resolution adopted today would contribute to the momentum that had been building in the fight against sexual violence. However, the extent of such violence remained alarming. He expected authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to report on their response to the mass rapes of earlier this year, along with action against the scourge in Guinea, Chad and Liberia. Advisers on sexual violence, along with efforts to educate the parties, were critical, as well as care and rehabilitation for the victims.
He supported the establishment of the monitoring and analysis mechanisms, under the resolution. Systematic listing of groups was also an advance in protection, and required close cooperation between all United Nations actors. It was vital that the Council systematically consider the desirability for sanctions in situations of sexual violence, and the involvement of the International Criminal Court was also important. Continued engagement of the problem on the part of the Council was necessary.
NAWAF SALAM ( Lebanon) agreed that sexual violence was neither inevitable nor cultural, nor should it be considered collateral damage. He hoped that today’s resolution would establish formal monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence, and bring about insightful analysis of trends and patterns to better protect affected populations and inform targeted measures.
Although those tools and others formalized today through the resolution would make a difference, he said that the establishment of functional governmental institutions and the rule of law remained the international community’s best bet to provide populations with the protection they deserved to end impunity and to allow victims and communities to begin their painstaking recovery. He called the adoption of the resolution a clear signal that the international community would not stand idle as the bodies of women were turned into battlegrounds. Moreover, the perpetrators of abuse would be held accountable.
RAFF BUKUN-OLU WOLE ONEMOLA (Nigeria) said it was the responsibility of the international community to take action to protect civilians and prevent sexual violence. In that regard, Nigeria believed that the new momentum generated by Ms. Wallström had contributed to the arrests of Lieutenant Colonel Mayele and Callixte Mbarushimana in connection with recent mass rapes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Nigeria shared Ms. Wallström’s conclusion that sexual violence in conflict was likely to occur where the rule of law was weak and where adequate legal mechanisms and institutions were lacking. Consequently, legal mechanisms to deter the use of systematic sexual violence in conflict situations must be in place, and it was vital that the team of experts on the rule of law received sustainable funding to develop institutional safeguards and paths for redress, in partnership with Government actors.
He said the resolution just adopted also spoke to the need for peacekeepers to be fully equipped and trained to carry out mandated tasks relating to the prevention of and response to sexual violence. Nigeria welcomed the Secretary-General’s development of operational tools for the implementation of protection of civilian mandates for peacekeepers. Additionally, the proposed monitoring and reporting mechanism on sexual violence in conflict was a welcome innovation, and Nigeria believed there was scope for the Council to make greater use of the Special Representative as a resource, since her role brought her closer to the realities on the ground. Acts of sexual violence manifested abhorrent attitudes towards women, threatened progress towards socio-economic equality and impeded women’s participation in peace and democratic processes. An attack involving sexual violence was an attack on peace, stability and development.
IVAN BARBALIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina) emphasized that it was the responsibility of States and parties to a conflict to uphold international obligations and international humanitarian law, which included special protection of women and children. To that end, he called on the United Nations system and donors to extend more support to national Governments towards building capacities and developing gender-sensitive programmes for survivors of sexual violence. It was also crucial that national authorities make every effort to bring perpetrators of sex-related crimes to justice. Thus, international assistance was vital in helping post-conflict countries rebuild their justice systems.
Continuing, he said that in order for peacekeeping missions to fulfil their mandated tasks, adequate capabilities and clear and appropriate guidelines for the prevention and response to sexual violence was essential. The recruitment of women in civil, military and police components of peacekeeping missions would encourage local women to report incidents of sexual violence, and an increase in the deployment of female police and military personnel with training in gender-based violence would help to address on-the-ground issues relating to the problem. Also critical was for the Security Council to continue to include, when appropriate, criteria pertaining to acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence when adopting or renewing targeted sanctions. As well, he supported the establishment of a monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangement on sexual violence in armed conflicts, which would, through data collection, help track the use of systematic sexual violence in conflict situations on the Council’s agenda. In order to halt such incidents, credible suspects in patterns of rape and other forms of sexual violence should be listed in the annexes of the report.
ERTUĞRUL APAKAN (Turkey) said that today’s resolution had given yet another strong message to the world that sexual violence in situations of armed conflict, especially against women and children, was not acceptable and would not be tolerated. Sexual violence was deeply interconnected with the root causes of conflict and was often used as a means of war. The fight against sexual violence was not only a matter of human rights, but should be at the heart of efforts to stop and resolve conflicts. The fight against sexual violence should be a priority for humanitarian workers, peacemakers, peacekeepers and peacebuilders.
He said strong measures were needed to increase the participation of women in the work of peace, including in post-conflict recovery efforts and peace processes since that would help overcome the negative consequences of sexual violence, such as shame and stigma. Efforts to fight impunity should be redoubled and targeted measures should be imposed against perpetrators. In tackling conflicts and promoting peace and security, resolutions 1325 (2000), 1830 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1889 (2009) should become a regular part of the Council’s work. The newly established “UN Women” would further strengthen the Council’s work by helping the Organization pursue its efforts in a more systemized and coordinated manner in the areas related to women, peace and security.
RUHAKANA RUGUNDA (Uganda) said his country considered sexual violence to be a serious health, human rights and development problem. It was concerned that, despite the existence of regional and international human rights instruments for women, sexual violence continued to be committed at an alarming rate, both in times of peace and during armed conflicts. Armed groups such as FDLR and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) had terrorized the population, leaving mayhem, pain and death in their wake. Many formerly abducted women and girls still suffered from the devastating consequences of sexual slavery, and a high number of them had given birth to children in captivity. That had impacted severely on the mental and physical health of survivors, both in the short and long term.
At the regional level, he said, the Great Lakes region had taken important steps to address sexual violence. In June 2008, member States of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region had committed themselves to the so-called Goma Declaration, to eradicate all forms of gender-based violence. The Pact on Peace, Stability and Development of the International Conference had a specific Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence against Women and Children, and model legislation on suppression of sexual violence against women and children. The International Conference secretariat had collaborated with the United Nations to draw the attention of member States to the seriousness of the problem and to agree on commitments to end violence against women and children. Uganda welcomed and encouraged that collaborative effort, as well as the inclusion of women in peacekeeping missions in civil, military and police functions. It also welcomed the idea of establishing monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on conflict and post-conflict and other situations relevant to resolution 1888 (2009).
WANG MIN (China) said his country condemned all acts of violence against women in armed conflict, including sexual violence, and urged parties to conflict to abide by international humanitarian and human rights law. He stressed that perpetrators of sexual violence must be brought to justice. He urged States who had not done so to accede to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, as soon as possible. To protect women against sexual violence and conflict, there was a lot for the international community to do. Protection of women must be tackled by addressing the root causes of a conflict. The international community, therefore, should be committed to preventive diplomacy, to settlement of disputes through dialogue and to addressing the roots of conflict.
He said that national Governments bore the primary responsibility in the protection of women, and the international community should assist them. In addressing issues regarding women, peace and security, the United Nations bodies and agencies should develop more synergy. Welcoming the adoption of resolution 1960 (2010), he expressed the hope that Special Representative Wallström would perform her responsibilities strictly within the Council’s mandate.
MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI (Brazil) called for an integrated approach that combined prevention, the fight against impunity and support to victims. Support to national awareness-raising activities and information campaigns that sought to break taboos and misperceptions around the issue were especially important to preventive efforts. In situations where peacekeeping operations were deployed, the United Nations role in prevention became all the more relevant as the enhanced resources at its disposal created higher expectations in the local population and the international public opinion. To live up to those expectations, the prevention of sexual violence must truly be a mission-wide effort, involving not only troops and police, but all mission components, she said.
Citing recent events that had shown how critical contacts with the local population were to ensuring protection, she said the role of civil affairs and public information components, therefore, was key and deserved the necessary resources to help avoid outrageous violence, such as that witnessed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Impunity fuelled violence, and she urged that, as the international community focused on bringing perpetrators to justice, it did not shirk its duty to ensure proper support to the victims. While that was fundamentally the responsibility of States, there were several ways by which the international community could support national efforts in that regard. She highlighted, in particular, the support for mechanisms such as the Victims Trust Fund of the International Criminal Court, which could play an important role.
EMMANUEL ISSOZE-NGONDET (Gabon) noted that despite international efforts, too many women still fell victim to sexual violence, and he emphasized the importance of a protection presence on the ground. There had been much progress in building international justice mechanisms to fight impunity, but that was chiefly the obligation of States, he said, emphasizing the need to build their capacities to provide justice.
There must be a constant raising of awareness of the grave dangers that sexual violence posed to society and early-warning mechanisms must be established, he stressed. In all such efforts, it was important that women play an important role. The resolution adopted today took those concerns into account and was an important step forward in the fight against sexual violence.
VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation), noting that the repulsive crime of sexual violence was becoming more acute and systematic, stressed that only systematic investigation and punishment could end impunity and combat sexual violence. That effort must be integrated with the fight against other crimes against civilians, such as terrorist acts and the excessive use of force. Protection must be provided through a comprehensive approach, such as that laid out in resolution 1325 (2000), he said.
Expressing support for the request to list perpetrators of sexual violence, he said, however, that the effectiveness of such listing would be determined by its timeliness and accuracy. International efforts would be in vain without the active involvement of national Governments, which had the responsibility of protecting their populations. At the same time, he recognized that today’s resolution would play an important role in combating sexual violence.
TSUNEO NISHIDA ( Japan) offered his support for the Secretary-General’s recommendations to strengthen efforts to end impunity for sexual violence as a tactic of war and terror. The establishment of monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements, as well as the listing of perpetrators in an annex to the Secretary-General’s reports, would aid in that important endeavour. He pointed out in that regard that the monitoring and reporting mechanism on children and armed conflict had been successful since its implementation five years ago. He suggested that the system in today’s resolution be built on that “good practice” and that a synergy be developed between the two.
Turning to the responsibility of national Governments and armies to protect their people when in conflict, he said the rule of law should be established through the promotion of security-sector reform and by enhancing the capacity of judicial systems and law enforcement. To that end, he welcomed the deployment of a team of experts to assist national authorities in strengthening the rule of law. Further, in supporting the protection of women within their own societies, Japan would be contributing $4.5 million to UN Women for its Afghanistan project. He pointed out that lessons learned from the recent mass rape in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo illustrated the need for communication between United Nations missions and the local community, stressing that it could provide early warning of such threats.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING (Austria) said that despite much progress over the last two years, the levels of sexual violence in many conflicts around the world remained alarmingly high. The Council and the affected States had a clear responsibility to prevent, react to and use all tools at their disposal to end the scourge. Austria continued to support the idea of establishing a Council Working group in order to afford a similar level of attention and response to the issue of sexual violence as was currently granted children in armed conflict. It was a matter of credibility for the Council, he stressed.
He went on to express hope that, through the information generated by such a system, the Council would consider appropriate measures to ensure compliance with international law and accountability on the part of those responsible for widespread violations of humanitarian and human rights law. Sanctions regimes must include designation criteria pertaining to acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence. Sanctions committees needed relevant information to that end, including through exchanges with other subsidiary bodies of the Security Council and peacekeeping operations. Austria encouraged the Special Representatives on Sexual Violence in Conflict and on Children and Armed Conflict to build on emerging practice.
Transitional justice mechanisms must also document sexual violence in a comprehensive way and provide assistance and redress to victims, he continued, expressing concern at the high numbers of governmental security forces directly involved in sexual violence. United Nations peacekeeping missions must strengthen their prevention and protection capacities and recruit more community liaison officers, including women. Finally, he said the Council should exert its influence to ensure that peace agreements referred to sexual violence.
SUSAN RICE (United States), Council President speaking in her national capacity, thanked Council members for their support for resolution 1960 (2010) and the broad goals of fighting sexual violence and rape of women around the world. Everyone agreed on the importance of addressing the issue of sexual violence in conflict and that the challenge was urgent and immense. The human cost was all too real and sexual violence was used too often as a tactic of war. Some still thought sexual violence was somehow natural to conflict. She hoped that the current meeting would help to put an end to that myth. The United States commended the United Nations for its leadership in finding effective ways to address the problem.
Welcoming the follow-up to the July-August sexual attacks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she said the United Nations had recruited more female peacekeepers and had improved communication, among other things, but more needed to be done. Special Representative Wallström had brought leadership, passion and clarity to the fight to end impunity. The United States fully supported her in her work and encouraged Member States to consider additional voluntary contributions to support her mandate. Data collection was vital to prevent and to respond to sexual violence. The resolution adopted today would help in collecting information necessary to inform the Council. Targeted actions by the Council and Member States should be taken against perpetrators.
“We cannot separate the challenge of sexual violence from the broader security issues facing the Council,” she said, adding that today’s resolution must send the message that sexual violence and rape as weapons of war were not only condemned, but that concrete steps were being taken to end it and that perpetrators would be prosecuted.
GAREN A. NAZARIAN (Armenia), Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, said that 15 years after the Fourth World Conference on Women, it was heartening to observe how much the issue of sexual violence had gained in visibility and traction. It was now taken up in various intergovernmental bodies, including the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Peacebuilding Commission. Member States and civil society organizations were also demonstrating their commitment to tackling the issue through concrete action.
The Commission on the Status of Women had contributed to advancing global policy on women, peace and security, he said. At its forty-eighth session in 2004, it had considered “Women’s equal participation in conflict prevention, management and resolution and in post-conflict peacebuilding”. In its agreed conclusions, the Commission recognized that women and girls were often subjected to forms of violence and deprivation in armed conflict, and called for measures to prevent gender-based violence against women and girls. The conclusions also urged Governments to prosecute perpetrators. In 2008, the Commission had evaluated progress in the implementation of the 2004 conclusions through an interactive dialogue.
This year, the Commission had considered the question of violence against women as part of its follow-up to the Beijing Platform for Action and held and interactive dialogue on the subject, he said. It had welcomed expert panellists, Member States, United Nations system entities and non-governmental organizations. Reports by those participants made it clear than the problem of violence continued to exist. Efforts to address the problem were often not comprehensive, consistent or sustained, and there continued to be insufficient coordination among relevant actors.
Greater efforts were also needed to collect more data on the issue, and of better quality, to ensure the adequate provision of targeted and effective services, monitor trends and progress in addressing and eliminating violence against women, and assess the impact of the measures taken. In that context, the Council’s effort to set up a mechanism for monitoring and reporting sexual violence against women might prove to be “very useful” not only for the Council’s work, but also for other organizations working on related issues, he said. Such a plan should incorporate measurable goals and timetables, monitoring and accountability measures, while providing for impact assessments.
PETER WITTIG (Germany) said that with the adoption of resolutions 1820 (2010) and 1888 (2010), the Council had given the issue of sexual violence in armed conflict the comprehensive global attention it deserved. Nevertheless, since exact data were indispensable for timely and concrete action to prevent and react to sexual violence, Germany fully supported the creation of a new mechanism that might help in collecting relevant data. It should work similarly to, and in close cooperation with, the existing one on children and armed conflict, also taking into account the indicators that the Council had endorsed in October during its open debate on resolution 1325 (2010).
However, collecting data was not enough, he continued. Bearing in mind the main responsibility of States to investigate and prosecute such “abominable crimes”, international cooperation and the Council’s continued leadership were also of utmost importance. Germany therefore supported the Secretary-General’s proposal to set up a listing/de-listing mechanism such as the one existing for sexual violence against children. Moreover, the Council must make full use of all instruments at its disposal, such as sanctions committees to address sexual violence, including by referring relevant cases to the International Criminal Court.
He said it was also necessary to find better ways to guarantee the safety and physical integrity of women and children during armed conflict, including through early-warning mechanisms, more awareness-raising campaigns and training for peacekeepers. Germany supported several such programmes, in close cooperation with United Nations entities, he said. States must provide adequate protection services and find “prompt and un-bureaucratic” ways to support victims, with the help of the United Nations system where appropriate.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said there was “a disconnect” between peacekeeping mandates and conditions on the ground, as measures outlined in resolutions 1820 (2008) and 1888 (2009) were not being fully implemented. “We agree with the Secretary-General that gender constructs are a critical but insufficient tool to understand the full complexity of sexual violence in armed conflict situations,” he said, pointing out that it could also be motivated by ethnic, religious or economic factors and accompanied by other crimes, such as torture, forced displacement and indiscriminate killings. Liechtenstein therefore welcomed the Secretary-General’s recommendation to widen the analytical lens to define sexual violence, in line with international law, especially the Rome Statute, he said, recalling that resolutions 1820 (2008) and 1888 (2009) emphasized the responsibility of all States to end impunity and prosecute those responsible for war crimes, including acts of sexual violence.
But while such steps were important, Liechtenstein considered the resolution just adopted a missed opportunity, he said. Even though the Special Representative had said the fight against impunity would be her priority, the Council had chosen not to reflect that in the current text. In fact, its operative segment made no reference to the Council’s commitment to end impunity, let alone on any concrete measures to that end. The text was also silent on the work carried out by the Council’s own ad hoc tribunals, and by the International Criminal Court. “This seems particularly ironic at a time when the mass rapes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have gained a sad notoriety in any discussion on sexual violence in armed conflict, and when much of the Court’s recent work has been dedicated to addressing that situation, most prominently through the arrest of Callixte Mbarushimana earlier this year.” Hopefully, the Council would in future acknowledge concrete efforts to tackle impunity for sexual violence and thus “be less disconnected from reality than the resolution makes it appear”.
GARY QUINLAN (Australia) said the impact of sexual violence on families and communities was particularly devastating and had long-lasting negative effects on peace processes. Welcoming Ms. Wallström’s appointment and supporting the Secretary-General’s impressive recommendations, particularly the proposal for a mechanism for better monitoring, reporting and analysis of data on sexual violence, he urged the Council’s sanctions committees to give due attention to the information they received. Although early warning signs of conflict-related sexual violence were often received, the mass rapes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had sadly demonstrated the need to strengthen the coordinated and comprehensive analysis of those signs on the part of the United Nations.
There remained a gap between expectations of what United Nations peacekeeping should be able to do and the actual capacity of peacekeepers on the ground, he continued. Operational guidance, training and resources must be provided to mission leadership and peacekeepers so they could be prepared to take action in response to threats against civilians during conflict, including sexual violence. The joint “analytical inventory” developed by the Peacekeeping Department and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) was a key tool for the United Nations to use in improving its ability to protect civilians from conflict-related sexual violence. He also supported the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) efforts to implement a strategy to combat sexual violence in internally displaced communities in the Kivus. That strategy could also be applied to other situations involving internally displaced persons, he said.
CESARE MARIA RAGAGLINI (Italy) said that by requesting the establishment of monitoring and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence in today’s resolution, the Council had taken an important step forward. Timely and accurate information would enhance the Council’s ability to track and deter those heinous crimes. However, it would still be up to the Council to take the necessary measures to translate those elements into concrete action.
He said the issue of impunity on the part of perpetrators was too often invoked in cases of human rights violations. The social dynamics that allowed sexual violence to perpetuate itself must be reversed, moving from the stigmatization of victims to the criminalization of the authors. The means to achieve that goal included sanctions and targeted measures, referral to the International Criminal Court and naming and shaming the perpetrators.
Conflict-related sexual violence was a threat to security and an impediment to peacebuilding, he said. There was therefore a need to address sexual violence in peace and mediation processes in which women should have a say. He also underlined the importance of giving systematic consideration to sexual violence in the authorization and renewal of peacekeeping and special political missions, and of including gender expertise in technical assessments of country situations.
HERMAN SCHAPER (Netherlands), reaffirming his country’s commitment to strengthening protection and prevention of conflict-related sexual violence, said the Netherlands provided financial support to the scenario-based training on sexual violence for United Nations peacekeepers, and believed that operational readiness with regard to such violence could increase effectiveness in the overall protection of civilians. Additionally, the Netherlands backed a training initiative on protection of human rights and prevention of sexual violence, geared towards the Congolese national army, FARDC.
He said that in the context of the tenth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), and of the third year of the Dutch National Action Plan, the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence had jointly produced the publication The Dutch Do’s on Women, Peace & Security — Diplomacy, Defence and Development in Partnership. That publication described the implementation of the Dutch integrated approach towards women, peace and security at the country level. He announced bilateral collaboration between the Netherlands and Spain in the creation of more civilian and military gender capacity, aimed at increasing operational readiness.
KIM BONG-HYUN (Republic of Korea) said that given the continuation of sexual violence in conflict, despite international steps, efforts to combat the scourge must be redoubled. He welcomed the package of measures suggested by the Secretary-General and stressed the need for timely, reliable and objective reporting on sexual violence. The listing of perpetrators, in that light, would contribute to halting impunity. In addition, he called for a more coherent and coordinated approach within the United Nations system, and for an increase in the participation of women in peace processes and the strengthening of their capacity.
He said his country had been active in implementing relevant Council resolutions by mainstreaming a gender-sensitive approach into all of its policies and activities and increasing women’s participation at all levels. In that regard, it had recently deployed a gender adviser as a member of the Afghanistan provincial reconstruction team. It remained committed to the complete and successful implementation of all resolutions on women and peace and security.
JOHN MCNEE (Canada) welcomed the jurisprudence of international courts and tribunals that confirmed that rape and sexual violence could be war crimes and crimes against humanity. Individuals responsible for such crimes must be brought to justice, including those with command responsibility. He also supported the exclusion of crimes of sexual violence from amnesty provisions in the context of peace processes. He called on the Council to adopt sanctions and other targeted measures against individuals and entities who had perpetrated sexual violence.
He said systematic data collection on grave violations of women’s and girls’ rights, including on sexual violence, was of the utmost importance for effective monitoring and response. It was also important that country reports to the Council included information on all aspects pertaining to women, peace and security resolutions. United Nations reporting should systematically include information on the risk of sexual violence. Prevention of and response to sexual violence should be included in the mandates of all United Nations peace missions. The Council should design and implement peace support mandates that better responded to all forms of violence against civilians. Stronger networks between United Nations peacekeepers and local and international non-governmental organizations and women’s networks were necessary to establish early-warning mechanisms.
SYLVIE LUCAS (Luxembourg) said impunity of perpetrators of sexual violence remained the norm in the vast majority of countries where it occurred. She therefore welcomed the Council’s intention to consider sexual violence a criterion for adopting sanctions against individuals. She also welcomed the recommendation to list in an annex to annual reports the parties who had engaged in systematic acts of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict on the Council’s agenda. However, she also would have preferred if, additionally, the Secretary-General had been invited to provide information on perpetrators of sexual violence in other conflicts and situations.
She said efforts must be redoubled by all to contribute to better protection of women in conflict and post-conflict situations. In the context of the mass rapes in Walikale, her country had decided to make a voluntary contribution to MONUSCO that would allow a training programme for 120 trainers. That training would increase the awareness of members of the Congolese police regarding sexual violence and give them the ability to better protect women and children. Luxembourg had also decided to fund a major project of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations aimed at strengthening the leadership and participation of women in peacebuilding activities in countries emerging from conflict. That project included the organization of several meetings at national and regional levels about West Africa and the Great Lakes region in order to facilitate the exchange of good practices.
JARMO VIINANEN (Finland), speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), said sexual violence was a grave violation of human rights and a serious impediment to peace, security and development. The Nordic countries fully supported the work of Ms. Wallström and the Council on the issue, including today’s resolution and its endorsement of provisions of protection, monitoring and enforcement tools. Such tools, along with effective measures against impunity and comprehensive reparation for victims, would contribute to prevention in the long term.
He stressed the need for a timely information flow to the Council and its sanctions committees, and welcomed the provision in the resolution for dialogue with parties to armed conflict, de-listing through behavioural change and sanctions against persistent violators. In efforts to investigate and prosecute, he said that commanders must be held accountable for ordering, condoning or failing to prevent such crimes. It was important to stress the duty of all States to prosecute perpetrators, and capacity must be built for that purpose. He stressed that justice should always be sought with the perspective of survivors in mind. He noted the wide range of activities supported by the Nordic countries to fight sexual violence in conflict and to assist victims.
MERON REUBEN (Israel) said his country remained deeply committed to the full implementation of resolutions on women and peace and security, and he welcomed steps that had been taken to combat sexual violence, which constituted horrific crimes against individuals and communities. The Secretary-General’s report provided several important recommendations to fight the crime, and he supported the listing of perpetrators as provided for in the resolution passed today.
He also strongly supported the mandate of Ms. Wallström’s Office and said that UN Women would have a central role to play on the issue as well. Member States, individually and collectively, must take firm action to curb that serious threat to human dignity and peace. Together, the international community must make clear that it had zero tolerance for the perpetrators of sexual violence in armed conflict and bring them to justice wherever they carried out those appalling and destructive crimes.
ANNE ANDERSON (Ireland) said conflict and sexual violence fed off one another. She strongly supported the full range of recommendations in the clear and dispassionate Secretary-General’s report and their reflection in the resolution. Ireland’s extensive engagement in United Nations peacekeeping had taught that the triggers of sexual violence and the entry points for influence were different from one case to another, but that there were common points — in all situations, active monitoring and timely reporting were critical. Her country’s experience with the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) had shown that by raising awareness of human rights, of the unacceptability of sexual and gender-based violence and of the responsibilities of Government and other parties, the Mission had helped to foster a climate in which communities were less likely to tolerate and more likely to report acts of sexual violence.
She said the positive lesson was that a peacekeeping mission could raise consciousness and change tolerance standards in communities. But helping to change attitudes and standards brought follow-up responsibilities. It was not right that communities were left with new ways of looking at things, but without means to ensure that new standards were implemented. Tackling sexual violence ultimately necessitated support for a wide range of capacity-building, training and infrastructural development. Ireland had conducted a cross-learning process on women, peace and security, drawing on experience from Ireland/Northern Ireland, Liberia and Timor-Leste. Among the priorities stressed throughout that initiative were the needs to combat the culture of impunity, to exclude sex crimes from amnesties, to improve women’s access to justice and to incorporate reporting on sexual and gender-based violence into early warning systems.
* *** *For information media • not an official record