|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6984th Meeting (AM)
Security Council Adopts Text Urging Targeted Sanctions against Perpetrators
of Sexual Violence during Armed Conflict
Rape Largely ‘Cost-free’, Says Special Representative
As UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Recounts 5-year-Old Girl’s Ordeal
The Security Council today urged the United Nations sanctions committees to apply targeted sanctions against parties committing sexual violence during armed conflict.
Ahead of a debate on the subject that attracted more than 60 speakers, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2016 (2013), by which it urged the inclusion of sexual violence in the definition of acts prohibited by ceasefires and in ceasefire-monitoring agreements.
Furthermore, the Council demanded that armed groups as well as armed forces immediately identify and release women and children forcibly recruited into their ranks. It reiterated its demand that all parties to conflict stop all acts of sexual violence and enact specific time-bound commitments, including codes of conduct and military, as well as police, manuals, to prohibit such violence and hold violators of such orders to account.
The Council called upon Member States to continue fighting impunity by investigating and prosecuting perpetrators in their respective jurisdictions. It requested the Secretary-General to expedite the implementation of monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence, and to help national authorities address such violence within the context of justice- and security-sector reform.
Zainab Hawa Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, said that in the coming months, the Organization would work to speed up the deployment of women’s protection advisers to relevant peacekeeping missions and special political missions — another request set out in the resolution. However, the will and resolve to fight sexual violence was most urgently needed at the country level, she said. In many places, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, where an estimated 50,000 women had been targeted for rape and other forms of sexual violence during that country’s conflict 20 years ago, to date, only a handful of prosecutions had occurred.
“Today it is still largely ‘cost-free’ to rape a woman, child or man in conflict,” she continued. In addition to enduring the long-term effects of physical assault, survivors of sexual violence were forced, in their day-to-day lives to face those who had raped them — in banks, supermarkets and at the schools of their children. Ending impunity would cast the spotlight on the perpetrators and help redirect the stigma and consequences of sexual violence away from the survivors to the guilty.
In a similar vein, Jane Adong Awywar of the Women’s Initiative for Gender Justice, said that under several amnesty laws in Uganda, where she worked as a legal monitor, perpetrators were guaranteed impunity. Worse, the scale of sexually violent crimes committed during armed conflict, notably in northern Uganda and neighbouring South Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was beyond the capacity of any judicial system to address on its own.
Global prosecutions, civilian-protection mechanisms and United Nations intervention must complement national efforts, she emphasized. “The paucity of prosecutions for crimes of sexual violence, the limited volume of international prosecutions for these crimes and the scale worldwide of crimes of sexualized violence […] continue to leave an impunity gap so distinct that, in recent years, it has become the focus of several Security Council resolutions.”
Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), recounted her meetings with victims of sexual violence around the world. They included the mother of a 5-year-old girl who had been raped in front of police, outside their station, in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and a Syrian girl too afraid to report the crime for fear of being killed. They were victims not just of rape, but also of a culture of impunity, she stressed.
“I understand that there are many difficult things for the Security Council to agree on, but sexual violence in conflict should not be one of them,” she continued, emphasizing that raping young children was “not something that I imagine anyone could not agree on”. If the Council set rape in violent conflict as a priority it would become one worldwide, she noted. “Meet your commitments, debate this issue in your parliaments […] so that together you can turn the tide, shatter impunity and finally put an end to this abhorrence,” she said.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who recently met with survivors of rape during his visit to hospitals in Goma and Bukavu, agreed. “Those who hold power and influence have a special duty to step forward and be part of a global coalition of champions determined to break this evil,” he said. Recalling the angry women he had seen lining the road to the hospital in Goma, fed up with impunity for the perpetrators and wanting the international community to take corrective action, he said today’s resolution must be incorporated into all areas of the global community’s work, from peacekeeping and political missions, to mediation, ceasefire agreements, security- and justice-sector reforms and the delivery of humanitarian assistance, as well as psychosocial and medical support for survivors.
The United Nations was doing its part, he said, noting that UN-Women and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations had created the first-ever scenario-based training programme for peacekeepers. A senior women protection adviser would be deployed soon within the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), as well as missions in other African nations. The Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict was helping authorities in several strife-torn nations to strengthen national justice systems and legal frameworks. Meanwhile, UNHCR and UN-Women were helping to investigate and document gender-based violence.
During the ensuing debate, delegates called for the resolution’s speedy implementation, with several voicing support for the application of targeted sanctions against persistent perpetrators of sexual violence and the deployment of women’s protection advisers to the field. Speakers also praised the Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict adopted by Group of Eight (G8) foreign ministers meeting in London last April, as well as the G8’s move to develop an international protocol setting forth practical standards for investigating and documenting sexual violence in conflict.
Representatives expressed grave concern over the continued use of rape as a war tool in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and more recently in Mali and Syria. Noting that women remained largely sidelined during peace talks, they said that their inclusion in peacebuilding processes and their social, economic and political empowerment overall were vital to preventing future conflicts. Some delegates proposed that, where national jurisdictions were unable or unwilling to prosecute crimes of sexual violence, the Council should consider referral to the International Criminal Court.
Also speaking today were Cabinet Ministers from the United Kingdom, Guatemala, France, Sweden (on behalf of the Nordic countries) and Lithuania.
Other speakers were representatives of Morocco, Rwanda, United States, Azerbaijan, Argentina, Australia, China, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Togo, Russian Federation, Pakistan, Ecuador, Brazil, Portugal, Belgium, Mexico, Israel, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, Jordan, Spain, Croatia, Estonia, Turkey, Liechtenstein, South Africa, Colombia, Chile, Slovenia, Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Senegal, Namibia, India, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Malaysia, Ireland, Solomon Islands, Qatar, Nepal, Botswana, Uganda, Armenia, Uruguay, Sudan and Syria.
Also delivering statements were representatives of the European Union delegation, the African Union and the Holy See.
The meeting began at 10:13 a.m. and ended at 4:51 p.m.
As the Security Council held an open debate today on women and peace and security: sexual violence in armed conflict, it had before it a letter dated 7 June 2013 from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General containing a concept note (document S/2013/335) titled “Addressing impunity: effective justice for crimes of sexual violence in conflict”.
BAN KI-MOON, United Nations Secretary-General, recalling his briefing to the Council last month on his trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, described his visit to the Heal Africa hospital in Goma that treated women and girls who had been raped and maimed by armed groups on all sides of the conflict. Many had developed traumatic fistula. In pain and frequently unable to control bladder and bowels, they were disabled and often shunned by society. Heal Africa and the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu helped rehabilitate those women, giving them a sense of self-worth and a source of income. However, protecting them was the job of the Congolese authorities and the international community, particularly the Council.
“As we drove into the hospital, the streets were lined with women,” he said. “They were angry and they had a clear message. No more impunity. They want us to hear and act on their appeal.” Sexual violence occurred wherever conflict raged, devastating survivors and destroying the social fabric of whole communities. It was a crime under international human rights law and a threat to international peace and security. As a weapon of war, it could significantly exacerbate conflict and seriously hamper reconciliation.
Under the mechanisms set up under Security Council resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010) to respond to conflict-related sexual violence, the United Nations was able to carry out global advocacy through Mr. Ban’s Special Representative, in collaboration with the United Nations Action Network against Sexual Violence in Conflict.
“Today’s resolution sends yet another strong signal to perpetrators that their acts will no longer be tolerated. They will be held accountable. Preventing sexual violence in conflict is our joint responsibility,” the Secretary-General stated. Further, the resolution must be incorporated into all areas of work, from peacekeeping and political missions, to mediation, ceasefire agreements, security sector and justice sector reforms, and the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The United Nations system was committed to “Delivering as One”, to end the culture of impunity that prevailed in relation to sexual violence.
On behalf of the United Nations Action network, UN-Women and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations had developed the first-ever scenario-based training programme for peacekeepers, he went on to say. A Senior Women Protection Adviser would be deployed shortly within the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to join those already in place. Others would soon be deployed in the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali and Somalia. As well, the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, an important tool for strengthening national justice systems and legal frameworks, had provided technical advice to authorities in the Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Somalia and South Sudan.
In addition, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) were leading the United Nations system in coordinating services for survivors, he said. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) and UN-Women were providing expertise for investigating and documenting gender-based violence. Along with leadership and access to justice, understanding the extent of the problem was vital to protect women and girls, he noted, stressing the importance of national ownership in preventing sexual violence.
“I call on all leaders at the highest political level to voice their unequivocal support for our cause — and to follow up with deeds,” he said. That included apprehending and prosecuting perpetrators to deter further crimes; helping survivors by improving medical, psychological, social and judicial assistance; and providing the necessary resources to support the work of the Special Representative and other mechanisms.
“Those who hold power and influence have a special duty to step forward and be part of a global coalition of champions determined to break this evil,” he said in conclusion. Sexual violence was a vile crime. It must be exposed and met with the anger and action that it deserved and he called for sustained leadership to ensure that perpetrators were held accountable and survivors received justice and support.
ZAINAB HAWA BANGURA, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, pointed out that, 20 years ago, the United Nations had provide irrefutable evidence of the widespread and systematic rape of women, girls and men being perpetrated in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. That evidence led to unprecedented advances in international jurisprudence — the recognition of rape as a war crime and crime against humanity by the international tribunals established for Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
Having recently visited Bosnia — where an estimated 50,000 women had been targeted with rape and other forms of sexual violence — she said that, to date, only a handful of prosecutions for those crimes had occurred. Thus, the victims of those crimes “continue to walk in shadow and shame, unable to lay the past to rest and move forward”. Moreover, in their day-to-day lives, survivors of sexual violence were forced to face the men who had raped them — in banks, supermarkets and at the schools of their children.
“In Bosnia, the guns may have fallen silent 20 years ago, but for the survivors of sexual violence the war has not yet ended,” she said, adding that their battle continued as they struggled with physical and psychological injuries, stigma and isolation, poverty and destitution. The same situation, which had arisen in many other countries devastated by war, could have a profound impact on the sustainability of peace and the prospects for development when conflict-related sexual violence was left unaddressed by justice and reparations.
Focusing on impunity was of the utmost relevant and urgency, she continued, stating that, by doing so, “we direct a more concerted spotlight on the perpetrators”. It also helped to redirect the stigma and the consequences of sexual violence from the survivors to the perpetrators.
Over the past five years, she went on to say, there had been significant progress at the political level, advances largely led by the Security Council. The Council’s resolutions affirmed that the crimes of rape and sexual violence, when committed systematically and used as a tool of war, was a fundamental threat to the maintenance of international peace and security, and, as such, required an operational security and justice response.
“This paradigm shift requires a new approach to attack the scourge of wartime rape,” she said, adding that the circle of stakeholders needed to be expanded beyond the traditional gender experts, to also include and engage uniformed peacekeepers, mediators, ceasefire monitors and war crimes prosecutors. The new resolution to be adopted by the Council today consolidated that approach and reinforced a compliance-based regime based on reliable and timely information and analysis, as well as the political, strategic and tactical level actions that must be taken on the basis of such information.
Among other things, she said, the resolution would place emphasis on more consistent and rigorous investigation and prosecution of sexual violence crimes as a central aspect of deterrence, and ultimately prevention. It would stress that sexual violence considerations must be explicitly and consistently reflected in peace processes, ceasefires and peace agreements. It would also emphasize that sexual violence must be specifically reflected in other critical peace and security processes and arrangements, such as security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.
Further, the resolution would underscore the need for comprehensive and multidimensional strategies to meet obligations to the survivors of sexual violence. As well, it would call on all parties to conflict to make specific arrangement to prevent sexual violence, and challenge the United Nations to engage with parties to elicit such arrangements. In the coming months, the Organization would be working to accelerate the deployment of women’s protection advisers to relevant peacekeeping missions and special political missions.
Stressing that national ownership, leadership and responsibility were crucial, she noted that it was at the country level where the will and resolve was most urgently needed to implement national legislation and strengthen institutions for prosecution of sexual violence crimes, and to enhance capacity to care for survivors.
“Today it is still largely ‘cost-free’ to rape a woman, child or man in conflict,” she said. However, for the first time in history “we can reverse this reality”. “It will require leadership and political courage and a relentless determination to match the cold, calculating brutality of those who would rape the innocent for military or political gain,” she concluded.
ANGELINA JOLIE, Special Envoy of UNHCR, said that during the 67 years of conflict witnessed by the Security Council, hundreds of thousands of women and girls and men and boys had been raped. Still, the world had yet to take up war rape as a priority. The numbers were so vast and the subject so painful it was often forgotten that each victim had a name, a life and a story. There were young girls who were raped and impregnated before their bodies were able to carry a child, leaving them with fistula, and boys who were forced at gun point to rape their mothers and sisters.
“I will never forget the survivors I met and what they told me,” she said, recalling a mother whose 5-year-old daughter was raped outside a police station in Goma in full view of the police, and a young Syrian rape victim too afraid to speak to authorities for fear she would be killed. Underscoring that the Charter was clear on the matter, she stressed that rape was a tool of war, an act of aggression and a crime against humanity. It ruined lives and fuelled conflict.
The Security Council had the primary responsibility for international peace and security, she continued. Because rape was an assault on security, addressing war-zone sexual violence was, therefore, the Council’s responsibility, as well as the duty of countries affected by the conflict. However, in many situations, there was a lack of governmental authority. In those situations, the Security Council must act and provide assistance. That 5-year-old girl in Goma had been raped because her attacker knew he could get away with it. She and others like her were victims not only of rape, but of a culture of impunity.
“I understand that there are many difficult things for the Security Council to agree on. But sexual violence in conflict should not be one of them,” she said, stressing that raping young children is “not something that I imagine anyone could not agree on”. What was needed, then, was political will. Every country in the world was affected by sexual violence, and thus, all countries had a responsibility to step forward. “But the starting point must be you. There is no greater power in the world that can stand by them. If the Security Council sets rape in violent conflict as a priority it will become one. If not, this horror will continue,” she said, pleading with the Council to adopt and implement the text.
“Please do not let this issue fall when you leave this Chamber,” she said, imploring delegates to “meet your commitments, debate this issue in your parliaments […] so that together you can turn the tide, shatter impunity and finally put an end to this abhorrence”.
JANE ADONG AWYWAR, of the Women’s Initiative for Gender Justice, said that, as a legal monitor in Uganda, she worked to assess the progress and challenges in establishing an effective national mechanism which tried conflict-related crimes, including sexual violence. “The paucity of prosecutions for crimes of sexual violence, the limited volume of international prosecutions for these crimes, and the scale worldwide of crimes of sexualize violence […] continue to leave an impunity gap so distinct that, in recent years, it has become the focus of several Security Council resolutions,” she said.
During the last 27 years, she continued, Northern Uganda and several of the countries on its border, including South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, had been subject to armed conflict, instability, displacement and widespread and brutal forms of sexual and gender-based crimes, committed by a range of perpetrators including armed forces, militia groups and the Lord’s Resistance Army. The Women’s Initiative had worked with thousands of victims/survivors of sexual and gender-related crimes, and had monitored accountability for such crimes.
Drawing on such work, she spotlighted three observations. First was the fact that rape and other forms of sexual violence intensified and increased during times of civil war and armed conflicts. However, too often, impunity for those crimes continued to be guaranteed through amnesty laws, she stated, pointing to several such laws in place in Uganda. Second, leadership on accountability for conflict-related crimes, including sexual violence, must be provided at the national level.
Third and finally, she said, the scale of sexual violence crimes committed during armed conflict was beyond the capacity of any judicial system to address on its own. Domestic efforts must be complemented by effective international prosecutions, by United Nations interventions, by effective protection mechanisms for civilians, and above all, by compliance by the United Nations and Member States with all collective resolutions and recommendations on security, women, peace and the prevention and response to acts of sexual violence.
WILLIAM HAGUE, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, United Kingdom, said that if the international community did not address how rape was systematically and ruthlessly used in all corners of the world, millions more could be subjected to the same treatment. Actions taken by the world had the potential to save lives. “Today it is time to say rape is unacceptable and it can be prevented and that we will act to eradicate it,” he stated.
Emphasizing how sexual violence as an act of war was used to destroy lives and to achieve military objectives, he said that he had witnessed first hand the consequences of such violence. He was appalled that the vast majority of survivors never received justice and that the victims, not the perpetrators, bore the shame and stigma. Unresolved grievances fuelled further cycles of violence and conflict. However, there was a new consciousness that the issue must be part of all the Council’s efforts. He also applauded local organizations on the front lines of supporting survivors, pointing out that their efforts were allied with new attention from Governments. The world was at last poised to make historic progress confronting wartime violence, as demonstrated by the Group of Eight’s (G8) recent pledge to make efforts to commitment towards ending such violence.
The United Kingdom, he continued, was taking the lead in developing an international protocol on investigation and documentation of sexual violence in conflict, which aimed to set out practical standards to document those crimes. Further, his country had established a team of more than 70 doctors, forensic scientists and other experts, which had already been deployed in Bosnia, the Syrian border, Libya, Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo this year. Still, global action was also needed to shatter the culture of impunity, and to that end, he would convene a global General Assembly gathering in September on the matter.
He went on to say that the text adopted today would send a powerful single message. He also lauded the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia for signing joint communiqués with the United Nations, and said that he hoped the international protocol would make a difference in that area. Those and other steps in the resolution, if fully implemented, would represent vital new advances. It was critical to demolish impunity and create a new culture of deterrence. The goal must be full impletion of resolution 1325 (2000). All countries must do more to address violence against women in all its forms, not just in conflict situation.
FERNANDO CARRERA CASTRO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, recalling the adoptions of texts, including resolution 1325 (2000), as well as today’s resolution, said the question then was: “What more can we do so that our decisions are translated in concrete actions?” One promising approach was found in a greater insistence that Member States make a priority rule of law reforms and the strengthening of their national institutions, including the civil and military justice systems. It was equally crucial to take action on the present situations, where a majority of the victims of those crimes faced a wall of impunity. Guatemala’s internal conflict had been resolved 15 years ago, but there still were hundreds of victims of sexual violence perpetrated by diverse armed actors. In recent years, the Government had taken measures, including the adoption of a law against femicide and other forms violence against women and a programme designed to promote the access of female victims of violence to justice. Lastly, acknowledging his 13-year-old daughter — a victim of sexual violence — who was present in the Council room, he called for resolute action.
NAJAT VALLAUD-BELKACEM, Minister of Women’s Rights of France, said that “today we are living in a world where rape is used as a weapon of physical, psychological and social destruction”. Political progress had been made in recent years, due in part to the zero tolerance policy of the United Nations and to the work of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative. The ad hoc tribunal set up by the Council, as well as the International Criminal Court, had gradually made progress, in particular through the recognition of rape in conflict as a war crime. Further, the recent adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty, which recognized a link between the international trade in arms and gender violence, was another major step forward.
“We are of course not at the end of our work — far from it,” she said. Despite the mobilization of the international community, sexual violence continued in such places as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the crime was committed by both the M23 militia and the Government’s Armed Forces. She was also extremely concerned about the humanitarian tragedy to which Syrian women were exposed. As well, in Mali, there had been many cases of rape and sexual violence reported during the recent crisis in the north of the country, she said, expressing her hope that the deployment of the new United Nations mission and the upcoming elections would help to re-establish peace and security there. Making a number of recommendations, she called for the deployment of women’s protection advisers to be extended. In addition, services for victims, including access to sexual and reproductive health care, must be ensured. She also stressed that “we must walk the talk” about combating impunity, underscoring that the participation of women in the resolution of conflict was critical.
YOUSSEF AMRANI ( Morocco) called for an innovative approach to help ensure that States met their commitments in the fight against sexual violence in armed conflict. Praising the efforts of the working group on rule of law and sexual violence experts in assisting countries in capacity-building, transitional justice and reform of the security sector, he said that continued support for Member States from the United Nations and the international community was critical. The root causes of the scourge needed to be addressed at the national and United Nations level, meaning strengthened institutions — especially those related to security, justice, social issues and conflict prevention. It was also a priority to ensure that those responsible for committing crimes against women and children were brought to justice. The primary responsibility for punishing perpetrators lay with national Governments and they needed support in enhancing accessibility to justice mechanisms. Particular attention, as well, should be paid to the refugee populations, particularly women and children in close proximity to conflict zones. Restriction of access to such populations posed major risks to United Nations efforts to fight sexual violence in armed conflicts.
EUGÈNE-RICHARD GASANA ( Rwanda) commended the United Kingdom’s commitment to raise awareness of war-zone rape and bring perpetrators to justice. In March, its representatives had visited Rwanda and spoke with victims of genocide against the Tutsi, after which, they visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo to reach out to victims of violence. He recalled how, during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, women and girls had suffered immensely, with tens of thousands raped and left for dead. Many of the survivors were left with incurable diseases. He said that he deeply regretted that many of the atrocities in Rwanda continued today in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with impunity. Calling for all those in the region to adhere to the Council’s relevant resolutions, he said that the international community should support and help capacity-building in national jurisdictions.
On a national level, he said, Rwanda had adopted a range of policies to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. One of its foremost priorities was to protect and rehabilitate the dignity of victims, in line with Council resolution 1325 (2000). Gender-based violence centres had been established nationwide and legislation had been adopted to include penalties and substantive mechanisms to address such crimes. Further, prevention and ways to address gender-based sexual violence had been fully incorporated into the core curriculum of Rwanda’s military academies, he said, pointing out that his country was among the leading contributors of female police and correction officers to United Nations peacekeeping missions. Although Rwanda’s legal institutions framework to combat gender-based sexual violence had been strengthened over time, sexual violence remained prevalent in armed conflict. The most effective way to eradicate it was to bring conflict to an end. As sexual violence was the by-product of war, any meaningful solution must address the root causes of conflict and he called for better monitoring of Member States’ commitments to address sexual violence.
ROSEMARY DICARLO ( United States) said women’s integral involvement in peace processes and justice mechanisms was critical to lay the foundation for lasting stability. Today’s resolution was vital. Progress was evident as well, with some national Governments making their justice systems more responsible to survivors. Sierra Leone’s new sexual offense law now gave stiff new sentences to perpetrators. As well, this year Somalia committed to ensure protection for victims, journalists and others that brought the issue to light in the public sphere. The United States supported organizations that provided free legal aid to victims, and to courts that provided them with legal recourse. She praised the United Kingdom for leading the G8’s development of an international protocol to investigate and document sexual violence in conflict, and UN-Women for helping to document evidence for judicial proceedings. She also strongly encouraged United Nations sanctions committees to expand their use of sanctions to fight sexual violence in conflict. Urging that the prohibition of amnesty for perpetrators be included in peace agreements, she said that the Council must continue to treat the threat with utmost gravity. “Sexual violence could not be viewed narrowly as just a women’s issue. Sexual violence is not cultural; it is criminal,” she said.
AGSHIN MEHDIYEV ( Azerbaijan) said Governments were primarily responsible for protecting civilians, with national courts the principal venues for holding individuals to account for crimes of sexual violence. One of the main impediments to investigating and prosecuting such acts, however, was inadequate national capacity. In that regard, the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict was working to address that. Still, where national authorities failed to take action, the international community needed to step in. He called for more “resolute and targeted measures” to bring perpetrators of acts of sexual violence to justice, stressing the importance of establishing the truth about gross violations of humanitarian and human rights law. As well, reparations were required for victims. Past wrongs that remained unpunished or unrecognized could impede progress to peace and reconciliation and could increase the risk of eruption of new conflicts and the commission of new crimes. He added that international commissions of inquiry needed to be mandated to tackle those issues and their recommendations needed to be implemented.
MARIA CRISTINA PERCEVAL (Argentina), paying tribute to the feminist movement and to those who risked their lives daily to defend the rights of women and end impunity, stated that “rape is not an inevitable part of war”. Attempts to halt violence must address gender inequities and empower women. In that regard, the participation of men and boys was critical. Recalling that a little over 20 years ago, the rights of women as human rights had first been recognized — and not without resistance and friction — she added that “violence against women is not a horrifying exception but a continuum”. The prevalent lack of protection was abhorrent, particularly in the justice sector, but the worst crimes were committed during times of war. Those crimes were truly “a battle amongst men carried out on the bodies of women”, she said. In the drafting of today’s resolution, many intense debates had taken place about the possible tension between the protection of human rights and the defence of State sovereignty. Human rights could not be used as a “Trojan horse” to intervene in the affairs of a State; nor could sovereignty be used as an excuse for impunity. It was in that context that her delegation had voted in favour of the resolution.
GARY QUINLAN (Australia) said today’s resolution was another step towards ensuring the Council addressed sexual violence, including the consistent use of targeted sanctions and eliciting, along with monitoring, and commitments from all parties to a conflict. Shifting the current culture of impunity to one of accountability was fundamental to deterrence and prevention. States had the primary obligation to investigate and prosecute crimes of sexual violence and national laws had to be developed to translate substantive laws into successful investigations and prosecutions. Political will also was crucial and where national jurisdictions were unable or unwilling to prosecute crimes of sexual violence, the Council should consider referral to the International Criminal Court.
WANG MIN ( China), stressing that that his delegation strongly condemned all violence against civilians in conflict, said that the fight against sexual violence in conflict should be carried out in the full respect of State sovereignty. In that vein, the primary responsibility for combating sexual violence lay with national Governments. While the Security Council had an active role to play in the fight against such crimes, it was also important to note that the Council was different from the Human Rights Council and the Commission on the Status of Women. The Council’s work should not erode the responsibility of other United Nations bodies. As well, attention should be paid to underlying issues, such as economic and social development and the empowerment of women.
KIM SOOK ( Republic of Korea), highlighting the recent G8 declaration that stated rape and other forms of sexual violence in times of conflict were war crimes, said that “there should be no safe haven for perpetrators of such crimes”. It was States’ primary responsibility to combat sexual violence in conflict. He also underscored the significance of international justice mechanisms — including the International Criminal Court — in cases where national systems were unwilling or unable to prosecute such crimes. Among other things, the Security Council should play its role by referring cases of serious sexual violence to the Court, and by using specific language on conflict-related sexual violence in all peacekeeping and political mission mandates. Fighting impunity and ensuring accountability should be made central to all post-conflict and peacebuilding processes. Crimes of sexual violence should be excluded from amnesty provisions. Welcoming the resolution adopted today, he said he believed that it would be another significant milestone on the “difficult but victorious journey” towards ending sexual violence in conflict the world over.
SYLVIE LUCAS ( Luxembourg) said that it was unacceptable that most perpetrators of such crimes were not held to account. Because many countries in post-conflict situations did not have legal systems that could try the perpetrators with all the guarantees of a fair trial, international criminal justice must play a complementary role. She lauded efforts of the International Criminal Court in that regard, noting that currently, war criminal Bosco Ntaganda was in The Hague for war crimes, including sexual violence against women, thanks to the efforts to Member States. She lauded the resolution just adopted, for which Luxembourg was a co-sponsor.
EDAWE LIMBIYÈ KANDANGHA-BARIKI ( Togo) said the appearance of new armed groups in old conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, and in new conflicts in Syria and Mali had increased incidents of sexual violence against women and girls. Because atrocities would still be carried out if perpetrators were not prosecuted and punished, verbal commitment was not enough. Consciousness-raising, human rights protections and adherence to international conventions was crucial. Gender advisors must be present in all peacekeeping missions. As well, the United Nations must help Governments combat impunity, arrest and extradite perpetrators of acts of violence against women and girls. That required real cooperation among national and international jurisdictions. Noting the lack of political will, he said that every State must seriously prosecute those that flouted human rights. Further, it was important to involve women in any mediation process.
EVGENY T. ZAGAYNOV ( Russian Federation) said that the diverse nature of violence in times of conflict required that particular attention be paid to all its manifestations, including sexual violence. However, as his delegation had stated before, attempts to expand the scope of the crime beyond what had previously been agreed and enshrined in Security Council resolutions was unjustified, and could have a negative impact on attempts to combat it. “We need to avoid excessive bureaucracy,” he stressed. Further, combating such crimes would not be possible without the leadership of national Governments. States should also be consulted on all aspects of international actions to combat sexual violence in conflict, including the provision of assistant services. Moreover, there must be respect for the fundamental principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States.
MASOOD KHAN ( Pakistan) said that, although the Security Council had developed a strong normative and institutional framework to fight the scourge of sexual violence, implementation had been slow and monitoring indifferent. Those who committed, commanded, and condoned sexual violence still, by and large, acted with impunity. The Security Council, by today’s resolution, called for specific and targeted sanctions against perpetrators. Those calls were not abstract, he said, adding that they must resonate to real-life situations in Syria, Guinea-Bissau, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, and other armed conflict situations. Further, more women professionals should be inducted into the security and justice sectors and should sit at the table where decisions were being made on peace and ceasefire accords, peacekeeping, stabilization and reconstruction. Additionally, mainstreaming a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations and appointing gender advisers in the field was also very useful.
MARIA FERNANDA ESPINOSA ( Ecuador) said the Security Council needed to keep its actions within the framework of the United Nations Charter. As a member of the Union of South American Nations, which had proposed a “Region of Peace” to promote the peaceful resolution of regional conflicts, she said that peace meant more than the absence of war, but in fact, included gender equality and the absence of poverty. The unfair economic system promoted conflict, as did social and religious exclusion and gender intolerance. Ecuador’s Constitution recognized the right of all people to live free from violence and stressed that the role of the Armed Forces was purely to protect rights. Gender policy for the Ecuadorean Armed Forces involved providing equal opportunities for women and increasing the participation of women, as well as supporting cultural models that sought to eradicate gender violence, especially among troops. Strengthening national frameworks would allow the strengthening of international frameworks and she called on all States to accede to the Rome Statute.
KARIN ENSTROM, Minister of Defence of Sweden, speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries, stressed that the full and equal participation of women and men in conflict prevention and peacebuilding was fundamental to combating sexual violence. Solutions must encompass all sectors of society — both in peacetime and in times of conflict. Women must not be seen merely as victims, but as active participants central to all efforts to combat sexual violence in conflict. Failure to include half the population in security assessments would result in a failure to address the security needs of the whole population. The Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations, established last year, supported military organizations in applying a gender perspective in operations. Turning to the issue of accountability, she said that the International Criminal Court played an important role when a State failed to investigate and prosecute crimes of sexual violence. However, it was a court of last resort, she stated, stressing that the need to seek effective prosecution of sexual violence must be at the national level.
NERIS GERMANAS, Deputy Foreign Minister, Lithuania, associating himself with the European Union, said that the Security Council should support the early establishment of national reparation programmes along with better reporting and monitoring systems. Lithuania’s national action plan on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) worked to empower women and was linked directly with its development cooperation programmes. Lithuanian police and military personnel were trained on gender issues prior to departure for international missions. As well, his delegation had strongly supported including the risk of gender-based violence and violence against women and children as mandatory assessment criteria for arms exports in the International Arms Trade Treaty. Further, security sector reforms had to promote personal accountability of the police and military, including the leadership. Personnel needed to not only be subject to effective oversight and transparency, but receive human rights and gender training in order to counter impunity. Stating that he supported a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct by United Nations peacekeepers, he welcomed the Secretary-General’s recommendation that blanket amnesties should not be applied where conflict-related sexual violence was in question.
LUIZ ALBERTO FIGUEIREDO MACHADO ( Brazil) said that, as with any other type of violence against civilians, conflict prevention was the best way to ensure the protection of women and girls. First and foremost, parties to conflict — and the international community, especially the Council — must actively seek to settle differences by peaceful means. That required the strengthening of national institutions and capabilities so that States could lead in designing and implementing comprehensive domestic strategies. Furthermore, through peacekeeping operations and special political missions, the United Nations could pay an important preventive role. Therefore, Member States must ensure that sufficient resources were allocated to such activities. Noting that the consistent prosecution of sexual crimes was a strong deterrent for future incidents, he said that the United Nations was in a unique position to cooperate with national authorities, as appropriate, in strengthening national justice systems.
ALVARO MENDONÇA E MOURA ( Portugal) said that there was “no real security without women’s security”. He called on the Security Council to do more to reinforce the effectiveness of “our common fight” against sexual violence. Critical to that was ensuring the deployment in relevant peacekeeping operations of women’s protection advisers to strengthen the prevention and response to sexual violence. Thus, it was not acceptable that constraints in the establishment of peacekeeping missions be at the expense of those advisers. A promising tool at the disposal of Member States that could be further engaged was the Team of Experts on Rule of Law. Meanwhile, the lack of capacity, at the national level, to investigate and prosecute sexual violence, remained the biggest obstacle to ensure accountability and led to prevailing impunity. In regards to the victims and survivors of such heinous crimes, there was need for recognition, reparation, and availability of affordable and accessible health services.
BENEDICTE FRANKINET ( Belgium), aligning herself with the statement made by the European Union, said that sexual violence in conflict constituted war crimes, pointing out that entire communities had been destroyed by such crimes. Therefore, it was critical to enhance and improve national security and justice sectors in order to ensure that trials to punish perpetrators take place. As well, it was important to continue to monitor the implementation of agreements on sexual violence, and necessary to apply the broadest definition of sexual violence as outlined in the Rome Statute. She underscored the role of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law, as well as intergovernmental organizations in their deployment. She also stated support for any initiatives that sought to help victims. Reiterating that any sexual violence was a violation of human rights, she stressed that everything must be done to provide affordable health services to survivors.
MORGAN SOTOMAYOR ( Mexico) said victims of sexual violence needed full access to justice. Therefore, it was vital that perpetrators be brought before tribunals. States themselves had a responsibility to train their armed forces and security personnel to help to prevent the perpetration of crimes of sexual violence. Magistrates and the judiciary also needed training to ensure that judicial systems were impartial and ready to deal with cases of sexual violence in conflict. International tribunals were indispensible, and she praised the work of the Residual Mechanisms for the International Criminal Tribunals. Further, she stressed the importance of the International Criminal Court in investigating and prosecuting perpetrators. Calling for the full adherence of States to the Rome Statute and cooperation with the International Criminal Court to ensure that it fulfilled its mandate, she emphasized that there was no room for any amnesties on international crimes like sexual violence.
HAIM WAXMAN ( Israel) said that, in the 13 years since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) and three years since resolution 1960 (2010), women still continued to be marginalized and victimized. Further, it was impossible to tackle the issue of sexual violence in conflict when, even in times of peace, women were the victims of gender bias and discrimination. The first step was, therefore, to address the significant gaps that existed in many countries’ legal systems. In the Middle East, many legal systems did not meet basic international standards in terms of protecting women, and in some States, thousands of women were the victims of so-called honour killings. “In these instances, women are victimized twice — first by the perpetrator of the crime and then by an indifferent justice system,” he said.
TSUNEO NISHIDA ( Japan) said that in order to prevent sexual violence, it was critical to raise the cost to perpetrators and end the culture of impunity. It was also essential that the international community support national Governments to meet their own challenges of justice and accountability. In that sense, Japan supported the development of legal systems and security sector reforms on national platforms. He also expressed support for the role of the International Criminal Court. Effective investigation and documentation of crimes of sexual violence was instrumental in bringing perpetrators to justice. Additionally, he stressed the need to provide relief to the victims of sexual violence, underlining his country’s commitment to ensuring that multi-sectoral assistance and services were provided.
MIGUEL BERGER ( Germany) aligning himself with the statement made by the European Union, emphasized that the “ultimate goal” of today’s talks had to be prevention of sexual violence in conflict. In that regard, it was indispensible that perpetrators be brought to justice. Only effective criminal prosecution would lead to an equally effective justice system, which in turn would lead to peace. The full and equal participation of women at all levels in the peace talks was needed. Appropriate medical and psychosocial support was critical, as well, he said, outlining his country’s funding of medical centres in the Congo where women had access to HIV-testing and reproductive health services. In addition, he called for full support to those who were essential to fighting the scourge of sexual violence, such as aid workers and peacekeepers, as well as journalists. The Security Council should do more to hold perpetrators accountable and make use of tools at hand by reacting with Security Council press statements and referring States more frequently to the Sanctions Committee as a last result.
JIM MCLAY ( New Zealand) said the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law provided important technical assistance to national authorities attempting to bolster national civil and military justice systems, emphasizing that building national capacity remained one of the best and most comprehensive ways to address sexual violence in conflict. Accountability for sexual violence did not lend itself to a “one-size-fits-all” approach, and the Council must be agile, inclusive and open to considering alternative courses of action. Where national authorities were unwilling or unable to act, the Council should consider referrals to the International Criminal Court, or the use of mixed tribunals and truth and reconciliation processes. It should also include the topic in its annual consultations with the African Union’s Peace and Security Council. The expertise and perspectives of regional organizations were valuable in developing comprehensive strategies for addressing accountability for sexual violence in conflict.
ZEID RA’AD ZEID AL-HUSSEIN (Jordan) pointed out that Member States had failed to take actions needed to ensure that abuse by peacekeepers was reduced to zero. A draft on the subject had remained on the docket of the Sixth Committee (Legal) since 2007. The Convention on Criminal Responsibility needed to be adopted and the Organization needed to be made co-investigator, even when its own personnel were involved. As well, any United Nations personnel destined for field service should submit DNA to be used to establish paternity where necessary. Further, a single legal vehicle for the delivery of judicial and legal advice to Member States was needed. Such a body was crucial to the existence of all States yet did not exist, despite the fact that there were many other types of single-purpose departments and bodies within the United Nations system. Instead, there was just a “hodgepodge” of legal experts scattered about, which although a good start, fell “woefully short of what was required”. He added that, despite his full support for women and girls, he was concerned that the elderly were neglected, being potentially even more prone to war’s horrors because of their inability to flee.
FERNANDO ARIAS ( Spain) calling for a global approach to ending impunity, stressed the importance of legal tools appropriate to bringing perpetrators to justice. He also noted progress in the inclusion of crimes of sexual violence in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. On a national level, Spain had reformed its code of conduct for military personnel, including the obligation to provide special protection to women and children against rape, enforced prostitution, humiliating and degrading treatment or any form of exploitation or sexual assault within the context of armed conflicts. In a post-conflict scenario with broken legal systems, it was imperative that reconstruction of national capacities included training on the culture of impunity. In that regard, Spain supported programmes in South Sudan, aimed at educating and raising the awareness of indigenous communities to gender equality. His country also supported initiatives in Colombia that trained women in human rights and violence prevention.
RANKO VILOVIĆ ( Croatia) said that rape had been used as a method of intimidation and terror during the aggression to which Croatia had been exposed at the beginning of the 1990s. Currently, Croatia’s strong commitment to gender equality domestically and internationally, as demonstrated in its national plan on women, peace and security launched in 2011, was a blueprint for practical implementation of its obligations under Security Council resolution 1325 (2000). All Member States should ensure that training peacekeepers included courses on that resolution. Sexual violence was also linked with the illicit extraction of natural resources and motivated displacement of civilian populations. Armed groups used forced marriages, rape and sexual slavery as a tactic in the context of detentions or interrogation. The plight of children born of wartime rape, about which there was little information available and, therefore, no meaningful programmatic interventions possible, was also a matter of deepest concern.
MARGUS KOLGA ( Estonia) joined other delegations in the call for the implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions to end sexual violence against women. The next important step would be to further implement monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence. He urged the further deployment of women’s protection advisers to the Council-mandated missions. To date, sexual violence in armed conflict had been prosecuted primarily at the international level through hybrid courts and international tribunals. Those institutions represented an important complement to national efforts, noting in particular the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda which developed groundbreaking international jurisprudence prohibiting rape and sexual violence during war. He called on the Council to employ all means at its disposal, including through referrals to the International Criminal Court. The court, he stated, was not only about punishing perpetrators but also about empowering victims of atrocious crimes.
LEVENT ELER ( Turkey), addressing the issue of impunity, called for comprehensive solutions that would combine the rule of law with the building of judicial and security institutions. Gaps, both in legislation and implementation, as well, needed to be rectified and criminal responsibility increased, along with the investigative capabilities of national institutions. Additional services, such as legal support, protection of survivors of violence and training, should be put in place. Further, reparations were a form of transitional gender justice and contributed to truth and reconciliation. Monitoring and reporting on incidents of sexual violence was also important. In that regard, access should be granted to the Independent International Commission on Syria to conduct on-site investigations regarding allegations of all human rights violations in that country. In addition, raising awareness at the local, national, regional and international levels was key to combating impunity. Many remained silent to sexual violence out of fear of being targeted, attacked, stigmatized or shamed. Speaking up against that despicable crime should become the norm, rather than the exception.
STEFAN BARRIGA (Lichtenstein) said that, although ending impunity was essential, unfortunately, in practice, that work had barely begun. Such efforts were closely linked to an effective judicial response and to strengthening the assistance of international donors. The International Criminal Court had an important role to play, he said, adding that he was surprised to not see it mentioned in the concept paper. Further, the Security Council should call more often on Governments to strengthen domestic justice systems. However, when such systems failed, the Council should be involved in creating deterrence and enabling longer-term justice. There seemed to be a “design flaw” in efforts to bring about justice when it comes to sexual violence with the voices of victims barely being heard. Those voices could have an impact on the willingness and ability to prevent further attacks. He also noted that sexual violence affected men and boys, pointing out that men were not always perpetrators, but in fact, victims, as well.
MANIEMAGEN GOVENDER ( South Africa) said multidimensional peacekeeping operations needed to include public awareness campaigns at the field level, which would encourage public participation in programmes working against sexual violence in all its forms. Pointing to problems that had occurred in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes and security sector reforms, he said it was important that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Security Council and other relevant entities take note of such issues in order to make improvements for the future. He was confident about the value of scenario-based training, but stressed that it could not be a panacea for eliminating violence. More important was that a Government had the ability to extend its authority around its territory. For full and more effective implementation of resolution 1960 (2010), more involvement of women was needed. The mechanisms for monitoring established by the Security Council were important, but the increased involvement of women brought an infusion of gender concerns and interests into the process that would otherwise be absent.
NÉSTOR OSORIO (Colombia), deploring that sexual violence continued to happen in various parts of the world, said that the international community must adopt an attitude of “strict condemnation” to ensure those crimes be abolished. The primary responsibility lay with States and with national authorities. Enhancement of internal institutions was critical, as was women’s participation in peacebuilding. Moreover, information on sexual violence needed to be collected in a reliable, timely, and comprehensive way. International support and mediation should be made with the consent of the respective Government. On a national level, he referred to the “good practices” made by his Government in utilizing institutional forces to implement a plan addressing violence against women. In that regard, enhancing the role of women and promoting their rights, therefore, was particularly relevant.
OCTAVIO ERRÁZURIZ ( Chile) expressed concern that in several places, because of national courts’ lack of skills and expertise, it was still difficult to investigate and judge crimes of sexual violence against women and children. Thus, in order to bring perpetrators of such crimes to trial, support was needed from the United Nations in capacity-building. In recent years, efforts had been made to modernize Chilean institutions to conform to the human rights and gender focus of resolution 1325 (2000), as well as subsequent resolutions. This year, his country was launching its national plan for 2014-2018, with specific indicators for effectively measuring various types of activity. That, in turn, would be the basis for its 2019-2022 cycle. The indicators represented five specific goals: prevention; participation; protection; help; and recovery. Appropriate action to strengthen each of those elements would help combat existing impunity.
MATEJ MARN ( Slovenia) aligning himself with the European Union, said that it was of paramount importance the international community look beyond prevention. Perpetrators needed to be held accountable. Thus, addressing the issue of impunity was vital to ending sexual violence. He commended the Team of Experts and the intergovernmental facility, Justice Rapid Response, for their work in that regard. Stressing the importance of courts to establish the rule of law and a culture of accountability, he noted that the International Criminal Court was the only tribunal that referred to sexual violence as a crime against humanity. Because victims remained the most important focus, his country had worked with the Netherlands and Belgium to present an initiative that would help to ensure extradition for the most serious crimes, including sexual and gender crimes. Mutual legal assistance was vital for the proper investigation and prosecution of such crimes.
HERMAN SCHAPER ( Netherlands) said that women’s capacity was underutilized, which decreased the effectiveness and likelihood of any peace and reconstruction process’s success. “We need to listen to the priorities that women define and to the barriers that women perceive,” he stated. There was also need for a comprehensive multi-sectoral response for survivors, including medical care in accordance with international humanitarian law, and access to emergency contraception and safe abortions, HIV treatment, and psychosocial health-care services for women and girls. Equally important was the strengthening of the gender components in security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programmes. In that regard, ratification and full compliance with the Arms Trade Treaty, which gives substantive attention to gender dimensions, was essential. When women participate in peace processes and other formal decision-making processes, they play an important role in inspiring progress.
PASCALE BAERISWYL ( Switzerland) called sexual violence one of the most devastating weapons of war, profoundly injuring the bodies and souls of its victims. Prevention was key, he stressed, emphasizing the need to make specific and time-bound commitments to combat such violence and to hold perpetrators responsible. He expressed particular concern about the increase in sexual violence that often occurred after and “in the shadow” of high-level visits. Close follow-up was important in order to prevent such acts of revenge. Combining the fight against impunity with the recognition of the rights of victims was critical, as well. Calling sexual violence an “evil” that continued to undermine the credibility of United Nations peacekeeping missions, he underlined the important role of the International Criminal Court in punishing and prevention such crimes.
GUILLERMO RISHCHYNSKI ( Canada) said that primary responsibility for the prevention of sexual violence in conflict lay with national Governments, as well as with the leadership of non-State armed groups. However, conflict significantly weakened national justice systems, which resulted in a limited number of perpetrators facing justice. He urged the Security Council to take concrete measures to support women’s opportunity for equal participation and decision-making in all conflict prevention and resolution processes. The Council must also ensure health, safety, human rights and dignity for survivors. In that regard, he called on the Council to ensure that sanctions committees add criteria pertaining to acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence to their existing criteria. Canada was active in the prevention and response to sexual violence in conflict, he said, noting that his country contributed millions of dollars to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support the fight against sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo conflict.
ABDOU SALAM DIALLO ( Senegal) pointed out that armed groups had always used rape to pressure populations, particularly women. That “horrendous practice” had also been used as a strategy to force people to flee from their homes and communities. Beyond undermining morale, sexual violence in conflict also seriously undermined efforts to achieve sustainable development. On a national level, the failure of security sector reform led to violations against women and increased the risks of reprisals. Calling on the international community to deliver a strong message backed up by a holistic strategy, he welcomed today’s resolution, and the putting of victims at the core of conflict resolution efforts. Combating the evil of sexual violence in conflict was, first and foremost, the responsibility of Governments and security forces, which had the utmost responsibility to protect civilian populations. He called for increased capabilities, not only in the security forces, but in the legal and intelligence spheres, as well. In regards to combating impunity at the international level, he said the International Criminal Court, in line with the principle of complementarity, must ensure justice be served to the victims and survivors.
JEROBEAM SHAANIKA ( Namibia) recalled that his country had made its “modest” contribution to issues of women in peace, during its presidency of the Security Council in October 2000, when open discussions had been initiated, culminating in the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000). His delegation encouraged the Special Representative to work with Governments and armed groups to seek their commitments for accountability to prevent sexual violence. He also supported the proposal to deploy women’s protection advisers to United Nations missions, and the addressing of sexual violence in the context of security sector reform. The establishment of a mechanism to monitor commitments by parties to conflict, including issuing clear orders through chains of command and establishing codes of conduct prohibiting sexual violence, was key, as well.
ASOKE KUMAR MUKERJI ( India) said that not enough progress had been made in implementing the recommendations laid out in resolution 1325 (2000). The Security Council should make available the resources required for peacekeeping missions to implement the expanded scope of their mandates. He underscored that India had been the first Member State to successfully deploy an all-women police force as part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Liberia, where sexual violence had been one of the hallmarks of the conflict. Expressing hope that such an example would encourage others to follow suit, he also reiterated his country’s position that thematic debates in the Security Council should focus on issues related to the specific mandate provided. Caution was needed in order to ensure the Council did not go beyond such mandates, which could only serve to dilute its focus and divert much-needed resources away from the task at hand. It was, therefore, critical that the Council’s reports remain focused on the situations of armed conflict that were on the agenda of the Council, and not stray into so-called “situations of concern” on the basis of sweeping generalizations.
CESARE MARIA RAGAGLINI ( Italy) said that impunity made those responsible of crimes “confident enough” to use sexual violence as a tactic of war. That stance took hope for justice away from victims and survivors and was a “stumbling block” in rebuilding peaceful societies after conflicts. He further called for the implementation of zero-tolerance policies towards sexual misconduct by peacekeeping, political and peacebuilding personnel. Those actors were the “face of the United Nations” for people suffering from the “plague of conflict” and must ensure the highest standards of respect of human rights and humanitarian law. The principle of no amnesty for perpetrators of sexual violence crimes should always be respected. As well, the participation of women in peace negotiations and ceasefires was the best way to ensure that those issues were not “traded off” for other agendas. He called on the international community to provide technical assistance and capacity-building, and to help strengthen the rule of law, which represented the best institutional safeguard against these crimes.
DRAGANA ANĐELIĆ ( Bosnia and Herzegovina) aligned herself with the European Union, saying violence against women was “certainly the most brutal manifestation of discrimination”. Bosnia and Herzegovina was the first South-East European country to adopt an action plan to implement resolution 1325 (2000), with a gender action plan along with laws regulating prevention of violence against women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations. Women needed deeper involvement in conflict prevention and mediation, she said, underlining the importance of deploying women’s protection advisers to United Nations peacekeeping and special political missions. One third of all Bosnian peacekeepers had to be women. As well, recruitment of women to the civil, military and police components of peacekeeping missions could encourage better reporting of sexual violence and help establish better communications with local communities. She added that the “Programme for victims of rape, sexual abuse and torture in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2013-2016” emphasised the State’s obligation to provide access for victims to reparations, as well as legal and psychological support.
SAIFUL AZAM MARTINUS ABDULLAH ( Malaysia) stressed the need to move urgently to replace the prevailing culture of impunity with one of deterrence that promoted the need for the rule of law, justice and accountability. His delegation viewed accountability as a duty of Member States under both domestic and international law. National systems should be steered towards meeting international standards in ensuring accountability and justice. Further, the routine deployment of women protection advisers was crucial in addressing sexual violence. Only eight women’s protection advisers had been deployed in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. Thus, it was encouraging to learn that more were being recruited for the Organization’s missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire and the Central African Republic.
IOANNIS VRAILAS, representative of the Delegation of the European Union, highlighted a number of key actions needed to tackle the culture of impunity that allowed crimes of sexual violence to go unrecorded, unpunished and, at worst, tolerated by the community or society. Those included, to name a few, ensuring the prosecution of crimes of sexual violence and punishing the perpetrators of crimes against women and girls, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, under national and international law; ensuring women’s leadership and the participation of women in peace processes and conflict resolution; and ensuring the availability of reparations as a form of transitional gender justice, as well as accessible services, including health, education, psychosocial, legal and economic support; and raising awareness.
He said that the Union welcomed efforts to include the issue of sexual violence in actions addressing international peace and security, including the provisions related to gender-based violence in the recently adopted United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. Among other things, the bloc also lauded the recent commitments of the G-8 to enhance efforts to address impunity for sexual violence in conflict, including the endorsement of the development of the International Protocol on the Investigation and Documentation of Sexual Violence in Conflict. The support of the European Union to implement its dedicated policy on women, peace and security amounted to about €200 million per year. Gender advisers or human rights focal points were also now in place in each of its crisis management missions and operations. In addition, it would continue its work on training modules on human rights and gender in crisis management, including a focus on sexual violence in conflict.
JIM KELLY ( Ireland) aligned himself with the European Union, saying progress on the women, peace and security agenda, although significant, was also uneven and inadequate. He was disappointed that the Security Council had not identified ways to target suspected perpetrators of sexual violence with sanctions and other measures as recommended by the Secretary-General’s report and asked Council members if they were doing enough to pressure the 32 parties named in the report’s annex. He also questioned why reluctance to take decisive action to address that impunity remained. It fell to leaders at the national level to take ownership of the women, peace and security agenda and to lead the fight, and he stressed the importance of women driving change. Ireland had convened a high-level panel discussion on Women and Peacebuilding in the Great Lakes Region and was also co-funding an event in Bujumbura organized by Femmes Africa Solidarité to explore that, as well. Pointing out Ireland was one of only a few countries to publish progress reports on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), he said he hoped other States would benefit from learning about Ireland’s successes and the areas it needed to improve.
FRANCIS ASSISI CHULLIKATT, Permanent Observer for the Holy See, noted that a truly human-centred approach to providing assistance to victims and their communities required respect for life at all stages of development. His delegation regretted that today’s resolution went beyond that call and instead sought to promote a potentially destructive notion of health care, such as sexual and reproductive health, which too often was used as a justification for taking life rather than upholding it. Death of an innocent unborn child only visited further violence on a woman already in difficulty. The Catholic Church through its institutions, particularly female religious institutions, was firmly committed to a compassionate outreach to victims. He expressed hope that future discussions on the issue would remain focused, and not divert towards the promotion of political or ideological agendas which only served to harm human dignity and were already under discussion in other United Nations forums.
COLLIN BECK ( Solomon Islands), affirming the widespread use of sexual violence in conflicts as a tool to deliberately humiliate opponents, said that a vast majority of victims and survivors “do not see justice come their way”. On a national level, Solomon Islands went through an ethnic conflict between 1998 and 2000. In 2009, with the support of the United Nations, in particular a sitting member of the Security Council, Australia, Solomon Islands established a truth and reconciliation commission, which provided a mechanism to hear the stories of victims and try to restore the dignity of survivors, including those who had been sexually violated. Further, one of the roles of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands was to strengthen the security apparatus of the country and address gaps in the system. Such support had allowed Solomon Islands to lead a strong campaign to protect victims and deal with gender violence perpetrators, while working with relevant stakeholders.
MESHAL HAMAD AL-THANI ( Qatar) said that improving the protection of women was not merely a humanitarian task, but one that also required guided efforts in several areas, first and foremost the enforcement of protection laws without discrimination or selectivity. He reiterated the importance of ensuring the availability of health-care services and social support to victims of sexual violence in conflict-affected areas, and providing those victims with access to justice. The Arab region was not immune to the risks caused by armed conflict and its devastating effects on civilians. In that regard, he pointed out that Syria had not been spared by the brutal onslaught waged against its people by a repressive regime. Women constituted the majority of Syrian internally displaced persons and refugees, and they were subjected to discrimination, physical and sexual assaults and other violations by regime officials, their loyalists and thugs. “Such crimes amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, and their perpetrators must be held accountable,” he said.
SEWA LAMSAL ADHIKARI ( Nepal) said that, after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord in 2006, her Government had traversed a long path towards empowering women. The interim Constitution of Nepal 2007 had ensured maximum participation of women in decision-making positions in all walks of national life, from grass roots to the national levels, including a 33 per cent representation of women in the Constituent Assembly. Her country was also committed to increasing the number of women in its army, police and United Nations peacekeeping operations. Further, Nepal was the first South Asian country to develop the national plan of action on Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008). Nepal, she stated, had never rescinded its commitment with respect to cases involving grave violations of human rights and ending impunity through the establishment of a transitional justice mechanism.
NKOLOI NKOLOI (Botswana), expressing concern that, despite global condemnation, sexual violence continued to be systematic and widespread, said that enhanced political commitment was needed to promote and protect the rights of women and children. He supported the work of UN-Women and the Special Representative towards that end. He also called for greater coordination and collaboration among all relevant stakeholders to strengthen global efforts to address sexual violence. In addition, the involvement of women in peace negotiations, peacebuilding and conflict prevention was crucial. He urged all States to take steps to remove obstacles to women’s access to justice and to create an enabling environment where women could easily report incidents of violence without fear or intimidation. In that regard, he encouraged States to strengthen the capacity of national criminal justice systems to serve victims with dignity, underscoring that men and boys must also be engaged as partners to create a culture of peace, tolerance and respect for women.
RICHARD NDUHUURA ( Uganda) called for intensified efforts to ensure compliance with States’ obligations to prosecute perpetrators, end impunity and provide equal protection. As well, access to justice for all victims of sexual violence, particularly women and girls, was essential. Uganda had taken a comprehensive approach aimed at enhancing women’s empowerment, participation and involvement in the promotion of peace and security. In 2008, it had developed a national action plan on Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008), and the Goma Declaration on Eradicating Sexual Violence and Ending Impunity in the Great Lakes Region. He also stressed the necessity for all parties to armed conflict to enforce the prohibition of sexual violence through their chains of command, ensure that alleged abuses are investigated promptly, and that perpetrators were held accountable.
GAREN NAZARIAN ( Armenia) said the alarming escalation of sexual violence during armed conflict was both a serious humanitarian concern and a significant security issue. Crimes needed to be fully investigated and prosecuted, he said, supporting the Council’s call for more systematic attention to impunity and justice. Special attention must also be paid to girl victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence. However, simply naming and punishing offenders was not enough. Women’s empowerment and participation in political and social spheres was needed. The protection and promotion of women’s rights in peacebuilding and reconstruction required women’s involvement in processes towards that end. Despite progress, much remained to be done. Women were still largely excluded from efforts to find workable solutions to conflict. He said that his country would do its part to work with the United Nations and other entities to combat sexual violence in armed conflict.
CRISTINA CARRION (Uruguay), noting the progress made since resolution 1325 (2000), said there were, however, various conflict and post-conflict areas that continued to see increases in violence against women and children, including sexual violence. He stressed the need to respect the rights of victims and to ensure their reintegration, to bring perpetrators to justice and to build the capacity of States in those areas. The matter being part of a greater agenda, she pointed out that peacekeeping operations, in recent years, had had protection of civilian mandates, with a focus on women and children. As well, Uruguay had been in the vanguard of incorporating women into its armed forces, she added.
MOHAMED IBRAHIM MOHAMED ELBAHI ( Sudan) stated that the situation of women in the areas of conflict in Sudan had seen considerable improvement as compared to recent years. However, a number of rebel movements were still outside the ambit of peace, he said, and he called upon the Council to send a clear signal to those groups to stop perpetrating violations of human rights, especially against women and children. In 2005, Sudan had elaborated a national strategy on combating gender-based violence. A dedicated Government unit now existed to combat those crimes. In addition to the efforts employed by the country’s Advisory Council on Human Rights, Sudan had implemented a 10-year national work plan with a clear-cut strategy to enhance human rights. Finally, he insisted that the reports of the United Nations must contain correct, verifiable information, and that Governments must be informed of that information long in advance of publication.
TÉTE ANTÓNIO, Permanent Observer of the African Union delegation, highlighted the regional organization’s efforts, including the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in tandem with the Gender Policy the Union had adopted in 2009. The Union’s road map for the African Peace and Security Architecture for 2011-2013 had devoted an entire section to the topic of women, peace and security. In addition, the Union’s Peace and Security Council Department had sought to mainstream gender into its work at the institutional, operational and programmatic levels. The inclusion of gender experts in post-conflict needs assessment missions undertaken by the Department was a step forward in formulating efficient post-conflict reconstruction programmes.
He also said that the Union’s Peace Support Operations was seeking to address the differential needs of men and women as peacekeepers. The Union’s Peace and Security Council had held a meeting in March 2011 on the theme of women and children and other vulnerable groups in armed conflict. Based on the outcome of that meeting, efforts were under way to appoint the Union’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. The African Union Commission was considering signing a framework of cooperation with the United Nations, which would go a long way in enhancing cooperation and coordination between the two organizations.
ASAAD IBRAHIM ( Syria) said there were 37,000 documented cases of rape and kidnappings of 1,000 women by armed groups in his country. His delegation had sent letters to the Special Representative about the sexual violence against and murder of women and girls in Syria by such armed groups, as well as the use of women and girls as spoils of war and sex slaves. Some of the sponsors of such armed terrorist groups resided in the Gulf sheikhdoms, and were acting in the name of the so-called “fornication jihad”. Yet, all that devious behaviour had been met with unjustified silence by the United Nations and many international agencies. That was unacceptable and led one to conclude that some Member States were supporting such acts, including cannibalism. Further, it was truly shameful for the apartheid Israeli regime to speak about the rights of women when its soldiers were committing murder and sexual violence every day against Palestinians.
Responding to the statement by Turkey’s representative, he said that before calling on Syria to grant access to the United Nations, Turkish authorities should allow the United Nations and others to visit the training camps inside Turkey where hundreds were being trained to commit murder and other acts against the people in Syria. The Qatari regime was supporting the Al-Qaida-affiliated Al-Nusra front, which committed horrible crimes against women and other civilians, and broadcasted on satellite channels fundamentalist fatwas that violated international humanitarian law. He believed in the peaceful settlement of conflict based on international dialogue in Syria, a land of tolerance and brotherly love.
The full text of resolution 2016 (2013) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Reaffirming its commitment to the continuing and full implementation, in a mutually reinforcing manner, of resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1325 (2000), 1612 (2005), 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006), 1820 (2008), 1882 (2009), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1894 (2009), 1960 (2010), 1998 (2011) and 2068 (2012), and all relevant statements of its President,
“Thanking the Secretary-General for the report of 12 March 2013 (S/2013/149) and taking note of the analysis and recommendations contained therein, but remaining deeply concerned over the slow implementation of important aspects of resolution 1960 (2010) to prevent sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations and noting as documented in the Secretary-General’s report that sexual violence occurs in such situations throughout the world,
“Recognizing the Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict adopted by G8 foreign ministers in London on 11 April 2013, and the commitments it makes in this regard,
“Recognizing that consistent and rigorous prosecution of sexual violence crimes as well as national ownership and responsibility in addressing the root causes of sexual violence in armed conflict are central to deterrence and prevention as is challenging the myths that sexual violence in armed conflict is a cultural phenomenon or an inevitable consequence of war or a lesser crime,
“Affirming that women’s political, social and economic empowerment, gender equality and the enlistment of men and boys in the effort to combat all forms of violence against women are central to long-term efforts to prevent sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations; and emphasizing the importance of the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) while noting the ongoing work on a set of indicators for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent resolutions on women and peace and security, and recognizing UN-Women’s efforts in this area,
“Noting with concern that sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations disproportionately affects women and girls, as well as groups that are particularly vulnerable or may be specifically targeted, while also affecting men and boys and those secondarily traumatized as forced witnesses of sexual violence against family members; and emphasizing that acts of sexual violence in such situations not only severely impede the critical contributions of women to society, but also impede durable peace and security as well as sustainable development,
“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; and reaffirming that parties to armed conflict bear the primary responsibility to ensure the protection of civilians,
“Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States in accordance with the Charter,
“Recalling the inclusion of a range of sexual violence offenses in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the statutes of the ad hoc international criminal tribunals,
“Noting the provision in the Arms Trade Treaty that exporting States parties shall take into account the risk of covered conventional arms or items being used to commit or facilitate serious acts of gender-based violence or serious acts of violence against women and children,
“Further recalling that international humanitarian law prohibits rape and other forms of sexual violence,
“Recalling the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy on United Nations Support to non-United Nations Security Forces as a tool to enhance compliance with international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, including to address sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations,
“Having considered the report of the Secretary-General 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. Affirms that sexual violence, when used or commissioned as a method or 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; emphasizes in this regard that effective steps to prevent and respond to such acts significantly contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security; and stresses women’s participation as essential to any prevention and protection response;
“2. Notes that sexual violence can constitute a crime against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide; further recalls that rape and other forms of serious sexual violence in armed conflict are war crimes; calls upon Member States to comply with their relevant obligations to continue to fight impunity by investigating and prosecuting those subject to their jurisdiction who are responsible for such crimes; encourages Member States to include the full range of crimes of sexual violence in national penal legislation to enable prosecutions for such acts; recognizes that effective investigation and documentation of sexual violence in armed conflict is instrumental both in bringing perpetrators to justice and ensuring access to justice for survivors;
“3. Notes that the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern committed against women and girls has been strengthened through the work of the ICC, ad hoc and mixed tribunals, as well as specialized chambers in national tribunals; reiterates its intention to continue forcefully to fight impunity and uphold accountability with appropriate means;
“4. Draws attention to the importance of a comprehensive approach to transitional justice in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, encompassing the full range of judicial and non-judicial measures, as appropriate;
“5. Recognizes the need for more systematic monitoring of and attention to sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations and other women and peace and security commitments in its own work and, in this regard, expresses its intent to employ, as appropriate, all means at its disposal to ensure women’s participation in all aspects of mediation, post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding and to address sexual violence in conflict, including, inter alia, in the establishment and review of peacekeeping and political mandates, public statements, country visits, fact-finding missions, international commissions of inquiry, consultations with regional bodies and in the work of relevant Security Council sanctions committees;
“6. Recognizes the need for more timely, objective, accurate and reliable information as a basis for prevention and response and requests the Secretary-General and relevant United Nations entities to accelerate the establishment and implementation of 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;
“7. Calls for the further deployment of Women Protection Advisors (WPA) in accordance with resolution 1888 to facilitate the implementation of Security Council resolutions on women and peace and security and calls upon the Secretary-General to ensure that the need for, and the number and roles of WPAs are systematically assessed during the planning and review of each United Nations peacekeeping and political mission, and to ensure that these experts are adequately trained and deployed in a timely manner; and recognizes the role of UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict in facilitating coordinated responses of relevant peacekeeping, humanitarian, human rights, political and security actors and emphasizes the need for enhanced coordination, information sharing, analysis, response planning and implementation across these sectors;
“8. Recognizes the distinct role of Gender Advisors in ensuring that gender perspectives are mainstreamed in policies, planning and implementation by all mission elements; calls upon the Secretary-General to continue to deploy Gender Advisers to the relevant United Nations peacekeeping and political missions as well as humanitarian operations and to ensure comprehensive gender training of all relevant peacekeeping and civilian personnel;
“9. Acknowledges the efforts of United Nations entities in ensuring United Nations Commissions of Inquiry in armed conflict and post-conflict situations have, where necessary, sexual and gender-based crimes expertise to accurately document such crimes and encourages all Member States to support these efforts;
“10. Reiterates its demand for the complete cessation with immediate effect by all parties to armed conflict of all acts of sexual violence and its call for these parties to make and implement specific time-bound commitments to combat sexual violence, which should include, inter alia, issuance of clear orders through chains of command prohibiting sexual violence and accountability for breaching these orders, the prohibition of sexual violence in codes of conduct, military and police field manuals or equivalent and to make and implement specific commitments on timely investigation of alleged abuses; and further calls upon all relevant parties to armed conflict to cooperate in the framework of such commitments, with appropriate United Nations mission personnel who monitor their implementation, and calls upon the parties to designate, as appropriate, a high-level representative responsible for ensuring implementation of such commitments;
“11. Emphasizes the important role that can be played by women, civil society, including women’s organizations, and formal and informal community leaders in exerting influence over parties to armed conflict with respect to addressing sexual violence;
“12. Reiterates the importance of addressing sexual violence in armed conflict whenever relevant, in mediation efforts, ceasefires and peace agreements; requests the Secretary-General, Member States and regional organizations, where appropriate, to ensure that mediators and envoys, in situations where it is used as a method or tactic of war, or as part of a widespread or systematic attack against civilian populations, engage on sexual violence issues, including with women, civil society, including women’s organizations and survivors of sexual violence, and ensure that such concerns are reflected in specific provisions of peace agreements, including those related to security arrangements and transitional justice mechanisms; urges the inclusion of sexual violence in the definition of acts prohibited by ceasefires and in provisions for ceasefire monitoring; stresses the need for the exclusion of sexual violence crimes from amnesty provisions in the context of conflict resolution processes;
“13. Urges existing sanctions committees, where within the scope of the relevant criteria for designation, and consistent with resolution 1960 (2010) to apply targeted sanctions against those who perpetrate and direct sexual violence in conflict; and 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 serious sexual violence;
“14. Recognizes the role of United Nations peacekeeping contingents in preventing sexual violence, and, in this respect, calls for all pre-deployment and in-mission training of troop- and police-contributing country contingents to include training on sexual and gender-based violence, which also takes into account the distinct needs of children; further encourages troop- and police-contributing countries to increase the number of women recruited and deployed in peace operations;
“15. Requests the Secretary-General to continue and strengthen efforts to implement the policy of zero tolerance on sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations personnel and urges concerned Member States to ensure full accountability, including prosecutions, in cases of such conduct involving their nationals;
“16. Requests the Secretary-General and relevant United Nations entities to assist national authorities, with the effective participation of women, in addressing sexual violence concerns explicitly in:
(a) disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes, including, inter alia, by establishing protection mechanisms for women and children in cantonment sites, as well as for civilians in close proximity of cantonment sites and in communities of return, and by offering trauma and reintegration support to women and children formerly associated with armed groups, as well as ex-combatants;
(b) security sector reform processes and arrangements, including through the provision of adequate training for security personnel, encouraging the inclusion of more women in the security sector and effective vetting processes in order to exclude from the security sector those who have perpetrated or are responsible for acts of sexual violence;
(c) justice sector reform initiatives, including through legislative and policy reforms that address sexual violence; training in sexual and gender-based violence of justice and security sector professionals and the inclusion of more women at professional levels in these sectors; and judicial proceedings that take into account the distinct needs and protection of witnesses as well as survivors of sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, and their family members;
“17. Recognizes that women who have been forcefully abducted into armed groups and armed forces, as well as children, are especially vulnerable to sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations and as such demands that parties to armed conflict immediately identify and release such persons from their ranks;
“18. Encourages concerned Member States to draw upon the expertise of the United Nations Team of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1888 (2009) as appropriate to strengthen the rule of law and the capacity of civilian and military justice systems to address sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations as part of broader efforts to strengthen institutional safeguards against impunity;
“19. Recognizing the importance of providing timely assistance to survivors of sexual violence, urges United Nations entities and donors to provide non-discriminatory and comprehensive health services, including sexual and reproductive health, psychosocial, legal, and livelihood support and other multi-sectoral services for survivors of sexual violence, taking into account the specific needs of persons with disabilities; calls for support to national institutions and local civil society networks in increasing resources and strengthening capacities to provide the abovementioned services to survivors of sexual violence; encourages Member States and donors to support national and international programmes that assist victims of sexual violence such as the Trust Fund for Victims established by the Rome Statute and its implementing partners; and requests the relevant United Nations entities to increase allocation of resources for the coordination of gender-based violence response and service provision;
“20. Notes the link between sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations and HIV infection, and the disproportionate burden of HIV and AIDS on women and girls as a persistent obstacle and challenge to gender equality; and urges United Nations entities, Member States and donors to support the development and strengthening of capacities of national health systems and civil society networks in order to provide sustainable assistance to women and girls living with or affected by HIV and AIDS in armed conflict and post-conflict situations;
“21. Underlines the important roles that civil society organizations, including women’s organizations, and networks can play in enhancing community-level protection against sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations and supporting survivors in accessing justice and reparations;
“22. Requests that the Secretary-General continue to submit annual reports to the Council on the implementation of women and peace and security resolutions and the present resolution, and to submit his next report by March 2014;
“23. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
* *** *For information media • not an official record