Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Headquarters, 30 September 2009
Distinguished Members of the Security Council, Ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to address you again on Security Council Resolution 1820.
At the outset, I would like to welcome [US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] again to the United Nations. I would like to commend your leadership and commitment on all major goals and ideals of the United Nations, including this very important issue of women, peace and security.
Despite some progress in responding to sexual violence in armed conflicts, the deliberate targeting of civilians continues unabated, including on a widespread or systematic basis. Parties to armed conflict continue to use sexual violence with efficient brutality. The perpetrators generally operate with impunity.
States and other parties to conflict must uphold their international legal obligations. The international community must do more to prevent violence, protect individuals, punish perpetrators and provide redress to victims.
With its resolution today, the Security Council is sending an unequivocal message -- a call to action. It is an ambitious platform for intensifying this struggle. It builds on resolution 1820, which itself set an important precedent by recognizing the links between sexual violence and sustainable peace and security.
I am fully committed to ensuring that the provisions of both resolutions are implemented, in partnership with all relevant stakeholders.
I will continue to ensure effective follow-up by the UN system.
The Council's continued engagement will be crucial. My recent report to you offered a series of mutually reinforcing recommendations for action.
Sexual violence -- in armed conflict or, indeed, at any time -- should have no place and find no haven in our world.
We must all do our part to fight and end discrimination against women and girls.
The new gender entity recently agreed by the General Assembly should strengthen our work for women's empowerment; I have asked the Deputy-Secretary-General to lead efforts to put that entity in place.
I will also continue to do everything in my power to advance gender equality among UN staff, including in my senior appointments.
Women's empowerment must be at the heart of our global work for peace and development.