Sexual Violence in Conflict: Guidance for Mediators
The United Nations is enlisting its peace envoys in stepped-up efforts by the organization to combat the scourge of sexual violence in warfare, unveiling new guidelines to help mediators address the problem in peace agreements and cease-fires.
Sexual violence to be included in ceasefire and peace agreements
The guidance by the Department of Political Affairs was issued to all UN mediators and mission chiefs and incorporated in training and briefing materials for envoys and their teams. Key principles for mediators include an obligation to engage parties in discussion on this issue and to work towards firm commitments in peace accords to cease all acts of conflict-related sexual violence. The guidelines also require sexual violence to be included in the definition of acts covered by a ceasefire and monitored for.
Conflict-related sexual violence has been used as a tactic of warfare in many armed conflicts around the globe from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone – affecting both women and men, girls and boys.
Since 2008, the UN Security Council has considered sexual violence a threat to security and an impediment to peace. If left unaddressed, this risks undermining ceasefire agreements and possibly the mediation process itself.
Experts Welcome New Guidance
Q&A with UN Mediation Experts on Twitter
On 9 March 2012, the UN Department of Political Affairs launched its Guidance for Mediators on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence. On the sidelines of the event, UN Mediation Experts answered your questions about addressing conflict-related sexual violence in ceasefire and peace agreements (Twitter: #sexualviolenceinconflict).
Follow the UN Department of Political Affairs on Twitter @UN_DPA
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Credits: UNTV, 21st Century