UN Action brings together the collective experience and institutional capacity of the UN system, and over the last decade has filled critical knowledge gaps, generated policy, guidance, and training materials to inform evidence-based prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV).
UN Action was created in 2007 in response to the “Call to Action” of the June 2006 Symposium on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond, held in Brussels. The establishment of UN Action responded to calls from within the UN, as well as from women’s rights organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and Member States to elevate sexual violence politically as a peace and security challenge, and as a humanitarian, human rights, gender, and development issue.
In June 2007, the Secretary-General’s Policy Committee endorsed UN Action as “a critical joint UN system-wide initiative to guide advocacy, knowledge-building, resource mobilisation, and joint programming around sexual violence in conflict”. In all relevant resolutions, notably 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2331 (2016) and 2467 (2019), the Security Council specifically highlights UN Action as the critical interagency coordination forum to address CRSV, through joint advocacy, knowledge generation and programming.
Following the passing of the most recent of these, ground-breaking Security Council resolution 2467 (2019), UN Action developed a new Strategic Framework (2020 – 2025), focusing particularly on a comprehensive and survivor-centred approach to CRSV, with a renewed emphasis on prevention of CRSV, including addressing its structural root causes.
Structure and Membership
UN Action is chaired by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict (SRSG-SVC), supported by a Secretariat located in the Office of the SRSG-SVC, and is governed by a Steering Committee consisting of Principals from the 21 member entities. Current members include CTED, DPPA, DPO, IOM, ITC, OCHA, OHCHR, OSAPG, OSGEY, OSRSG-CAAC, OSRSG-VAC, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNODA, UNODC, UN Women, UNOCT and WHO.
Areas of Work
1/ Protection and Prevention: Survivors and at-risk groups are supported and protected and CRSV risks are prevented and mitigated. Comprehensive and multisectoral assistance, including medical, psychosocial, safety/security, livelihoods and justice services are available and accessible. CRSV prevention and risk mitigation measures are implemented in a survivor-centred manner, including through strategies and plans to implement the Joint Communiqués.
2/ Capacity building and strategic engagement with duty-bearers: Strengthening the capacity of duty-bearers and decision-makers to take action to address risks and root causes of CRSV and to promote compliance and accountability (global and national levels) by increasing joint and sustained advocacy as well as strengthening the technical expertise of institutional, operational, and national actors.
3/ Guidance, policies, and tools: Advancing the implementation of the CRSV/WPS agenda in conflict prevention/resolution peacekeeping, peacebuilding, humanitarian, and development process by developing guidance, policies, and tools to fill gaps in knowledge, practices, and advocacy and technical expertise. These guidance, policies, and tools are shared within the UN Action network and other relevant actors.
4/ Data: Increasing the availability of reliably, timely and objective information on CRSV trends, risks, and patterns to 1. Support evidence-based high-level advocacy; 2. Enhance engagement with and pressure on parties to conflict; 3. Inform impactful, survivor-centred solutions by: using safe, ethical and gender-responsive data management and analysis methods, deploying Women Protection Advisors, strengthening the Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Arrangements (MARA), and promoting coordination across CRSV information management platforms.
5/ Coordination: Improving UN coordination and the system-wide response and implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on CRSV by: increasing the capacity of the UN Action network to fulfil its role as a consultative forum on CRSV and increasing the capacity of the UN Action network to fulfil its role as a platform for coordinating advocacy and implementing joint gap-filling CRSV-focused interventions.
UN Action is funded completely from voluntary, extra-budgetary contributions by donors to the Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Multi-Partner Trust Fund (CRSV-MPTF). Funding from the CRSV-MPTF not only supports the functioning of the network, but also supports the joint projects of UN Action, which directly benefit survivors and people at risk of CRSV. Since 2009 UN Action has supported over 50 projects across 17 conflict-affected countries as well as regional and global-level initiatives.
Channeling funding to the CRSV-MPTF allows UN Action to undertake activities in the areas of prevention of CRSV (including through addressing its root causes), protection, provision of multi-sectoral services for survivors, building capacities of national institutions, developing guidance, and ensuring safe and ethical data collection and analysis – all covered by UN Action’s strategic framework. UN Action and survivors of CRSV benefit from streamlined programming, strengthened governance and financial management systems, and standardized donor reporting. Member States and other partners can contribute to the CRSV-MPTF.
Project in Focus:
UN Action’s project “Leveraging the strength of women in Somalia to mitigate CRSV and prevent violent extremism” provides direct support to survivors of conflict-related sexual violence systematically committed by Al-Shabaab as a tactic of war. Specifically, it supports women formerly associated with Al-Shabaab and the communities they return to, to reduce their vulnerabilities and improve their overall human security, using human-centric and prevention-oriented approaches. The project provides strengthened Mental Health & Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) services and socio-economic reintegration support to 100 women formerly associated with Al-Shabaab, including survivors of CRSV; and builds local and national capacities to respond to the complex and sensitive needs of women formerly associated with Al-Shabaab and increase leadership among women from communities affected by Al-Shabaab to mitigate the risks of violent extremism and CRSV. This project is jointly implemented by IOM and UNSOM.
More Information Here:
For further comprehensive and current information, please visit the UN Action Network Official Website
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