Mandate and purpose

In Security Council resolution (SCR) 1960, the Security Council requests the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General to establish monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements (MARA) on conflict-related sexual violence, including rape in situations of armed conflict, post-conflict and other situations of concern. These arrangements should consider the specificity of each country and ensure a coherent and coordinated approach at field-level.

The purpose of MARA is to ensure the systematic gathering of timely, accurate, reliable and objective information on conflict-related sexual violence. MARA draws on information gathered from a variety of sources, including local government authorities and institutions, health and psychosocial service providers, UN Civilian, Police and Military Peacekeeping presences, UN Country Team actors, local and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society organisations, religious institutions and faith-based networks.

Information from MARA is used to promote appropriate and timely action to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence; inform strategic advocacy; enhance prevention and programmatic responses for survivors; and contribute to the development of comprehensive strategies to combat sexual violence at country-level.

Based on information obtained from MARA and in complementarity with other UN system advocacy efforts, the SRSG-SVC undertakes targeted advocacy with the Security Council and other political and policy-making bodies, as well as with Governments, donors and international media.Such information can serve as the basis for Security Council action, including the imposition of sanctions and other targeted measures, and the establishment of protection mandates for UN presences in situations on the agenda of the Security Council.

MARA implementation

The implementation of MARA may differ depending on the context, particularly in regard to conflict or post-conflict situations. For example, aspects of MARA related to the identification of parties to conflict and perpetrators, or engagements with such parties for protection commitments, are most relevant in situations of ongoing conflict. However, post-conflict situations require timely and reliable data and analysis of patterns and trends of sexual violence, particularly as a legacy of the conflict to improve prevention and response efforts and to promote action by the Security Council. Therefore, field teams should tailor the reporting requirements to their specific context. In all contexts, MARA should serve as a basis to monitor and influence the conduct of both State and non-State parties.

MARA should be designed and implemented in adherence with established ethical and safety criteria, such as security, confidentiality, anonymity, informed consent, safety and protection from retribution, and protection of the data.

Moreover, emphasis must be placed on ensuring that monitoring and reporting on sexual violence is undertaken alongside the provision of services for survivors. This is a key ethical consideration for UN actors. The establishment of MARA should be viewed as an opportunity to improve information and services for survivors, including through referrals to such services where possible. Increased availability of services will, in turn, result in more accurate information related to sexual violence.