UN Security Council adopts resolution on fight against sexual violence

09:33, December 17, 2010      

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The UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution that will allow UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to list parties who have committed acts of sexual violence in reports to the 15-member body.

The resolution expresses the Security Council's intention to use the list of perpetrators "as a basis for more focused United Nations engagement with those parties, including as appropriate," to consider the imposition of sanctions.

The adoption of Resolution 1960 came during an open debate of the Council on women, peace and security.

The resolution cited "deep concern" that despite the Council's "repeated condemnation of violence against women and children in situations of armed conflict," such acts continue to occur and "in some situations have become systematic and widespread, reaching appalling levels of brutality."

Meanwhile, another provision calls upon parties to armed conflict to implement "time-bound commitments" to combat sexual violence and implement "timely investigations of alleged abuses in order to hold perpetrators accountable."

In addition, the Security Council encouraged UN member states to deploy greater numbers of female military and police personnel to peacekeeping missions in order to facilitate training on sexual and gender-based violence.

After the adoption of the resolution, Margot Wallstrom, the special representative of the UN secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict, told the Security Council that she welcomed the new resolution.

"Ever since I took office in April this year, I have repeated that the UN can do no less than bring all of its accountability tools to bear," she said. "This must apply equally whether the victim is an 8-year-old girl or an 80-year-old grandmother."

"We are now poised to make that system a reality through the establishment of a comprehensive monitoring and accountability architecture to shatter the vicious cycle of impunity for wartime sexual violence," she said.

"Today's resolution will help ensure that mass rape is never again met with mass impunity," she said. "Instead of serving as a cheap, silent and effective tactic of war, sexual violence will be a liability for armed groups. It will expose their superiors to increased international scrutiny, seal off the corridors of power and close all exits to those who commit, command or condone such acts."

Source: Xinhua
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