UN agency applauds Security Council resolution on sexual violence during wars

25 June 2008

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has welcomed the Security Council’s call for an immediate end to all acts of sexual violence against women and girls in conflict situations.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has welcomed the Security Council’s call for an immediate end to all acts of sexual violence against women and girls in conflict situations.

Calling the resolution, adopted unanimously last week, “a historical achievement,” the Fund’s Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid said it would go a long way to protect the dignity of women and girls.

“While sexual violence against women in conflict has often been ignored and considered a marginal concern, it in fact cuts to the very core of the existence of the women who are victims of this crime.”

The resolution, which says sexual violence against civilians is often a tactic in war, demands all parties to conflicts take concrete measures to prevent and respond to violence, such as by training troops and upholding military discipline procedures.

It also says sexual violence crimes should be excluded from any amnesties reached at the end of conflicts, and calls on States to strengthen their judicial and health-care systems to better assist victims.

Ms. Obaid said the resolution is “a strong reminder to the international community to recognize the need to address sexual violence in a quick and efficient manner, and to realize that as long as women and girls are threatened by such violence, there can be no real chance for peace and security.”

 

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