UN envoy for sexual violence in conflict to step down next month

16 April 2012

Margot Wallström, who has been spearheading United Nations efforts to tackle sexual violence in conflict, will step down from her post at the end of May due to family considerations, it was announced today.

Ms. Wallström, a Swedish national who has been a long-time advocate of the rights and needs of women, has served as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s first Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict since February 2010.

“The Secretary-General has accepted Ms. Wallström’s decision with regret,” his spokesperson said in a statement.

Mr. Ban voiced his gratitude to Ms. Wallström, who has brought “exceptional leadership” to this issue, channelling the voices of survivors and victims into the Security Council, and demanding greater accountability and justice at national and international levels.

It was during her tenure that the landmark Security Council resolution 1960 was adopted in 2010, putting in place the tools for more systematic monitoring and reporting of sexual violence, and for the identification of perpetrators.

The Secretary-General will review possible replacements for Ms. Wallström in due course.

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