SEPTEMBER 30, 2009: Clinton Hails New UN Resolution to Protect Women

Clinton Hails New UN Resolution to Protect Women


By Jane Morse

Washington — Violence against women is not cultural but criminal, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the United Nations Security Council, and she hailed the decision of the council to unanimously adopt a resolution to protect women in conflict situations.

Clinton chaired the Security Council session September 30 when it adopted Resolution 1888, which outlines actions the United Nations and member states can take to prevent conflict-related sexual violence.

 "The challenge of sexual violence in conflict cannot and should not be separated from the broader security issues confronting this council," Clinton said. "It is time for all of us to assume our responsibility to go beyond condemning this behavior, to taking concrete steps to end it, to make it socially unacceptable, to recognize it is not cultural -- it is criminal."

Among the steps called for by Resolution 1888 are:

• The appointment of a special representative to lead efforts to end conflict-related sexual violence against women and children.

• The creation of a team of experts to help governments in preventing conflict-related sexual violence, strengthening civilian and military justice systems and enhancing aid to victims.

• Reports by U.N. peacekeeping missions to the Security Council about the prevalence of sexual violence.

• Consideration by the U.N. Security Council of patterns of sexual violence during the process of adopting or targeting sanctions.

• The inclusion of women's protection advisers in peacekeeping operations where it is appropriate, as determined by the U.N. secretary-general.

• The submission of annual reports by the secretary-general on the implementation of this resolution as well as more systematic reporting on conflict-related sexual violence.

Conflict-related sexual violence against women and children has been widespread and continues in many areas around the world. In the Democratic Republic of Congo alone, approximately 1,100 rapes are being reported each month, with an average of 36 women and girls raped every day, and the perpetrators frequently mutilate the women in the course of the attacks...

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