On December 16th the Security Council voted in favour of Resolution 1960, agreeing to name and shame individuals and parties to armed conflict that are "credibly suspected" of committing acts of sexual violence. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will compile a list of perpetrators which will be used "for more focused United Nations engagement with those parties," including imposing targeted sanctions. (AP)
The Special Representative to the Secretary General, Margot Wallström welcomed the adoption of the resolution, saying that the new system of monitoring and accountability should "shatter the vicious cycle of impunity for wartime sexual violence." Wallström also said: "Today's resolution will help ensure that mass rape is never again met with mass impunity. 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." (AP)
Human Rights Watch called the council's decision to publish an annual list of alleged perpetrators "a tremendous step toward ending this horrendous practice." "Today is a big day for women worldwide," Marianne Mollmann, the organization's women's rights advocacy director, said in a statement. The new resolution will provide the international community "with an additional tool to offer justice to thousands of victims of wartime rape," she said. (AP)
The resolution repeated the council's demand "for the complete cessation with immediate effect by all parties to armed conflict of all acts of sexual violence" and called on parties to armed conflict "to make and implement specific and time-bound commitments to combat sexual violence." (AP)
Cynics will say that Resolution 1960 is yet another UN Resolution aimed at putting an end to sexual violence in conflict with little actual bearing on the situation on the ground. Nevertheless, 1960 can be viewed in a larger context. 10 years after Resolution 1325 (women,peace,and security) a ground breaking step in addressing sexual violence, this recent resolution is an important manifestation of the Security Councils continuous determination to address the issue and hold those responsible accountable. What remains to be seen is how effective focused UN engagement with parties of armed conflict and targeted sanctions will be.
Access Resolution 1960 (2010) here: