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Wednesday, October 24

UN Chief: Violence Against Women Surges - The Council also demanded that women be included in decision-making positions at every level of peacemaking

Just when I was giving up on the United Nations. Let's hope it's not just all talk and wishful thinking.
This is EXACTLY what the UN is good for.

Can you imagine this really being put into action???? What a wonderful world this would be.

From AP writer EDITH M. LEDERER:

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. secretary-general warned that violence against women has reached "hideous" levels in some countries trying to recover from conflict, and the U.N. Security Council demanded an end to impunity for rape and other sexual abuse.

The council expressed deep concern Tuesday that despite its repeated demands for an immediate end to violence against women caught in armed conflicts, "rape and other forms of sexual abuse, as well as all other forms of violence, ... remain pervasive, and in some situations have become systematic, and have reached appalling levels of atrocity."

"The council stresses the need to end impunity for such acts as part of a comprehensive approach to seeking peace, justice, truth and national reconciliation," it said.

The council statement was read at the end of a day-long open meeting on implementation of a resolution adopted in 2000 that called for the prosecution of crimes against women and increased protection of women and girls during war. It also demanded that women be included in decision-making positions at every level of peacemaking and peacebuilding.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said "violence against women has reached hideous and pandemic proportions in some societies attempting to recover from conflict." He did not name any countries.

"Together, all of us need to strengthen our collective and individual response to it," Ban said. "This is essential if we are to reverse the damage done by conflict, and to build more inclusive, accountable and cohesive socieites, underpinned by viable democratic institutions."

U.N. Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno stressed the U.N.'s "zero tolerance" for sexual exploitation and abuse by its more than 80,000 peacekeeping troops.

"While rape is used as a weapon of war in situations such as ... Congo and Darfur, addressing this war crime requires going beyond political compromise, power and resource sharing agreements," he said. "Instead, combating rape and other forms of sexual violence calls for concerted, robust and ongoing action on the part of both national actors and also the international community at every level of engagement."

Assistant Secretary-General Rachel Mayanja, the secretary-general's special adviser on gender issues, urged all governments, parliaments, international organizations and civic groups to join a worldwide campaign on violence against women and girls that Ban will launch later this year.

"Impunity for perpetrators and insufficient response to the needs of survivors are morally reprehensible and unacceptable," she said. "Sexual violence in conflict, particularly rape, should be named for what it is: not a private act or the unfortunate misbehavior of a renegade soldier, but aggression, torture, war crime and genocide."

crossposted at BigBrassBlog

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