The UN Security Council held a debate on women and peace and security today at which UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called for an independent commission of inquiry into the use of rape as a weapon of war in Chad, the DRC and Sudan. Just over a year ago the UN Security Council passed a resolution enshrining rape as a weapon of war as a threat to peace and security–the idea was to take the issue more seriously given the epidemic rates of sexual violence in conflict zones around the world. The resolution, 1820, mandated the UNSG to write a report laying out proposals for action to help prevent sexual violence and punish perpetrators. That report is now out and it includes the proposal for a commission of inquiry that would investigate crimes of sexual violence, identify those responsible and report back on what’s being done to ensure accountability. The report also raises the possibility of a new high level position on sexual violence at the U.N., an idea U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice endorsed in her remarks today.
Posted in Gender-Based Violence, human rights, International Criminal Court, United Nations, War Crimes, Women
Tagged Chad, DRC, Resolution 1820, sexual violence, Sudan, Susan Rice, United Nations
Listen to Eleanor Roosevelt on the occasion of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 60 years ago:
And Marco Werman discusses religion and human rights with The World’s religion editor Jane Little:
…is now says the head of U.N. Peacekeeping.
U.N. News Centre.
Susan Rice is Obama’s pick for U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Here’s my story:
Alarm bells keep ringing on North Kivu:
AP: UN investigating war crimes.
Reuters: Civilians flee to Uganda.
CNN: The number of girls being raped has increased sharply since fighting intensified in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a humanitarian group said Tuesday.
Reuters: Belgium could contribute to “bridging force” in the DRC.
The issue is that the U.N. has approved more peacekeeping troops but they’ll take months to deploy. Advocates are calling for a European force to bridge the gap. Their point: Civilians need protection now.
BBC: UN Secretary General calls for more peacekeeping troops for Congo.
MSF evacuates staff from North Darfur because of attacks. Here’s their press release.
U.N. Peacekeeping mandate is extended but U.S. abstains from the vote to protest language about the ICC. Here’s the NYT story. More details here.
Mia Farrow plans to broadcast from a Darfur refugee camp during the Olympics.
Lisa Mullins interviews Jerry Fowler of the Save Darfur Coalition about a new report Grounded: The International Community’s Betrayal of UNAMID. The report lists the countries the authors argue are best-positioned to provide much-needed transport helicopters for the U. N. Peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID).
Eric Reeves: Darfur’s Perfect Storm in the The Guardian (on-line)
Joint Statement by UN agencies on “increasingly precarious situation” in Darfur.
Some updates on yesterday’s story from the BBC, L.A. Times, Reuters, Human Rights Watch, and the U.N.
And here is fresh reporting from CNN on the scale of the problem in Darfur.
The headline: “Rape is a way of life for Darfur’s women.”
I did a story about this when Human Rights Watch released its report on rape in Darfur in April. You can listen here.