The U.N. focuses on rape as a weapon of war

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.

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