Protecting victims, fostering peace

26.04.2019 - Article

At Germany’s initiative, the UN Security Council is addressing sexual violence in conflicts – Foreign Minister Maas will act as chair, writes the German Foreign Office.

Arria-Formula Meeting of the Security Council Members chaired by Foreign Minister Maas on the topic of women, peace and security in the Middle East.
Arria-Formula Meeting of the Security Council Members chaired by Foreign Minister Maas on the topic of women, peace and security in the Middle East. © Xander Heinl/photothek.net

Women and girls are particularly affected by sexual violence in violent conflicts. However, men and boys can also fall victim. As part of the focal issue 'Women, Peace and Security', Germany has therefore placed strengthening protection from sexual violence in conflicts at the heart of its membership of the UN Security Council.

Germany wants to put sexual violence on the Security Council’s permanent agenda

At Germany’s initiative, the UN Security Council addressed the issue of sexual violence in conflicts in an open debate on April 23. High-ranking and prominent speakers briefed the members of the highest UN body on various aspects of this issue. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas chaired the session. Germany holds the Presidency of the UN Security Council in April 2019.
The Speakers have been UN Secretary-General António Guterres, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten, the Nobel Peace Prize laureates Ms Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege, the lawyer Amal Clooney as well as Inas Miloud, a representative of civil society from Libya.
The goal of the session was to place this issue on the Security Council agenda on a permanent basis. In future, the protection of victims of sexual violence is to be considered whenever the Security Council addresses ongoing conflicts. In addition, Germany wants to strengthen the instruments used to deal with those responsible for sexual violence in conflicts.

“Women, peace and security” as a focus of Germany’s Security Council membership

“Women, peace and security” is one of the focuses of Germany’s Security Council membership in 2019 and 2020. Together with Peru, Germany is assuming the co-chairmanship of the Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security.
The UN Security Council already regularly considers the role of women in peacekeeping and in conflicts. Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) and its subsequent resolutions are primarily aimed at promoting the active involvement of women in all phases of conflict prevention and conflict management as well as protecting women and girls from sexual violence and rape in situations of armed conflict.
Germany is a member of a group of “Friends of 1325”, a forum within the United Nations for the exchange of information about the status of the Resolution’s implementation and for the coordination of joint positions and initiatives. The German Government regards the implementation of Resolution 1325 as a cross-cutting theme, which needs to be taken into account in all its decisions, activities and projects in the realm of foreign, security and development policy.

© German Foreign Office

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