Sexual Violence in Conflict Is Threat to Peace: UN

Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria. UN Photo / Mark Garten
Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria. UN Photo / Mark Garten

There is a need to tackle the root causes of sexual violence, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told the United Nations Security Council on Monday.

“Sexual violence in conflict is no longer seen as ‘merely a women’s issue’ or as a ‘lesser evil’ in a false hierarchy of human rights violations,” she said during a debate on the subject.

The debate, on sexual violence in conflict as a tactic of war and terrorism, heard briefings from Adama Dieng, Under-Secretary-General, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, as well as Mina Jaf, Founder and Executive Director of Women’s Refugee Route.

“Instead, it is rightly viewed as legitimate threat to security and durable peace that requires an operational security and justice response, in addition to ensuring multi-dimensional services for survivors of such crimes,” Ms. Mohammed stated.

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According to a UN report, she said that a robust legislative framework is now in place, including a series of precise Security Council resolutions with new tools to drive change and progress.

Sexual violence is increasingly used as a tactic of terrorism, employed by extremist groups in places like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria and Mali to advance their military, economic and ideological ends.

It is therefore essential that considerations of the protection and empowerment of women and girls feature in the UN’s architecture for countering terrorism and violent extremism, Ms. Mohammed informed.

The mass migration crisis and massive displacement of populations due to protracted conflicts worldwide has also heightened the risk of sexual violence.

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Rakesh Raman