Launch of Joint UN-Civil Society Partnership Against Sexual Violence in Conflict and Crisis Settings
Monday, June 19, 2006 11:20 AM

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Vina Nadjibulla
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United Nations, New York — United Nations organizations and civil society groups today announced a Joint Partnership to tackle sexual violence in conflict and crisis situations around the world. This Joint Partnership builds on existing initiatives and will address not only the threat that sexual violence poses to life and livelihood of survivors, but also the longer-term impact on community and national development.

Focusing on country-level efforts to combat sexual violence, the partnership will reach out to military and security communities to engage them, work to strengthen prevention through rule-of-law and access to justice, and expand services for survivors in the areas of health, psycho-social support and rebuilding dignity and livelihoods. The partnership will also develop a comprehensive evidence base for action through violence monitoring and tracking systems and dissemination of data analyses.

The need for stronger collaborative efforts to deal with gender-based violence is extremely urgent, UNIFEM Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer said, speaking at the launch of the partnership at the Swedish permanent mission in Geneva. Ceasefires are violated, and countries can slip back into violence — requiring constant monitoring. The massive and growing rates of sexual violence in conflict and crisis situations are a clear emergency, she said, and yet not enough is being done — to prevent violence, assist survivors, or even find out exactly how many women and children are affected.

The Joint Partnership will build on and strengthen existing collaboration within the United Nations on the issue, including guidelines developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), the primary mechanism for inter-agency coordination of humanitarian assistance, that brings UN and non-UN humanitarian partners together, as well as the lessons and experience derived from the UN Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence against Women, which UNIFEM manages. It will be the first initiative to combat gender-based violence that includes joint UN and civil society governing structures and resource mobilization processes. This is intended to significantly enhance and deepen partnerships, linkages and resources at local, national, regional and global levels to eliminate violence and provide much-needed assistance to those threatened by such violence.

Published in: "Launch of Joint UN-Civil Society Partnership Against Sexual Violence in Conflict and Crisis Settings," United Nations Development Fund for Women, (19 June 2006).