United Nations: UNSC Resolution Addressing Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict Passes Unanimously
Saturday, January 1, 2011 10:50 AM

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1960 was passed unanimously on December 16, 2010. Resolution 1960, sponsored by the U.S. and 30 other states, addresses sexual violence in conflict situations. The resolution contains new procedures and also works to strengthen other resolutions that have previously been passed. One such resolution is UNSC 1888, which mandated that peacekeeping missions protect women and girls from sexual violence in the course of armed conflict.

Resolution 1960 requires the Secretary-General to include detailed information on perpetrators in the annual reports and to provide an accessible list of this information in order to punish violators with sanctions. It also bequeaths upon him the responsibility of establishing monitoring, analysis, and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence, including rape both during conflict and post-conflict situations. Finally, the document asks that the Secretary-General form productive partnerships with a number of bodies across many fields, including civil society organizations and women's groups, in order to improve data collection and analysis of trends and patterns of rape and sexual violence.

The resolution makes it increasingly difficult for sexual violence to continue being inflicted with impunity. It also works toward de-stigmatization of sexual violence victims. "[They] are shamed and marginalized," Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said. "Their husbands reject them. Men and boys who are sexually attacked often suffer isolation and discrimination. Just when these individuals need support from their communities, it falls away."

UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, Margot Wallström stated that "The resolution...may not bring justice to every victim throughout the history of war - but it will help to ensure that conflict-related sexual violence no longer goes unreported, unaddressed or unpunished."

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, the site of mass rapes earlier in 2010, was a key co-sponsor of this resolution. The resolution was adopted by 60 UN member states.

The full text of Resolution 1960 can be found here.

Compiled from: WUNRNUnited Nations, (16 December 2010).