Women and Peace and Security: Security Council Open Debate
On 24 June, the Security Council held an open debate on sexual violence in conflict, chaired by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, in the presence of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and his Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms Zainab Bangura. Also briefing were Ms Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), as well as Ms Jane Adong Anywar, representing the NGO "Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice".
In her intervention, Ms Sylvie Lucas, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg,underlined that the fight against sexual violence in conflict is a complex undertaking, which requires action on different levels, with particular importance to be attached to the fight against impunity, in the sense where it fulfils both a deterring and healing function. The Ambassador recalled that it is first and foremost the responsibility of national justice systems to prosecute and judge perpetrators of sexual violence in armed conflict, and that the international community should continue supporting national authorities in their fight against impunity. In those cases where national authorities are not in a position to step up to their responsibilities, international criminal justice has a complementary role to play, in virtue of the principle of complementarity. In this context, Ambassador Lucas welcomed the efforts undertaken by the International Criminal Court, and encouraged States to cooperate with the Court in conformity with their respective obligations.
The Council unanimously adopted a new resolution on sexual violence in conflict.