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Conflict-related sexual violence: Report of the Secretary-General (S/2019/280)


I. Introduction

  1. The present report, which covers the period from January to December 2018, is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2106 (2013), in which the Council requested me to report annually on the implementation of resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010) and to recommend strategic actions.

  2. 2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of the establishment of the mandate and Office of my Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Over the past decade, there has been a paradigm shift in the understanding of the scourge of conflict-related sexual violence and its impact on international peace and security, the response required to prevent such crimes and the multidimensional services needed by survivors. While the United Nations increasingly addresses the problem of sexual violence in conflict from an operational or technical perspective through the strengthening of security and justice institutions, it remains essential to recognize and tackle gender inequality as the root cause and driver of sexual violence, including in times of war and peace.

  3. Structural gender inequalities and discrimination are at the heart of the differential impact conflict has on women, men, boys and girls. Preventing sexual violence requires the advancement of substantive gender equality before, during and after conflict, including by ensuring women’s full and effective participation in political, economic and social life and ensuring accessible and responsive justice and security institutions. The mandate of the Office of the Special Representative is firmly rooted within the women and peace and security agenda, with its origin in Security Council resolution 1325 (2000). It is significant, therefore, that in 2018 my Special Representative signed a framework of cooperation with the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The Framework affirms the ways in which the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the response to conflict-related sexual violence and the broader discourse on women, peace and security and gender equality are linked.