Monday, June 23, 2008

UN: Ban Leads Call for Greater Effort to End 'Silent War' of Sexual Violence in Conflict

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at Council meeting

UNITED NATIONS - Noting that an increasing number of women and girls are falling victim to the “silent war” of sexual violence in conflict areas, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today led a chorus of United Nations officials in urging greater efforts to combat the scourge.

Violence against women has reached unspeakable and pandemic proportions in some societies attempting to recover from conflict,” Mr. Ban told a Security Council debate focusing on sexual violence in situations of armed conflict.

Today’s meeting comes almost eight years after the Council adopted its landmark resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and is chaired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of the United States, which holds the 15-member body’s rotating presidency for this month.

Mr. Ban stressed that responding to this “silent war against women and girls” requires leadership, comprehensive strategies and the involvement of everyone, from the UN and national governments to rape survivors and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

In March the Secretary-General launched a global campaign to end violence against women, including the practice of sexual violence in armed conflict. He announced today that he will soon appoint a UN envoy tasked entirely with advocacy for ending violence against women...


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