Network member guest post: Sexual violence in the age of R2P

Sexual violence in the age of R2P

by Monique Cuillerier

originally published in the World Federalist Movement – Canada’s Mondial newsletter (June 2012)

Sexual violence in conflict is not a new problem, but only recently has it been recognized as a systemic problem and considered as an international peace and security issue, instead of as individual incidents forming a ‘women’s issue.’

Difficulties remain in placing the issue within this wider legal and political context. But the nexus of sexual violence in conflict, the development of the ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) norm, and some of the ongoing cases at theInternational Criminal Court (ICC), provide a new and shifting context in which to consider these issues. For example, the early development of R2P largely failed to address gender-based issues. As Jennifer Bond and Laurel Sherret discussed at length in their 2006 paper, A Sight for Sore Eyes: Bringing Gender Vision to the Responsibility to Protect Framework, “current formulations of the ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine are almost entirely gender-blind, despite the existence of multiple international mandates for integrating gender concerns into peace and security initiatives.” For example – and most explicitly – Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) presents a structured approach to women, peace and security, calling for the participation of women in peace and security initiatives, gender training to support peace operations, the protection of women and girls in the midst of armed conflict (particularly with regards to the issue of gender-based violence) and gender mainstreaming throughout programs and processes related to conflict, peace and security. Yet there has been a lack of cross-pollination between R2P and women, peace and security issues.

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ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda Appoints Brigid Inder, Executive Director of the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, as Special Gender Advisor

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda Appoints Brigid Inder, Executive Director of the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, as Special Gender Advisor

Press Release: 21.08.2012

Today International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced the appointment of Brigid Inder as her Special Gender Advisor. With more than 25 years of experience working in the international justice, women’s human rights and health fields as a strategic leader, policy advisor and advocate for women’s human rights and gender equality, Ms. Inder will provide strategic advice to the Office of the Prosecutor on gender issues, including sexual and gender-based violence.

Read the full press release from the ICC.

Op-ed from Ban Ki-moon

World is over-armed and peace is under-funded

By Ban Ki-moon

Last month, competing interests prevented agreement on a much-needed treaty that would have reduced the appalling human cost of the poorly regulated international arms trade. Meanwhile, nuclear disarmament efforts remain stalled, despite strong and growing global popular sentiment in support of this cause.

The failure of these negotiations and this month’s anniversaries of the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki provide a good opportunity to explore what has gone wrong, why disarmament and arms control have proven so difficult to achieve, and how the world community can get back on track towards these vitally important goals.

Read the remainder of Ban Ki-moon’s op-ed here.


From the Globe and Mail:

Globe and Mail (Toronto) Friday, Aug. 03, 2012

Peacekeepers gone wild: How much more abuse will the UN ignore in Congo?

by Gerald Caplan
What do we do when those we entrust with our greatest hopes betray that trust? If the betrayers are United Nations peacekeepers, the answer seem to be nothing at all. There is distressing new evidence, most of it reported here for the first time, that foreign soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo can sexually and violently violate young girls with impunity so long as they wear that iconic blue beret or blue helmet.