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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09USUNNEWYORK765 2009-08-12 21:39:00 UNCLASSIFIED USUN New York
Cable title:  

SC DEBATES WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY: SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Tags:   PREL PHUM KWMN UNSC CG KPKO SOCI 
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DE RUCNDT #0765/01 2242139
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 122139Z AUG 09
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7071
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 1908
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 1603
RUEHNJ/AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA 0373
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0755
					  UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000765 

DEPT FOR IO, AF, S/GWI

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM SOCIKPKO KWMN UNSC CG
SUBJECT: SC DEBATES WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY: SEXUAL VIOLENCE
REPORT

REF: STATE 81321



1. Summary: The members of the Security Council, plus over two
dozen other delegations, discussed the Secretary-General's report on
sexual violence in armed conflict (SCR 1820) August 7, condemning
such crimes and urging continued international attention to this
issue. Ambassador Rice began the discussion with a strong statement
urging prompt action (reftel). Although only a few SC members fully
endorsed establishment of a Commission of Inquiry, almost all
acknowledged the need for measures to address impunity. Most
speakers called for an annual report, consideration of targeted
sanctions, more participation of women in peace processes, and
better information sharing. Many speakers referred to newly-adopted
SCR 1882, which expanded the scope of the SC working group on
Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) to report on sexual violence.
Several acknowledged the steps taken in DRC to deal with the five
high-ranking military officers accused of sexual violence. Some
speakers supported the appointment of a high-level representative of
the SG. Russia asked that killing, maiming and other violations
against civilians be given equal weight. China urged caution in
using targeted sanctions in relation to sexual violence. USUN next
steps are to work with like-minded SC delegations on a draft
resolution following up on the SYG's report, followed by informal
consultations with all Council members, leading to adoption of a
resolution during the first week of September. End summary.

Combating Impunity


--------------------------





2. (U) All speakers acknowledged that women and children are the
first victims of armed conflict, and that perpetrators of sexual
violence should not enjoy impunity for their crimes. The SG's
recommendation of immediate establishment of a Commission of Inquiry
(CoI) for DRC, Chad and Sudan, however, elicited more questions than
endorsements. France asked why the CoI would be limited to only
three countries, while Russia questioned why it would only look into
sexual violence. Austria, Japan, and Croatia expressed interest in
looking into the recommendation to see if it would be feasible.
Mexico and Libya favored the SG's recommendation for a CoI. China
suggested the SG contact the three governments involved to seek
their consent for a CoI. Burkina Faso, Vietnam and China noted the
responsibility of governments to protect their women and civilians,
and the need for international assistance with capacity building.
Of the non-Council members, Norway, Israel, Australia and Italy
endorsed a CoI. All other speakers were non-committal on a CoI, but
wanted better mechanisms to improve accountability and the justice
sector.



3. (U) France referred to actions within the DRC to begin to bring
to justice the five high-ranking military officers discussed earlier
in the SC, as a step in the right direction. Austria, Japan, Mexico
and others mentioned the possibility of bringing cases to the ICC;
Sierra Leone and Belgium underlined the contribution of the Special
Court in Sierra Leone; Croatia, Nigeria and others stressed the role
of the International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda
(ICTY and ICTR). Uganda pointed to the need for vetting of any new,
combined armed forces to exclude sexual predators and many
delegations urged improvements in rule of law and the domestic
justice system. Uganda, Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, China and
Vietnam pointed to the underlying problem of discriminatory cultural
attitudes towards women as fostering an attitude of impunity.

High Level Secretariat Official


--------------------------





4. (U) The SYG, in his introductory remarks, noted that the General
Assembly was working on creation of a new UN institution to deal
with women's equality and human rights, and that he was considering
appointment of a senior system-wide official to deal with sexual
violence, similar to the Special Representative of the
Secretary-General (SRSG) on CAAC. The U.S. and others recognized
the need for more stronger, better coordinated UN leadership on the
issues of sexual violence. Ambassador Rice, in her statement (ref
a) endorsed appointment of an SRSG with a time-limited mandate.
Others favoring a high-level appointment included France, Austria,
Japan, Burkina Faso, Sweden (on behalf of the EU), Norway,
Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Timor Leste. Mexico
voiced doubts whether such an appointment would be the system's best
response, since they saw the need for coordination to be greater on
the ground, rather than at headquarters. Turkey, Vietnam and Mexico
cautioned against duplication of efforts and urged care in creating
new institutions.

Sanctions Committees


--------------------------






5. (U) China was isolated in cautioning against using the Sanctions
Committees to deal with sexual violence perpetrators. Russia and
some others sidestepped any mention the SYG's recommendation on
sanctions. Others, such as Mexico and Austria, urged the exchange
of information between the Sanctions Committees and other parts of
the UN system, including the CAAC working group. France and the
U.S. came out strongest in favor of incorporating sexual crimes as a
basis for sanctions when appropriate.

Concern for Local Women


--------------------------





6. (U) The need for coordination within the UN system came up
repeatedly, with a number of delegations mentioning "data
collection." (Comment: This can probably be explained by widespread
lobbying done by concerned NGOs prior to the debate, and their
emphasis on the need for enhanced data collection. End comment.)
Many stressed the importance of victim assistance, and delegations
called almost universally for more participation of women in peace
processes and post-conflict peace-building efforts. Libya managed
to inject Palestinian women into the debate by claiming that all
human rights violations against women, such as access to hospitals
and harassment in prison, should be included in the SG's report, not
just sexual violence.

Next Steps


--------------------------





7. (U) The president of the SC, UK PermRep Sawers, ended by saying
the SC would prepare a formal response to the SG's report in coming
weeks. (Comment: USUN hopes to be in a position to adopt a
resolution by September 3. Although the Russians have expressed to
USUN Missoff a preference for a Presidential Statement (PRST), many
other SC members have displayed a willingness to work towards a
resolution within the projected timeframe. End comment.)

Rice