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03. May 2019

Resolution against sexualised wartime violence: Not a milestone, just a weak compromise

Press release: Cologne, 3 May 2019. A “milestone” was the term used by the German Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to describe the new UN resolution 2467 intended to more effectively protect women and girls from sexualised wartime violence. medica mondiale criticises lack of reproductive and sexual rights. The German government had introduced the resolution at the UN Security Council on April 23, 2019, with very prominent calls for the member states to support it, including a joint article in the Washington Post from Minister Maas and US actor and human rights activist Angelina Jolie.

However, does this resolution really represent a milestone for women’s rights? In October 2000 the UN Security Council had already passed the resolution 1325 on “Women, Peace and Security” and with eight subsequent resolutions it created an Agenda for the protection of women and girls during armed conflicts. The resolution drafted by Germany takes up what has already been negotiated without containing any ground-breaking new aspects. Important issues such as the protection of women’s rights defenders did not find their way into the document.

“The resolution is a weak compromise,” declares Jeannette Böhme, Advocacy and Human Rights Officer at the women’s rights organisation medica mondiale. “It does not represent any significant progress for the Agenda ‘Women, Peace and Security’.” As she explains, it should be welcomed that the resolution represents an integrated approach incorporating support for survivors. The members of the Security Council commit themselves to the provision of medical care, psychosocial and economic assistance, and legal advice for survivors. However, the resolution includes no fixed level of funding for the implementation of these offers.

“The German government allowed the sexual and reproductive health and the rights of survivors to become a matter for negotiation”

Ms Böhme also criticises the lack of any mention of legal access to safe abortion. The USA had threatened to veto the resolution if reproductive rights were included. In her opinion, the German government allowed the sexual and reproductive health and the rights of survivors to become a matter for negotiation. Then, instead of defending this consistently, it capitulated to the USA. Germany should not have crossed this red line.

Author: Jeannette Böhme, Advocacy and Human Rights Officer at medica mondiale

If you have any questions, please contact:

medica mondiale
Esther Wahlen, Press and Public Relations Officer
Tel.: +49 0221 931898-50

Related Topics

Deutsche Welle: TV-Interview with Sybille Fezer on the adoption of UN-Resolution 2467

Survivor-centered approach: 5 Elements to support women after rape in armed conflict

Towards a Survivor-Centered Approach: 5 Elements to support women and girls after sexualized and gender-based violence in armed conflict (PDF)