In an address before the United Nations Security Council on August 7, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the body for holding a discussion on women, peace and security, and called for a “focus on concrete actions.” The Secretary-General informed the Council that he is “in discussions with UN System partners on appointing a new senior system-wide official to address sexual violence.” Further, he urged that the Council “immediately authorize the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry” to investigate the use of rape as a weapon of war, specifically within ongoing conflict situations in the African nations of Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Sudan.
The proposed commission would be tasked with recommending “the most effective mechanisms to ensure accountability” for “egregious crimes” of sexual violence. Ban Ki-moon went on to urge that the General Assembly conclude its deliberations over the creation of a UN institution dedicated to advancing women’s rights and gender equality, pressing that action be taken without further delay. He concluded his statement by emphasizing the need for unity of purpose and realized commitment:
“Victims of sexual violence are among the world’s most vulnerable and traumatized people. For the sake of these innocent women and men, their families and their societies, we must come together and act. That will help victims of war-torn countries and set our world on a course for a better future.”