WPS Agenda: Resolution 2467 (2019)
Resolution 2467 was adopted on April 23, 2019. It recognizes that sexual violence targeting women and girls occurs on the peacetime-wartime continuum and the national ownership and responsibility involved in addressing the root causes of sexual violence. It also identifies structural gender inequality and discrimination as a root cause for armed conflict.
What does Resolution 2467 focus on?
Sponsored by Germany, the resolution is the first to present a survivor-centred approach as a guiding force in responding to survivors of sexual violence. It is also the first to acknowledge the peacetime-wartime continuum as well as the root causes for armed conflict. It calls on member states to strengthen policies that offer appropriate responses and challenge cultural assumptions about male invulnerability, and to strengthen access to justice for victims including via reparations and strengthened criminal law, including removing procedural impediments to justice.
The resolution highlights the need for a survivor-centric approach by indicating the need to prioritize such an approach in all UN peace-making, peace-keeping and peace-building initiatives, including in the context of security and justice sector reform efforts and in negotiations of peace agreements and ceasefire verification mechanisms. It acknowledges the need for multi-dimensional responses to survivors’ unique needs in post-conflict contexts, and also calls for support to enable them to rebuild their lives and to support their families, and to also the provision of reparations for the children born of sexual violence in conflict, who are stigmatized and suffer in silence and shame. These children are also often stateless, are vulnerable to marginalization and discrimination in society, as well as recruitment and radicalization by armed groups.
The resolution also encourages member states to ensure that prevention and response are non-discriminatory and specific, and that the rights and needs of survivors, including vulnerable or targeted groups, are respected and prioritized. It also indicates that services responding to survivors of sexual violence should specifically include provisions for women with children born as a result of sexual violence in conflict as well as men and boys. The resolution enhances the extant focus on security and justice spheres by calling for attention to underlying structural and/or cultural factors that operate as the root cause of sexual violence.
Broadly, Resolution 2467 prioritizes:
- Holding the perpetrators to account
- Calling for a survivor-centric approach
- Enabling access to legal remedies at the national level and means to safeguard the livelihoods of those affected by sexual violence in armed conflict
- Centring neglected groups of victims through preventive measures and support services.
- Addressing the root causes of armed conflict
- Recognizing that sexual violence takes place on a peacetime-wartime continuum
- Strengthening civil society and enabling the engagement of women’s rights organization at the local level to promote gender equality and to strengthen the role of women in political and social processes
A word of caution
Even as the resolution is a vital document that furthers the WPS Agenda by enhancing it significantly, a part of its journey also involved a significant cause for concern. Several “important concessions were made under pressure from several permanent members of the Council.” The United States of America demanded the removal of any reference to sexual and reproductive health, which had been agreed on in resolutions 1889 (2009) and 2106 (2013). If the resolution were to pass with those words, it would have been vetoed by the United States. In the words of the French delegation, such an “omission is unacceptable and undermines the dignity of women.” By removing such wording, the resolution does not recognize the right to access to contraception and abortion for women who have become pregnant as a result of rape during armed conflict. However, seeing as this resolution affirms and reiterates former resolutions which do mention and allude to sexual and reproductive health rights, it is but a natural corollary that the right continues to subsist.
Delegate of France, “Resolution 2467: The Text is not the end of our journey.” (Read)
The Global Observatory, “What does April’s Security Council Resolution on Sexual Violence in Conflict Mean for Women and Girls?” (Read)
Federal Foreign Office of Germany, "Resolution 2467: ending sexual violence in conflicts" (Read)
Read Resolution 2467 here.
Documented by Kirthi Jayakumar