Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gonna Take More Than That

The U.N. secretary-general has warned that violence levels against women are "hideous" in some countries mired in conflict, and the U.N. Security Council is deeply concerned that its repeated demands for an immediate end to violence against women caught in armed conflicts have gone unheeded. So what should we do? Here's Secretary-General Ban's answer:
Together, all of us need to strengthen our collective and individual response to it.
Well, that helps. And here's U.N. Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno:
[C]ombating rape and other forms of sexual violence calls for concerted, robust and ongoing action on the part of both national actors and also the international community at every level of engagement.
Oh, that's much better... except such institutional hand-wringing isn't getting it done. Assistant Secretary-General Rachel Mayanja does offer one bit refreshing bit of much needed clarity:
Impunity for perpetrators and insufficient response to the needs of survivors are morally reprehensible and unacceptable. Sexual violence in conflict, particularly rape, should be named for what it is: not a private act or the unfortunate misbehavior of a renegade soldier, but aggression, torture, war crime and genocide.
More urgent and persistent prayer is needed to aid the women and girls of places like the Congo and Darfur; not only for changes of heart fo the sexual terrorists in those nations, but for those who would suppose to lead the world clear of such atrocities.

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