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WPS Agenda: Resolution 1960 (2010)

The fifth resolution in the WPS Agenda, Resolution 1960 was adopted unanimously on December 16, 2010. Reaffirming resolutions 1325 (2000), 1612 (2005), 1674 (2006), 1820 (2008), 1882 (2009), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009) and 1894 (2009), the Security Council expanded the WPS Agenda by making a request for information on parties suspected of patterns of sexual violence during armed conflict to be made available to it. Resolution 1960 was sponsored by 60 countries.*

What does Resolution 1960 say?

In its preamble, the Resolution expresses concern at the slow progress on the issue of sexual violence in armed conflict, particularly against women and children. It also indicates that such acts continued to occur despite calls to all parties involved in conflict and condemnation, such acts continued to occur. The resolution also reminded all states to comply with international law and for leaders to demonstrate commitment to prevent sexual violence, combat impunity and uphold accountability, as inaction would send the wrong message. Further, it called for the prosecution of war criminals and perpetrators of genocide, and placed the primary responsibility on states to safeguard and guarantee the enforcement of human rights of the people within their territory.

Acknowledging the need to end impunity for a state to recover from conflict, the resolution also called for better access to health care, psychosocial support, legal assistance, and support appropriate to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. The resolution also welcomed attempts to address the issue in peacekeeping missions, including tackling sexual violence and promoting the role of women in civil and military functions.

In a nutshell, the resolution:

  • Condemned the widespread and systematic use of sexual abuse against the civilian population in situations of armed conflict

  • Called on states to take steps to combat it in order to contribute towards the maintenance of international peace and security.

  • Called for an end to all acts of sexual violence.

  • Called on the Secretary-General was asked to include information on parties suspected to be responsible for acts of rape or other acts of sexual violence, which the Council would use to engage with the parties or initiate action against them. This list is expected to be made public.

  • Called on state parties to armed conflict to make commitments against the use of sexual violence and investigations into alleged abuses, which the Secretary-General was asked to monitor.

  • Reflected the Security Council’s intention to designate criteria pertaining to acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence when reviewing or adopting sanctions.

  • Called on the Secretary-General to devise monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence, while ensuring full transparency, and to strengthen the policy of zero tolerance on sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations personnel, and report regularly to the Council on progress in implementing the current resolution.

  • Called on states to deploy a larger number of female police and military personnel in peacekeeping operations.

The Naming and Shaming Provision

What is particularly epoch-making about Resolution 1960 is that it strengthens the institutional apparatus to combat impunity and lays down particular steps to be taken toward preventing and protecting from sexual violence in armed conflict. Through its new “naming and shaming” provision, it mandated and set up a listing mechanism – which is a major step toward providing justice for victims. The limitation, however, is that listing is restricted to situations on the Security Council’s agenda.

Engaging further

Read the full text on Resolution 1960 here.


Peace Women, Resolution 1960 (Read)

Gina Heathcote, Naming and Shaming: Human Rights Accountability in Security Council Resolution 1960 (2010) on Women, Peace and Security (Read)

UN, Security Council steps up fight against sexual violence in conflict (Read)

* Full list of countries: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America

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