Resolution on sexual violence

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas calls for action on sexual violence and hopes Germany's resolution will be adopted by the UN.

Resolution on sexual violence
dpa

New York (dpa) - Germany hopes its resolution aimed at tackling rape as a tactic of war will be adopted at a United Nations Security Council session on Tuesday.

However, the resolution is facing some resistance from the United States, which has threatened to veto the text over some of the language surrounding reproductive health.

On Monday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Hollywood actor Angelina Jolie called for further action to punish those who use rape in warfare and to support survivors of sexual violence in conflict.

The joint op-ed was published by the Washington Post as a draft resolution urging targeted sanctions for perpetrators and laying out a "survivor-centered approach."

The resolution, which is likely to be adopted at a signature event of Germany's presidency of the UN Security Council, is a "much-needed step toward ending impunity for sexual violence in conflict," Maas and Jolie wrote.

"It would also send an important message to those who attempt to roll back human rights: We don't take progress for granted. And we will fight to keep it alive."

The US has previously objected to language around women's sexual health at the UN, arguing that such language is a tacit endorsement of abortion.

The UN's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, told the Guardian newspaper the text was left "weak" after the removal of the mechanism.

In comments at the UN last week, Patten also stressed that addressing sexual and reproductive health for victims of sexual violence is "critical."

She billed the resolution as a "moment of truth" for the council, and said she hoped it would focus on sexual reproductive health and "holistic multisectoral services."