Thursday, June 19, 2008

The U.N. Security Council convened in New York today and decided to seek action on sexual violence in war.

Opening the debate, [U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice noted there had long been dispute about whether the theme was a security issue and hence something the Security Council was authorized to address.

"I am proud that today we respond to that lingering question with a resounding 'yes'," she said. "This world body now acknowledges that sexual violence in conflict zones is indeed a security concern.

"We affirm that sexual violence profoundly affects not only the health and safety of women but the economic and social stability of their nations."

I know -- it's unbelievable that there has been debate about this being a security issue, given the way rape has been documented as a weapon of war for as long as there has been historical record. NGO groups like The Global Fund for Women have been working on these issues with other NGO women's groups on the ground in war-torn countries since their inception, and they know exactly how much of a hindrance to "economic and social stability" the weapon of rape has been and continues to be.

I have to tell you that I'd become very bitter and hopeless about the U.N. ever taking any action, and it is about time. I just hope they walk the talk.

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