Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Clinton to Chair Security Council Session on Sexual Violence

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Clinton to Chair Security Council Session on Sexual Violence

Article excerpt

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton takes her campaign against sexual violence in conflict to the United Nations Wednesday, just as political strife in Guinea provides a fresh example of the kind of grisly actions she wants the world organization to stop. Secretary Clinton, who has committed to making women's issues a "centerpiece" of her work as the Obama administration's chief diplomat, will chair a session of the UN Security Council on women, peace, and security. At the session Wednesday, she'll promote a US- sponsored resolution that seeks to expand and strengthen a measure approved last year, which condemns the use of rape in conflict and characterizes it as a threat to peace and security. Clinton was moved to seek additional action against the growing use of rape as a result of her visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in August. She met with some of the estimated 200,000 victims of sexual violence in the country's war-torn eastern region. "Meeting with survivors of rape, which is now used increasingly as a tool of war, was shattering," Clinton told a New York audience in the run-up to last week's UN General Assembly meeting. Addressing a separate gathering of female heads of state and foreign ministers, she said, "There are people who say, 'Well, women's issues is an important issue, but it doesn't rank up there with the Middle East or Iran's nuclear threat or Afghanistan and Pakistan.' I couldn't disagree more." As Clinton prepared this week for the Security Council session, reports poured in from Conakry, capital of the West African nation of Guinea, accusing the military of resorting to mass rapes as part of a crackdown on opposition protesters. In a statement Tuesday condemning the military's assault, the State Department reported that at least 157 people had been killed and hundreds of women protesters and bystanders had been raped or otherwise sexually assaulted. …

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