The mission of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) is to provide advice and support on all political matters to the Secretary-General in the exercise of his global responsibilities under the Charter relating to the maintenance and restoration of peace and security.
DPA addresses the issue of violence against women both during and after conflict as part of its overall efforts to achieve gender equality within its conflict prevention, peacemaking and peace-building mandate. The Department also ensures that staff at Headquarters and field missions are informed of and report on the Secretary-General’s special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
In April 2007, the Executive Committee on Peace and Security (ECPS), chaired by DPA, discussed the issue of violence against women in the context of conflict, under the lead of UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict. ECPS members endorsed the proposed coordinated approach and stated their commitment to further the work of UN Action. The meeting agreed that Violence against Women in the context of conflict should also be considered a peace and security issue. DPA will soon become a member of the Group on UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict.
The project “Strengthening prevention of sexual violence in conflict with parties to armed conflict (phase I)” was submitted for funding to UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict in December 2009. The project, in which UNICEF, UNFPA, DPA and OCHA have partnered up, aims to develop a set of tools and approaches for engaging parties to conflict, and calling on them to respect international law and to stop using rape and other forms of sexual violence as a weapon of warfare.Hide
In December 2007, the Under-Secretary-General of DPA drew the attention of the heads of all DPA field missions to the initiative – UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict, and to the Security Council’s Presidential Statement calling on the Secretary-General to include in his reporting to the Council information on violence against women and girls. He noted the Department’s commitment to the principles on which UN Action was based, and requested staff’s compliance with the Security Council’s request.Hide
In July 2008, the Executive Committee on Peace and Security (ECPS), chaired by DPA, discussed the issue of sexual violence in conflict and Security Council Resolution 1820 (2008). it was agreed that ECPS would continue to receive regular briefings. The Under-Secretary-General of DPA sent a note to all ECPS members and relevant field presences requesting them to include a paragraph on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1820 (2008) in their reporting to the Security Council.Hide
The Department of Political Affairs (DPA) missions assist governments in preparation for reporting under the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. UNOGBIS assisted the Government of Guinea-Bissau with the preparation of, and advised on the content of, its initial report under the Convention.Hide
The Civilian Police Section of DPA/United Nations Peace-building Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA) conducted training for national gendarme officers on human rights issues and gender-based violence. DPKO Gender Advisers have partnered with UNPOL to highlight gender-based violence in training for National Police.Hide
Department of Political Affairs (DPA) collaborates with other UN entities and local NGOs and women’s groups to raise awareness of and advocate for the elimination of violence against women, also at the national level. DPA does not have projects or programmes on violence against women but supports NGOs in their sensitization programmes. The human rights sections of field missions monitor and report on cases of human rights abuses, which may include violence against women.Hide