UN Action continued to finance the Programme Manager for the Joint Government-UN Programme on Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Liberia. The Programme Manager worked to develop management and coordination systems as well as to establish benchmarks to monitor the implementation and impact of the Joint Programme.
The recruitment specialist continued to develop a roster of senior and mid-level professionals specialized on gender-based violence and who are available for rapid deployment to conflict-affected countries.
The Comprehensive Strategy to Combat Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) developed by UN Action’s Senior Adviser on Sexual Violence in MONUC, DRC, was launched by the UN and the Government of DRC in March 2009 and formally presented to the UN Security Council on 9 April 2009. The Comprehensive Strategy provides a clear framework for addressing sexual violence in the DRC. The Strategy is based on four interlocking pillars: 1) combating impunity for cases of sexual violence; 2) prevention of sexual violence; 3) security sector reform; and 4) multi-sectoral response to improve access of survivors of sexual violence to a wide range of services.
In April 2009, UN Action undertook an assessment of the effectiveness of its strategic support to addressing sexual violence in the DRC. The assessment concluded that the UN Action network should continue to provide strategic support to MONUC and the UNCT to help operationalize the Comprehensive Strategy.
UN Action continued to develop the Stop Rape Now website (www.stoprapenow.org). New web features were developed, including an Updates from the Field page, which showcases UN Action efforts to combat sexual violence in Liberia and the DRC. Significant support was garnered following the posting of a photo of UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman at the StopRapeNow site. UN Action is encouraging all UN member entities to contribute photos of their respective Goodwill Ambassadors. UN Action also created a “Fans of SCR1820” page on Facebook, and a UN Action Twitter page, with links from both sites to the News hub on the StopRapeNow website. As at September 2009, there were over 1,380 fans of SCR 1820 on Facebook.
As part of the StopRapeNow campaign, and in conjunction with the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, UN Action developed tools on Security Council Resolution 1820, including a poster, notebooks, pins and banner-pens. In order to improve collaboration with NGO partners, UN Action chaired a session on sexual violence during the Consultation with Civil Society on the Secretary-General’s UNiTE Campaign in March 2009.
UN Action undertook a number of advocacy events throughout September 2009 to coincide with the presentation of Security Council resolution 1888 on sexual violence in armed conflict, which was adopted unanimously by the Security Council on 30 September 2009.
Under the aegis of UN Action, WHO was spearheading efforts to develop a standardized instrument and methodology to collect data on conflict-related sexual violence. UNICEF and WHO were leading a process to develop programmatic benchmarks for measuring progress in preventing and responding to sexual violence.