On the occasion of this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the member entities of United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict[1] express their grave concern at the continued use of sexual violence as a tactic of war, terrorism and political repression, and call on all parties to conflicts to commit to ceasing such acts as part of the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire made in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women and girls are disproportionately impacted by conflict-related sexual violence. Its perpetration severely affects survivors, their families and their communities causing lasting harm, and undermining efforts to achieve peace as well as just and inclusive societies. We stress the importance of addressing conflict-related sexual violence throughout all conflict prevention, humanitarian response, peacemaking and peacebuilding efforts. Ensuring a survivor-centered approach is crucial to these efforts. Recognizing that durable peace is not possible without women’s expertise and contributions, we urge all parties and stakeholders to ensure the meaningful participation of women at all levels of decision making whilst immediately putting an end to violence.

UN Action entities stand ready to support comprehensive peace initiatives that ensure women’s equal and meaningful participation, and that fully address the needs and experiences of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.

As we mark the 20th anniversary of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, UN Action reiterates its commitment to finally putting an end to the scourge of conflict-related sexual violence and to achieving sustainable peace.

For more information please refer to the United Nations Guidance for Mediators: Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ceasefire and Peace Agreements.

For media inquiries, please contact: and

[1] UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict unites the efforts of DPO, DPPA, OCHA, OHCHR, OSRSG-CAAC, IOM, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNODA, UNODC, UN Women and WHO in preventing and responding to conflict-related sexual violence. The network is chaired by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.