Posted 17 November 2010
UN Special Representative: Sexual violence is a tactic in conflict and war
Sexual violence is often employed as a strategic tactic in conflict and war. “The reason is as simple as it is wicked,” says Margot Wallström, the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. “It is cheap, silent, and effective. One does not need bullets or bombs, only individuals with cruel intents.”
Margot Wallström was speaking to students and staff from the UCD School of Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin.
Picture far right: Copyright MONUSCO/Myriam Asmani 2010
Listen to the lecture:
Margot Wallström was appointed UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict in February 2010.
She has been a long-time advocate of the rights and needs of women throughout her political career -- first as Swedish Minister and later as Environment Commissioner and Vice-President of the European Commission.
Since her appointment to the European Commission in 1999, she has been actively engaged in promoting the participation of women in peace- and security-related issues, most notably the injustice and violence faced by women during armed conflict. Since 2007, she has served as Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders Ministerial Initiative, where she actively promoted the appointment of women to positions of responsibility. Ms. Wallström also played a leadership role in raising awareness about the urgency to implement United Nations Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008).
Ms. Wallström has had a long career in politics, which began when she served as a Member of the Swedish Parliament from 1979 until 1985. Her ministerial career began in 1988 when she was appointed Minister of Civil Affairs, responsible for consumer, women and youth matters. She subsequently assumed the position of Minister of Culture, and then Minister of Social Affairs. In 1998, she retired from Swedish politics to become Executive Vice-President of Worldview Global Media, a non-governmental organization based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In 2004, when the Barroso Commission took office, she was appointed first Vice-President responsible for Inter-Institutional Relations and Communication.
(Produced by UCD University Relations)