United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide
Given the specific impact that atrocity crimes have on women, including conflict related sexual violence (CRSV) which in itself is an indicator of the risk of atrocity crimes and in some cases it could constitute of such crimes, as well as the constant need to engage women more in prevention and accountability processes, the Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect (OSAPG) is fully committed to the prevention and, deterrence of conflict-related sexual violence. In fulfilment of its mandate to raise awareness, build capacity to prevent and to make recommendations to prevent atrocity crimes, the Office has focused gender-based risk indicators in its prevention priorities. The Office prioritizes accountability for CRSV and atrocity crimes. In fact, the 2020 Report of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect, with a focus on “Prioritizing prevention and strengthening response: women and the responsibility to protect” signals the commitment of the OSAPG to focus on gender-based risk indicators in its prevention priorities. The Office also considers that addressing growing trends on gender-based hate speech remains essential in advancing efforts for the prevention of atrocity crimes. The Office is working to reinforce this gendered approach not only through advocacy on the matter but also operationally in our work, most notably with civil society organisations (CSOs). In capacity building programs, the Office is prioritizing the strengthening of women’s role in atrocity prevention, in particular for women led CSOs with a focus on the connections between the women, peace and security agenda, conflict prevention and the implementation of the responsibility to protect. Also, the Office continues to contribute to initiatives aimed at supporting victims of conflict-related sexual violence which may amount to atrocity crimes, by advocating for accountability as part of broader transitional justice efforts in a number of countries. For example, in Iraq, the Office has supported efforts by the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD). In line with this strategic policy approach by the Office, in the region of the Western Balkans, it has prioritized high level advocacy on the need to address the legacy of the past as well as support to a Civil Society Western Balkans Coalition for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Crimes Prevention which includes work on gender-focused initiatives.
Prioritizing prevention and strengthening response: women and the responsibility to protect” issued in July 2020, places a focus on gender equality and the various roles that women can play in supporting prevention of atrocity crimes (genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing) as well as their protection from the risk thereof.