Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hillary Clinton chairs as "President" a UN Security Council session on sexual violence

Today, the Secretary was presiding over the U.N. Security Council as they unanimously adopted a resolution condemning sexual violence in war zones.

The measure was passed by a 15-0 vote and it creates a special United Nations envoy to coordinate efforts to combat the use of rape as a weapon of war and directs U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to dispatch a team of experts to advise governments on how best to prosecute offenders.

Secretary Clinton told the council that "It is time for all of us to assume our responsibility to go beyond condemning this behavior to taking concrete steps to end it, to make it socially unacceptable, to recognize it is not cultural, it is criminal." She said that "We must act now to end this crisis."

During her speech, she drew on her experiences from her trip last month to the wartorn eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where she met numerous victims of rape and other sexual abuse. She said the United Nations had a special obligation to protect women and children who she said are "war's most vulnerable and violated victims."

She went on to say that "The dehumanizing nature of sexual violence doesn't just harm a single individual or a single family or even a single village or a single group... It shreds the fabric that weaves us together as human beings."

In addition to the appointment of a special representative and team of experts, the U.N. resolution also calls for the inclusion of women's protection advisers within U.N. peacekeeping missions and the deployment of large numbers of women police and military personnel.

Here is a bit more from the Secretary's speech today:

"The resolution we passed today represents a step forward in our global efforts to end violence perpetrated against women and children in conflict zones, and it builds on two prior Security Council resolutions: Resolution 1325, which called on all parties in conflicts to respect women’s rights and increase their participation in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction efforts; and Resolution 1820, adopted last year, which affirms the ambitions set out in 1325, and establishes a clear link between maintaining international peace and security, and preventing and responding to sexual violence used as a tactic of war to target civilians."
And the best part of the day occured as the Secretary ended her speech. In a humorous moment (captured on all kinda of videos) Hillary teased:
"I resume now my function as president of the council. I kind of like being a president. So this may go on a little longer than anticipated."
The audience laughed, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said to another roar of laughter, "Thank you, Madam President."

How much you wanna bet Hillary swiped that placard for her desk back at State? hehe Here is the clip of Hillary basking in the role of Presidend of the Council here:

Also, Chris Matthews put the clip of Hillary as "president" on his sideshow segment... He actually gave her some props saying she is doing the job and staying loyal... and for Matthews, that's being nice:

Read her full remarks here or watch the FULL video of Secretary Clinton addressing the U.N. Security Council below:

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