Model United Nations Youth for Human Rights Namibia: ‘Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict’
The British High Commission (BHC), the Human Rights Documentation Centre (HRDC) of the University of Namibia (UNAM), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) hosted a Model United Nations (UN) under the theme ‘Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict’ at the UNAM campus on June 7 as part of the pre global summit.
Twenty-one Namibian students, representing 21 different countries, debated in a Model UN simulation ‘Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict’ (PSVI) initiative and came up with a resolution to feed into the discussions of the global PSVI summit that took place in London on June, 10-13.
Twelve out of the 21 countries that were represented at the Model UN simulation have representations in Namibia. At the end of the Model UN simulation regarding PSVI, the Unam students came up with a declaration, which they handed over to the Namibian Member of Parliament, Peter Katjavivi, at the end of the summit here in Windhoek, and was presented to London summit which took place in June 10 - 14. It calls for impunity so that perpetrators shall not escape the hands of justice including governments that find themselves guilty of this crime. The declaration also calls for the establishment of a commission of inquiry to ensure that there shall be accountability to deal with perpetrators of sexual violence; to provide expertise in the investigating, documenting and prosecution of acts of sexual violence; to mobilise funds for the victims of sexual violence to provide various services to victims of sexual violence; to make concerted efforts to educate the victims of sexual violence on their rights and the available legal remedies open to them; to integrate education efforts for security personnel to be able to deal with gender based violence responses and the promotion of gender equality.
In his remark, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Musinga T. Bandora said that “because armed conflict and violence often overflows beyond national borders, sexual violence also assumes trans-national proportions. In preventing sexual violence-especially in Africa- therefore requires us to recognize and address its transnational character as well as the nexus between sexual violence, illicit extraction of natural resources, and illicit trade and proliferation of small arms. For this reason sexual violence cannot be tackled by countries individually. It needs collaboration and partnerships based on a global and holistic approach that commands the support of everyone-countries, societies and organizations.”
Mr Bandora further emphasized that this is why the UN is working to ensure that international and regional initiatives are coordinated to improve and standardize the investigation of large scale sexual violence in wartime, to help countries build national capacity for effective investigations and prosecutions -so as to bring an end a culture of impunity.
Namibian diplomat to the United Kingdom (UK) George Liswaniso told the students during the summit that Namibia refused to be a silent spectator and manifested her global responsibility by spearheading a resolution at the UN Security Council in 2000, entitled Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict was co-chaired by the British Foreign Secretary and Angelina Jolie, the Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. This was the largest gathering ever brought together on this subject, with a view to creating irreversible momentum against sexual violence in conflict and practical action that impact those on the ground. All the governments that have endorsed the UN Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict were invited, as well as legal, military and judicial practitioners and representatives from multilateral organisations, NGOs and civil society.