NAVI PILLAY, HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS Accountability – An Essential Element of the WPS Agenda

Monday, 21 October, 2013 
UN North Lawn Building, Room 7

Women and girls continue to experience all forms of physical, sexual, and psychological violence in modern conflicts and crisis. For far too many women who have been victims of serious wartime crimes, prospects of having the perpetrators brought to justice are very remote, as are prospects of reparations for the harms suffered. Promoting accountability for violence that women and girls have suffered during conflict, political strife, and instability is essential.

Without accountability, human rights will be denied, crime will flourish, and impunity for past crimes will persist, undermining legitimacy and prospects for reconciliation. Accountability should be intended as encompassing processes, norms, and structures to hold individuals and entities accountable for their actions, impose adequate sanctions, ensure remedies for survivors, address impunity for past crimes, and avoid repetitions of violations in the future. Such processes, norms, and structures must be built on fundamental principles of equality and non-discrimination and fully take into account women’s and girls’ experience of conflict and instability. In this lecture, Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights, highlighted the importance of accountability for an effective implementation of the women, peace and security agenda and outlined challenges and promising practices concerning the integration of a gender perspective in criminal prosecution, reparations, truth and reconciliation commissions and institutional reforms.

To watch the entire video of this event, click here.

Click here to access the High Commissioner's speech.