Building on the annual Security Council Debate on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), PeaceWomen, along with the Mission of Liechtenstein and Princeton University, held its tenth WPS lecture on Monday, Oct 21st, titled “Accountability- an Essential Element of the WPS Agenda”, with keynote speaker, Ms. Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Pillay highlighted the importance of accountability for an effective implementation of the WPS 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.
In the lecture, Pillay stated that conflicts exacerbate pre-existing gender relations, and that without accountability, women's human rights will be denied. Therefore, it is imperative that accountability for crimes against women during conflict is pursued through gender-sensitive transitional justice processes. These processes need to address perpetrators' impunity and promote women's access to justice, and deliver gender-sensitive and comprehensive reparation programs. Furthermore, she stressed that justice should be achieved through a national process first, but that the international community should take a greater role in implementing reparation programs and bringing justice. Pillay also recognized the critical role of civil society in addressing gender-based violence in conflicts and called for greater women's participation in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, noting that States should work in collaboration with civil society to ensure genuine commitment to women and girls in conflicts.