In the first part of this issue, consideration is given to the failure of the international community to address the issue of war-time sexual violence during the early years of the UN. Developments are traced to the early 1990s when the international community finally recognized that human rights violations committed against women during armed conflict, including sexual violence, violate fundamental principles of international human rights and humanitarian law. In the second part of this issue, the manner in which sexual violence during armed conflict emerged as an item of concern within the UN is examined. The role of women's NGOs in exerting pressure for change is highlighted, and the UN's response described. The concluding section examines how the issue may be advanced in the next century.