United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict (OSRSG-SVC)

1. How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the priorities of your organization? 

The OSRSG-SVC has recognized that unequal gender relations and patriarchal norms have considerably exacerbated the impacts of the COVID-19 on women and children, particularly survivors of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). The restrictions associated with the pandemic have impeded survivors’ ability to report crimes and seek justice and care. They have also hampered United Nations entities monitoring, reporting and outreach work. In this light, the OSRSG-SVC has recalibrated its priorities to ensure that survivors of CRSV are included in response and recovery efforts, that comprehensive and life-saving services for survivors continue uninterrupted, and that monitoring of CRSV data including collection and analysis continues through the MARA.

 

2. In 2020/2021, how has your organization endeavored to support Member States to build back better from COVID-19 while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda? Please select up to three high-impact initiatives to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. How has your organization cooperated with other UN system organizations in those efforts to achieve coherence and synergies?  

Initiative  Equipping gender-based violence response services to meet the needs of women and girls within the COVID-19 outbreak
Partners UNFPA, UNICEF and UNHCR
Relevant SDGs  SDGs 1, 3, 5, 10, 16
Member States benefiting from the initiative Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon
Description This project seeks to strengthen the quality and accessibility of life-saving psychosocial and health services for CRSV and GBV survivors and those at-risk, while building the capacity of psychosocial case managers to provide quality services and use innovative technological solutions to safely manage, analyse, and share data on incidents of violence. Where existing capacities are available and deemed safe, activities are implemented in close partnership with local and national women-led, grassroots organisations. The project builds on previous efforts and UN Action grants that had previously adopted joint analysis and prioritisation among UN entities. As elaborated under e), this project works closely with multi-stakeholders including national institutions to support their commitments to preventing and responding to CRSV, builds on GBV prevention and response priorities. UNFPA and UNHCR, play leading roles in inter-agency GBV sub-working groups/clusters coordination across the Middle East region (UNICEF being an active member). The three entities also play a leading role in the GBVIMS Taskforces in the region. Both coordination structures work to support service-delivery, accurate collection and analysis of data, and coordination of local prevention and response services to survivors. By aligning activities under this project with the strategic frameworks of these taskforces, the joint action of these three entities removes the risk of duplication and enhances impact on the project outcomes.
   

 

Initiative  Focus on COVID-19 Pandemic and its repercussions on CRSV in the 2020 Report of the Secretary-General on Conflict-related Sexual Violence
Partners United Nations Secretary-General
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 3, 5, 10, 16 
Description The OSRSG-SVC structured the 2020 Annual report to encompass key findings on the impact of COVID-19 on CRSV prevention and response. Specifically, the report revealed concluded that addressing conflict-related sexual violence has been made more complex by intersecting crises and inequalities, yet the dire effects of sexual violence on human rights, public health and peacebuilding makes collective responses more urgent than ever. The needs of sexual violence survivors cannot be put on pause and neither can the response. The pandemic demands a paradigm shift: to silence the guns, amplify the voices of peacebuilders and invest in service-delivery. The report noted that the current crisis is a test of collective resolve to translate commitments into results, through the inclusion of survivors in an intersectional and gender responsive pandemic recovery.
Website https://www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/…

3. Has your organization published or is it planning to publish any analytical work or guidance note or toolkits to guide and support recovery efforts from COVID-19 while advancing SDG implementation at national, regional and global levels? Please select up to three high-impact resources to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. 

Resource  Policy Brief on the Implications of COVID-19 for the Prevention of and Response to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
Publishing entity/entities Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflicts
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 3, 5, 10, 16
Target audience Decision-makers, diplomats, journalists, administrators, researchers
Description This policy brief gives an overview of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on data monitoring, access and reporting, which usually serves as a basis for remedial action, particularly service provision to survivors; on the rule of Law and accountability processes for CRSV and on the increased risks of sexual and gender-based violence on vulnerable groups of like survivors of CRSV, particularly in the context of migration and for children.
Link to access https://stoprapenow.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/20200602-OSRSG-SVC-P…
Language English
   

 

Resource  Conflict-Related Sexual Violence - Report of the United Nations Secretary-General
Publishing entity/entities Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflicts
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 3, 5, 10, 16
Target audience Decision-makers, diplomats, journalists, administrators, researchers and wider public
Description The Secretary-General’s report on CRSV gives an overview of patterns, trends and emerging concerns around CRSV in different countries affected by conflict. It draws on this analysis to provide recommendations addressed to specific governments, including the reinforcement of Joint Communiqués’ and National Action Plans’ implementation, the request to guarantee humanitarian access to certain areas like detention centers etc. It then concluded by formulating recommendations addressed to the UN Security Council.
Link to access https://www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/…
Language English

4. How has your organization engaged with stakeholder groups to support SDG implementation and COVID-19 recovery at national, regional and global levels? Please provide main highlights, including any lessons learned. If your organization has established multi-stakeholder partnerships in this regard, please describe them (objectives, partners involved, relevant SDGs, Member States benefiting from the partnership) and provide links to relevant websites, if applicable.

Partnership Leveraging the Strength of Women in Somalia to Mitigate Conflict-Related Sexual Violence and Prevent Violent Extremism
Partners IOM and UNSOM
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 3, 5, 10, 16
Member States benefiting from the initiative Somalia
Description As mentioned in the SG’s report on CRSV from April 2021, the UN Action Multi-Partner Trust Fund ‘builds upon past achievements by, and synergies developed among, members of the network, Governments and civil society partners, will advance the survivor-centred approach outlined in resolution 2467 (2019) by supporting the provision of comprehensive services for survivors and for children born of wartime rape, and by addressing structural root causes.’ ‘In 2020, the fund prioritized a project in Somalia aimed at supporting the rehabilitation and reintegration of approximately 400 women formerly associated with Al-Shabaab, many of whom are survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.’ To do so, the project provided individualised services such as medical support, referrals and dignity kits. It has also used culturally grounded approaches to assist women recover from trauma and provided economic empowerment support, ultimately ensuring that these women become active contributors to sustainable peacebuilding in their communities. Since the onset of COVID-19, the project has been adapted to include the provision of preventive health training and of personal protective equipment, as well as hybrid in-person and virtual capacity development for national counterparts.
Website https://www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/…

5. In the 2019 SDG Summit declaration (GA Resolution 74/4), Member States outlined ten priority areas for accelerated action in SDG implementation. Please highlight any major integrated and innovative policies or initiatives that your organization may have adopted in these ten priority areas:

5.1 leaving no one behind

UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict network projects

5.2 mobilizing adequate and well-directed financing

UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict network projects

5.3 enhancing national implementation

Joint Communiqués and National Action Plans co-signed by the OSRSG-SVC and Member States

5.4 strengthening institutions for more integrated solutions

Joint Communiqués and National Action Plans co-signed by the OSRSG-SVC and Member States

5.5 bolstering local action

UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict network projects

5.6 reducing disaster risk and building resilience

UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict network projects

5.7 solving challenges through international cooperation and enhancing the global partnership

UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict network projects

5.8 harnessing science, technology and innovation with a greater focus on digital transformation for sustainable development

UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict network projects (specifically the project titled Equipping gender-based violence response services to meet the needs of women and girls within the COVID-19 outbreak in the MENA region)

5.9 investing in data and statistics for the SDGs

OSRSG-SVC Team of Experts research products

 

6. In the lead up to the 2023 HLPF to be held under the auspices of the General Assembly (or 2023 SDG Summit), please provide your organization’s recommendations on how to overcome challenges to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs, taking into account the thematic reviews and voluntary national reviews conducted to date.

Recommendations to overcome the main challenges to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of SDGs in relation to CRSV:

- Advocating for unimpeded humanitarian access in conflict-zones
- Prioritising the implementation of existing Joint Communiqués, Frameworks of Cooperation and related National Action Plans on conflict-related sexual violence.
- Addressing the root causes of conflict-related sexual violence, including gender inequality.

ECESA Plus Member
Year of submission: 2021