How Targeted UN Sanctions Can Address Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

The French Mission to the United Nations and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security organized this panel discussion on the use of targeted sanctions to address sexual violence when used as a weapon of war in conflict.

Since 2008, the Security Council has started to threaten and impose targeted sanctions on individuals who commit, condone or order sexual violence in armed conflict in order to deter, coerce, constrain, and stigmatize their actions.

Although a welcome development, the current practice is too inconsistent across and within the sanctions regimes to be very effective, according to new Georgetown research.

10 years after the first threat of sanctions for sexual violence in armed conflict, where are we? And how can sanctions be better used to promote and support women’s rights, and increase the cost of rape in armed conflict?

This panel brought policy makers and stakeholders together to discuss current challenges in the use of sanctions in the Security Council, as well as concrete steps that can be taken to improve the effectiveness of the sanctions tool.


François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

Pramila Patten, Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict

Mona Khalil, Affiliate of the Harvard Law School Programme on International Law and Armed Conflict and former Senior Legal Officer of the UN Office of the Legal Counsel

David Biggs, Senior Political Affairs Officer – United Nations Security Council Affairs Division

Melanne Verveer, Former US Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues

Sophie Huvé, Hillary Rodham Clinton Law Fellow – Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security