Salvation Army invited to Security Council’s passage of Gender Equality Architecture Reform

Along with a number of non- governmental organizations and United Nations committees, the International Social Justice against women and children in conflict zones. The dehumanizing nature of sexual violence doesn’t just harm a single individual or a single family or even a single village or a single group. It shreds the fabric that weaves us together as human beings.”

Representatives from each member nation also made a statement, along with the UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon.

“With its resolution today, the Security Council is sending an unequivocal message—a call to action,” Ban said before expressing regret that previous responses to sexual violence had not been able to stem the scourge and pledging to ensure effective follow-up by the UN system.

The written resolution calls for a special representative to lead, coordinate and advocate efforts to end sexual violence, a team of experts to work with governments to strengthen the rule of law and enhance accountability, and new and renewed peacekeeping mandates condemning sexual violence and providing guidance for local authorities on how to end it.

Commission (ISJC) pressed the United Nations to pass the Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR)—a resolution to end sexual violence against women and children in conflict-related situations. When the issue was slated for a Security Council meeting in late September 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invited Major Victoria Edmonds, ISJC representative to the UN in New York, to attend.

During the closed-door assembly, the 15-member Security Council voted unanimously to adopt the draft resolution 1888 (2009), “Women and peace and security,” submitted by 65 nations.

“Even though women and children are rarely responsible for initiating armed conflict, they are often war’s most vulnerable and violated victims,” Clinton said in a statement during the meeting. “The resolution we passed today represents a step forward in our global efforts to end violence perpetrated against women and children in conflict zones. The dehumanizing nature of sexual violence doesn’t just harm a single individual or a single family or even a single village or a single group. It shreds the fabric that weaves us together as human beings.”

Representatives from each member nation also made a statement, along with the UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon.

“With its resolution today, the Security Council is sending an unequivocal message—a call to action,” Ban said before expressing regret that previous responses to sexual violence had not been able to stem the scourge and pledging to ensure effective follow-up by the UN system.

The written resolution calls for a special representative to lead, coordinate and advocate efforts to end sexual violence, a team of experts to work with governments to strengthen the rule of law and enhance accountability, and new and renewed peacekeeping mandates condemning sexual violence and providing guidance for local authorities on how to end it.

In 2009, ISJC members traveled to places like Kenya, to speak at the All Africa Congress and meet with local personnel; Moscow, to meet with Army leaders on developing a national moral and social issues council and positional statements; and Brazil, to speak at the Americas Zonal Conference of territorial leaders, meet with the national Moral and Social Issues Council and speak at the Southern Conference for South American leadership.

To better equip its staff and the grassroots Salvationists, the ISJC began its policy intern program in January 2010, using four qualified and experienced individuals from throughout the world to conduct research further fulfilling Booth’s vision of an intelligence department.

The commission is also looking to fill a full-time research position with a Salvationist who holds a Ph.D.

“Our purpose is to know what is going on and to influence what is going on,” Seymour said. “We aim to educate ourselves and in turn educate The Salvation Army. We want to become a part of activity for change and get involved in issues of change while letting the UN and the world know about the Army’s international involvement.”

Credible collateral

“The Army has incredible potential because of its spread across 119 countries,” said Dr. Don Posterski, ISJC global affairs consultant. “Though post- modernism is winning and secularism is high in the world, the ‘Salvation’ in our title is still credible and accepted. Credibility is like collateral; my question is: how will we spend the collateral?”