UN waters down rape resolution to appease US's hardline abortion stance

The UN has backed a resolution on combatting rape in conflict but excluded references in the text to sexual and reproductive health, after vehement opposition from the US. The resolution passed by the security council on Tuesday after a three-hour debate and a weekend of fierce negotiations on the language among member states that threatened to derail the process.

In recent months, the US administration has taken a hard line, refusing to agree to any UN documents that refer to sexual or reproductive health, on grounds that such language implies support for abortions. It has also opposed the use of the word “gender”, seeing it as a cover for liberal promotion of transgender rights.

The agreed-upon resolution was a sliver of what the Germans had put forward earlier this month. The zero draft included progressive text on strengthening laws to protect and support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who could be targeted during conflict.

It also made specific mention of the need for women to have access to safe terminations.

But the resolution – number 2467 – did for the first time make specific calls for greater support for children born as a result of rape in conflict, as well as their mothers, who can face a lifetime of stigma. It also gave prominence to the experiences of men and boys.

The resolution is the ninth introduced by the security council that has sought to address women’s specific experiences of conflict, and advocate for their involvement in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction. The first – resolution 1325 – was passed in 2000 after years of lobbying by women’s rights campaigners. Read more via the Guardian