Statement by Margot Wallstrom, Vice-President of the European Commission

Jan 31, 2010, 18:31 ET from Delegation of the European Union to the United States

UN Secretary General Announces that He Intends to Appoint Her as Special Representative to the United Nations

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- I am honoured to learn from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that he intends to appoint me as his Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. I feel very humble to have been chosen from among many excellent candidates for this post and I thank the Secretary General and those who supported me for their confidence. The challenge is enormous. I intend to bring all of my energy and political experience to bear on it. This is an issue which I regard as one of the most important and yet one of the most overlooked and ignored in modern conflicts. Violence against women is the most common but least punished crime in the world. It continues in every continent, country and culture and the results are devastating on women's lives as well as on their families and on the fabric of society as a whole. In recent years it has been sickening to see sexual violence become a tool of modern warfare. In far too many parts of the world women are excluded from the decision-making process and from conflict resolution and peacekeeping. This absolutely has to change and I am determined to play my part in making that change happen.

SOURCE Delegation of the European Union to the United States