Sexual violence in conflicts by Margot Wallström

The 2013 Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture: Sexual violence in Armed Conflict was the theme when Margot Wallström, former Under-Secretary-General and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, took the stage in Uppsala university hall.

Event details

Date:9 September 2013
Venue:Uppsala University Hall

Sexual violence as a topic was for a long time absent from the global policy discussions – despite its horrible and very real existence on the ground. Since 2000, when resolution 1325 first made recognition of the impact of war on women and the importance of women’s contributions to conflict resolution, several Security Council Resolutions (SRCs) have been formulated on the issue. In 2009 a Special Representative role – to act as an advocate, coordinator and leader within the UN system on the issue – was established. Margot Wallström was the first to hold this position.

The lecture, given on the 9th of September 2013 by Ms. Margot Wallström, former Under-Secretary-General and United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict (Feb 2010-June 2013), is on the subject of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict.

Prior to Ms. Wallström’s position as Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative, she served as a member of the Swedish parliament and in different ministerial positions in the government for many years, among others as Minister of Social Affairs and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Women and Youth.

She further served as Environmental Commissioner and Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy for the European Commission. She was also the first elected vice-president of the European Commission in 2004 under president José Manuel Barroso and served as such until 2010. Currently she is the chair of the Board at the Lund University.

Ms. Wallström is known for her commitment to issues of women and gender, environmental and international affairs as well as citizen involvement in the EU.


“More needs to be done to support these survivors, both in terms of access to justice, assistance and to help them reintegrate into society. Additional resources are required to strengthen the capacity of the judicial system in order to address the issue of sexual violence.”

“Impunity must never be an option.”

Statements by Margot Wallström after a visit to survivors of sexual violence in an IDP camp in Colombia, May 2012.


The Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture 2013 – Sexual violence in conflicts by Margot Wallström from Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation on Vimeo.

Question & Answer session – The Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture 2013 – Sexual violence in conflicts by Margot Wallström from Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation on Vimeo.


This lecture exists also in a written published format.


The Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture

is given in memory of Dag Hammarskjöld, the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, and in recognition of the values that inspired him as Secretary-General and generally in his life – compassion, humanism and commitment to international solidarity and cooperation.

The invited speaker should be an outstanding international personality who in significant and innovative ways contributes to a more just, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world through valuable achievements in politics or research.

The Annual Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture is co-organised by Uppsala University and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation. The lecture is free and includes a performance by Allmänna sången. The lecture will be filmed and available here on this webpage.

 See all Dag Hammarskjöld Lectures over the years