Sorting by


Conflict-related sexual violence is not an inevitable consequence of war: UK statement at the UN Security Council

Thank you, President, and I would like to thank SRSG Patten, Ms Ahmadi, and Ms Gurira for briefing us today. I would particularly like to thank SRSG Patten for her commitment to speaking out on behalf of victims and survivors, and for upholding and delivering on her mandate. Thank you.

President, conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) is not an inevitable consequence of war. The UK remains committed to tackling CRSV. Indeed, we have prioritised this agenda through the leadership of our Prime Minister’s special representative, and we’ve contributed through key initiatives including the launch of the Murad Code. I’d like to outline three priorities:

First, on the focus of today’s debate: UNIDIR estimates that 70-90% of CRSV incidents involve weapons and firearms. In contexts where widely available small arms and weapons are contributing to high rates of CRSV, effective conventional arms control can play a vital role in prevention. Women should be at the centre of these efforts.

Our own WPS National Action Plan highlights the importance of arms control. We call for the implementation of national arms control measures, including effective export controls, to strengthen CRSV prevention. Gender-responsive security sector reform will help ensure those who bear arms do not use them to perpetrate CRSV.

The fact that CRSV is so widespread, as shown in the Secretary General’s Annual Report, is truly shocking. This Council has an essential role to play in shaping the international response to CRSV. We should use the tools the Security Council has to deter future CRSV, including through sanctions where appropriate.

Second, President, there are three contexts I would like to draw particular attention to:

First, In Sudan, as Ms Ahmadi’s moving briefing brought home to us so clearly, reports of CRSV paint a dire picture, and the UK is supporting partners to care for and protect survivors. We echo the Secretary-General’s call for the cessation of violence, an immediate and sustainable ceasefire and for humanitarian corridors so that survivors can access support.

The second context is Ukraine. There is mounting evidence of conflict-related sexual violence committed by Russian forces against Ukrainian civilians and prisoners of war. Two Russian perpetrators have been convicted for CRSV. These acts appear to show a pattern where CRSV is being used as a weapon of war. The UK PSVI Team of Experts is helping to build investigatory capacity to support accountability in Ukraine.

The third context, in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, we condemn all allegations and reports of CRSV. We call for thorough investigations and a survivor-centred approach, and for hostages to be released immediately, and for detainees to be treated with dignity and in line with humanitarian international law.

Finally, President, in a world where, as we heard from Ms Gurira, 80 cents is all it takes to destroy a girl’s life, the UK continues to drive action to strengthen the global response to CRSV, having established last year the International Alliance on PSVI. Twenty-six members have joined including governments, multilaterals, survivors, and civil society organisations, including the ICC, and we continue to welcome new members. Through the Alliance, we are driving forward stronger international coordination to address CRSV and provide support to survivors.

We call for Council members to implement the recommendations of this report to play their part to end these abhorrent acts and to end impunity for them, once and for all.

Thank you.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button