Security Council Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict, June 2013 (SCR 2106)

Monday, June 24, 2013

On June 24th, the UN Security Council held a day-long debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict. The Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura briefed. Jane Anywar, a Ugandan lawyer representing the Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice, spoke on behalf of civil society. Actress and activist Angelina Jolie spoke in her capacity as the Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The meeting was presided by the UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.

The meeting resulted in unanimous adoption of a resolution on Sexual Violence in Conflict (S/RES/2106) under the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The debate featured over 50 statements, including the statements made on behalf of the European Union and the African Union. Overall, the speakers focused on justice and the necessity to hold perpetrators accountable for their action. The frequently mentioned fragile states were Syria, Mali, and the DRC.

Resolution 2106


Resolution 2106 is primarily focused on further operationalizing current obligations, rather than on creating new structures/initiatives. Specifically, the resolution refers to the mechanism created within the previous resolution 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009) and 1960 (2010) and includes, among others, the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, Women's Protection Advisers (WPA) and the Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Arrangements (MARA). Resolution 2106 also stresses the importance of a pre-deployment training on sexual violence for the UN peacekeeping personnel.

We welcome language on women's participation: in contrast to the earlier resolutions on sexual violence in conflict (1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1960 (2010)) in which the emphasis on women's empowerment and gender equality was notably weak, Resolution 2106 includes some language on these issues, for instance pp. 1 “stresses women's participation as essential to any prevention and protection response”.

However, there are a number of areas in Resolution 2106 that could be stronger, inter alia language on the Arms Trade Treaty, and language on prevention.

Read more about Resolution 2106>>>

Women's Participation and Gender Equality


Women's participation was overlooked by many speakers. Neither the Secretary-General, nor his Special Representative Bangura made substantial contribution in this regard. The civil society speaker Anywar and the Special Envoy Jolie did not mention the necessity of women's agency in combating sexual violence, either. However, the statements by Maria Cristina Perceval (Argentina) and Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (France) deserve particular attention as good examples of employment of language on gender equality. Both speakers recognized the root causes of sexual violence in unequal gender power relations and the perception of woman as man's inferior. Other countries that mentioned the necessity of women's empowerment to put an end on sexual violence included among others: Australia, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Switzerland, Brazil, Netherlands and Canada.

Conflict Prevention and the Arms Trade Treaty


Conflict prevention was emphasized by several states as the key to combat conflict related sexual violence (Australia, Morocco, Switzerland, Slovakia, Brazil, Senegal). However, the recently adopted Arms Trade Treaty that included a gender criterion and highlighted the link between access to weapons with sexual-gender based violence in conflict and postconflict settings, was mentioned only by a few countries (France, Argentina, Ecuador, Sweden, Lithuania and Netherlands).

Justice


The Secretary-General's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Bangura, noted that it is still largely “cost-free” to rape a woman, child or man in conflict. The main focus of the debate was, therefore, on the role of justice in fighting impunity among the perpetrators.

Access to justice is crucial for rebuilding post-conflict societies successfully as well as for preventing these crimes in the future. Resolution 2106 and the speakers' statements sent a clear message that perpetrators of sexual violence have to be held accountable for their action and that impunity must no longer be tolerated. Moreover, there must be no amnesty provisions for the perpetrators. While this is important, it is critical to ensure that collecting data and ensuring retribution for violators are conducted in ways that are survivor centered and ensure women's equal human rights and participation.

The Council's members discussed different justice mechanisms both at national and international levels. Most speakers stressed that protection from sexual violence is primarily the responsibility that states should bear. The UN system and the Security Council in particular should, however, support national governments in strengthening accountability mechanisms at national level.

Other


The resolution calls for recognizing this work and supporting local civil society networks in their efforts to provide services to survivors of sexual violence. However, we would have preferred stronger recognition of civil society, including women's organizations, as key in preventing the violence from breaking out in the first place.

In summation, because sexual violence in conflict is a failure to implement all elements of the full Women, Peace and Security agenda, we take this opportunity to remind states that it is critical to address root causes of militarized inequality to avoid Band-Aid solutions.
 

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Webcast (Part I)

Webcast (Part II)

Meeting Record


 

 

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SCR 2106: The Text

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General Women, Peace and Security
  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    As the international community, we curbed the development of nuclear weapons, heading off a once threatened and unstoppable wave of insecurity. We have binding Conventions against the use of torture and on the treatment of prisoners. We have outlawed the use of chemical weapons and imposed a global ban on cluster munitions. We have made progress in choking off the trade in conflict diamonds, which undermines many fragile countries. Here in the Security Council we adopted historic resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, and this year we agreed a historic Arms Trade Treaty, to stem the illegal arms trade that exacerbates conflict and causes such human misery.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We need to home in on lack of accountability as one of the root causes of rape and sexual violence in conflict, but at the same time not forget that women's political, social and economic empowerment across all societies is essential and that our goal must be the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    We know that during the course of history the definition of human rights and recognition of their universality did not evolve at the same time. Only a little more than 20 years ago, and at several world summits, was a definition developed — not without resistance and friction — of women's rights as human rights. Only recently, in 1993, was the legal existence of women as subjects of law recognized.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    It was at the World Conference on Human Rights, held in Vienna in 1993, that it was recognized that the rights of women and the girl child are an inalienable part of universal human rights. It was stated there that the situation of women in the world must be analysed from the gender perspective in order to ensure that the universality of human rights shall encompass the specific situations that prevent us, as women, from fully exercising our human rights.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    I am extremely concerned by the humanitarian tragedy affecting Syrian women. Women have played a leading role in peaceful demonstrations; they have mobilized on the ground to rebuild a new Syria and to play an important role within the Syrian National Coalition. They represent a key element of the solution that we must urgently seek for the country.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    In that respect, national action plans on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) are a crucial instrument and must be broadened. As part of its plan of action, France , in partnership with UN-Women, has undertaken cooperation programmes aimed at combating violence against women in Africa and the Arab world. Recently, we allocated specific funds to programmes in Mali implemented by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in particular to support women's participation in political processes. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, more than €2 million have been earmarked since 2012 to support Congolese NGOs combating sexual violence and strengthening women's participation in decision-making processes. Along those lines, the President of France recently announced the convening of a summit on peace and security in Africa in Paris in December.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, I wish to underscore that, in addition to the indescribable savagery of sexual violence that has been addressed here, it is also important to recall the tragic observation made recently by the World Health Organization that one in every three women worldwide has been subjected to domestic or sexual violence. No region has been spared from the violence. However it is true that, like ignorance, it behaves as an epidemic that can reach epidemic level in some countries. It is therefore absolutely crucial to continue to work unfailingly on all of those issues, because women's rights, like human rights, are universal and indivisible.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    Armenia expresses its readiness to work closely with the Council, other United Nations bodies, interested institutions and concerned non-governmental organizations to expand and implement the women and peace and security agenda and better the situation of women around the world, including those affected by armed conflict.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Italy has placed a high priority on the protection of women against sexual violence in its human rights policy. Last week, the Italian Parliament ratified the Council of Europe convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. We strongly encourage States to ratify this important instrument. Moreover, the Italian national action plan on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) includes specific provisions addressing sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    To that end, I wish to express the support of my delegation for the work of UN-Women, as well as the mandates of the Secretary-General's Special Representatives on Sexual Violence in Conflict and on Children and Armed Conflict. While also recognizing the existing normative framework established under various Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1261 (1999), 1325 (2000) and other subsequent resolutions on women and peace and security and on children and armed conflict, Botswana shares the belief that efforts to address sexual violence in conflict should be consistent with, and complementary to, wider United Nations efforts. In that regard, we also wish to underline that greater coordination and collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders is essential to strengthening global efforts to address sexual violence.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    Women are often victims of armed conflict, but they can also play a central role in preventing and resolving violent conf licts, as actors in conf lict resolution and peacebuilding. The continued high incidence of horrific sexual violence against women and girls in conflicts demands the international community's attention as a human rights matter and as a question of ensuring respect for international humanitarian law. It is an issue that bears directly on peace and security. The Council's landmark resolution, 1325 (2000), is still not being fully implemented.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    We also underline the importance that all relevant peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations properly address the impact of conflict on women and girls, and that the increased participation of women be encouraged. It is an approach that is reflected domestically through our National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, which we launched in 2011. The plan is Croatia's blueprint for practical implementation of our obligations under resolution 1325 (2000).

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    The Ecuadorian Constitution defines our country as a territory of peace. Likewise, as a member of the Union of South American Nations, we have set out to build a region of peace where the peaceful resolution of disputes is promoted. We believe that this approach is fundamental to avoiding conflict. We understand that peace is not simply the absence of war, but that it requires us to work to eradicate poverty and inequality at the national and international levels. We must recognize that armed conflicts often arise in contexts of inequality between States resulting from an unjust international economic system and various forms of social exclusion and ethnic, religious and gender-based intolerance, which are determining factors at the root of armed conflicts and acts of violence. We must therefore call on States to avoid wars of aggression and the use of force against supposed threats and to respect the sovereignty and self-determination of peoples.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    It is crucial to bear in mind that the participation of women on an equal footing with men is indispensible for achieving peace. The State of Ecuador has incorporated the gender perspective into its National Plan for Good Living, but also has a national plan for the eradication of gender-based violence, which was established as State policy in 2007. The Ministry of National Defence promotes the concept of defence as a public good, and a gender approach is therefore incorporated into defence policy. Human rights are seen as an area for action in policy implementation, including through the promotion of policies of gender equality, coexistence and respect for cultural identity and the effective implementation of resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1889 (2009).

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    To measure the impact of the Gender Policy with indicators, the Ministry of Defence has a computerized system for monitoring human rights, gender equality and intercultural matters. This system allows us to link cases of suspected human rights violations and gender-based violence, serving as a useful tool for building respect for human rights and gender equality in the armed forces and for eradicating violence against individuals, communities, ethnic groups and nationalities.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    For those reasons, we support the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and resolution 1960 (2010), which emphasize that all peacekeeping mandates incorporate provisions that specifically identify steps to address sexual violence, and that should include the clear identification of women's protection advisers alongside gender advisers and human rights protection units.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    In recent years, efforts have been made to modernize Chilean institutions to conform to the human rights and gender focus of resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent resolutions on the subject in a forward-looking approach reflecting our national and regional reality. This year we will be launching our national plan based on that resolution, updated for the period 2014-2018, with specific indicators for effectively measuring various types of activity. That, in turn, will be the basis for the next national plan for the period 2019-2022. The indicators represent five specific goals: prevention, participation, protection, help and recovery. They will be implemented globally and jointly, with the aim of creating a strong foundation for combating sexual violence committed in pre-conflict and post-conflict situations.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    In that connection, Chile's national plan provides expanded training in peacekeeping operations for soldiers and for members of the forces of law and order and security in the pre- and post-deployment stages. It also places greater emphasis on the distribution of information on the international instruments concerning gender, security and peace, and we are promoting gender mainstreaming in the institutions performing these roles. We believe that such a policy should be the general norm for all peacekeeping missions in which the United Nations participates.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    Chile attaches great importance to the prevention of sexual violence in conflicts and to the care, protection and compensation of victims of sexual violence in conflict. On earlier occasions we have drawn attention, inter alia, to the progress made by our national legislation on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). We particularly support the role being played by the women serving as protection advisers for their work with survivors of acts of sexual violence in places affected by conflicts, and we attach the greatest importance to ending the culture of impunity for sexual violence in conflicts in all its manifestations

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    For that reason, my delegation would like to conclude by expressing our satisfaction with the adoption of resolution 2106 (2013) this morning, which Chile co-sponsored.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    While the greatest potential for change lies at the national level, we must all assume more responsibility and do so with a keener sense of urgency. For our part, Ireland recently published an independent mid-term progress report on implementation of our national action plan, based on resolution 1325 (2000). We are one of a very small number of countries to publicly share the lessons we have identified — where we have done well and where we need to improve. We hope that other States will benefit from the report, which is available on our website. We will focus, too, on preventing and responding to gender-based violence in the immediate aftermath of humanitarian emergencies, including through a roundtable on 28 June in Brussels that Ireland, as current President of the Council of the European Union, will co-host.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    At the Security Council debate last week (S/PV.6980), the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict announced the launch of a campaign to galvanize concerned Governments, interested Member States and the United Nations system to end the recruitment and use of children by State forces in armed conflict by 2016. Do we dare to challenge ourselves in a similar fashion and to raise the level of our ambition?

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    Through policies such as its human rights and gender strategies, the Netherlands pays particular attention to issues such as gender equality, women's political role and leadership, economic empowerment and ending trafficking of and violence against women in post-conflict countries and unstable areas. In that regard, we are actively implementing resolution 1325 (2000) through a second national action plan for 2012- 2015, signed by three Dutch ministries and 41 civil organizations. The plan focuses on six countries: Afghanistan, South Sudan, the Sudan, Burundi, Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as on the Middle East and North Africa region. I will cite three examples.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    Bosnia and Herzegovina is committed to promoting the role of women in peace and security through the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and related resolutions. To illustrate our genuine commitment in this regard, we need to point out that Bosnia and Herzegovina was the first country in South-East Europe to adopt an action plan aimed at implementation of the aforementioned resolution. The plan was used as sample document for other countries of the region that drafted similar action plans. In addition, my country has also adopted a gender action plan and enacted laws regulating the prevention of violence against women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    My country has made its modest contribution to the issue of women in peace. During Namibia's presidency of the Council in October 2000, a discussion was initiated and an open debate held (see S/PV.4213) that culminated in the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000). The Council has also adopted resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010), which highlight the seriousness of sexual violence as a threat to international peace and security. The urgent question confronting the international community today is, what are the appropriate strategies to end sexual violence in conf lict?

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    As the Special Representative is aware, my country has always been a strong advocate of resolution 1325 (2000) on women and peace and security; she also knows how wholeheartedly Belgium supports her mandate and her action plan. I note that my country is currently finalizing its second national action plan for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), covering the period 2013-2016.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    It is no surprise that such acts have been unanimously condemned and opposed by the international community. China strongly condemns all violence against civilians in armed conflict, and is resolutely opposed to using sexual violence as a means of war, as well as to any acts of sexual violence or sexual enslavement against women. We call for the full implementation of the Council's relevant resolutions and urge all parties to conflict to abide by international law and international humanitarian law, and to cease all acts of violence against women immediately. I would like to emphasize the following three points.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    The European Union continues to implement its dedicated policy on women and peace and security, as well as to support initiatives to strengthen international criminal justice and the rule of law. The EU now has gender advisers and/or human rights focal points in each of its crisis management missions and operations. The EU supports the swift deployment of human rights observers in Mali by the African Union and the United Nations and provides financial support for the deployment of observers. The EU training mission in Mali includes training on gender and human rights for the Malian armed forces.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    The resolution of conflict situations requires the adoption of a sustainable and holistic approach to conflict resolution and the overall reconstruction of impacted societies. In our view, gender equality and women's empowerment are integral to the pursuit of this objective. The participation of women in peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction efforts is imperative for laying the foundation for durable peace. Economic recovery, social cohesion and political legitimacy cannot be achieved without the active engagement of women.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    Thirteen years ago, resolution 1325 (2000) highlighted the disproportionate impact of armed conflict on women and children, and the need for effective institutional arrangements to guarantee their protection and the full participation of women in peace processes. That resolution also contained several detailed recommendations on how to deal with various aspects of this issue.

  • Country

    Israel
  • Extracts

    This fall will mark 13 years since the Security Council adopted resolution 1325 (2000) and three years since it adopted resolution 1960 (2010). Those resolutions reflect the international community's desire to advance gender equality and denounce sexual violence in conflict. While those aspirations are the subject of frequent discussions and debates within these halls, on the ground — where it really counts — women continue to be marginalized and victimized. Around the world, at least one woman in every three has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. International resolve must be met with concrete action.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    We consider the routine deployment of women's protection advisers as crucial in addressing sexual violence. At present, only eight such advisers have been deployed in the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan. It is therefore encouraging to learn that more are being recruited for the United Nations missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire and the Central African Republic. Malaysia supports appointing more women's protection advisers, as the positive value they bring in creating greater awareness about sexual violence issues, reporting incidents of sexual violence and implementing Security Council resolutions on the ground cannot be overstated.a

  • Country

    Slovenia
  • Extracts

    One of the key priorities of Slovenia in the United Nations is to address issues of importance to women around the world. It has been acknowledged many times that global stability, peace, and prosperity depend on protecting and advancing the rights of women and girls. But many times we find ourselves too late in implementing preventive measures, which may include efforts to promote the rights of women or other means, and find ourselves in the midst of armed conflicts, where particularly vulnerable groups, such as women and children, are disproportionately impacted.

  • Speaker

    African Union
  • Extracts

    This debate bears eloquent testimony to the United Kingdom's commitment and efforts towards the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and related resolutions at the highest political level. The adoption, under the United Kingdom's leadership of the Group of Eight Summit, held in London on 11 April, of the declaration on preventing sexual violence in conflict further reflects that commitment.

  • Speaker

    African Union
  • Extracts

    The issue of sexual violence in conflict implies a collective moral obligation and provokes a sense of urgency, given the ongoing escalation of this crime and its devastating effects on its innocent victims — women and girls, men and boys. The African Union's efforts have focused on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in conjunction with the gender policy adopted by the African Union in 2009. Furthermore, the AU's road map for the African Peace and Security Architecture for the period 2011-2013 devotes an entire section to the topic of women and peace and security. The AU Peace and Security Department has taken concrete steps to mainstream gender into its work at the institutional, operational and programmatic levels. The inclusion of gender experts as part of post-conflict needs- assessment missions undertaken by the Peace and Security Reconstruction Department is a step forward in formulating efficient post-conflict reconstruction programmes.

  • Speaker

    African Union
  • Extracts

    It was in that context that the African Union Peace and Security Council held a meeting on 28 March 2011 on the theme of women and children and other vulnerable groups in armed conflict, with the participation, among others, of the then United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Building on that meeting, given the priority accorded this issue by the leadership of the African Union Commission, efforts are under way to appoint an AU special representative on sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    New Zealand
  • Extracts

    New Zealand welcomes the Council's consideration of this specific aspect of the women, peace and security agenda, and we urge that it give consideration to the specific issues we have raised and that it also remain seized of the wider agenda, including women's participation in political processes.

  • Country

    Pakistan
  • Extracts

    To conclude, I emphasize that we should also devote energies to addressing the root causes of conflicts. While the Council takes punitive measures against perpetrators, its efforts are strengthened by the voice of the global citizens who help us nurture a culture of zero tolerance of unconscionable acts of sexual violence. In this context, the perspective of Ms. Jane Adong Anywar of NGO Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice is important and directly relevant to our work.

  • Country

    Sudan
  • Extracts

    In the implementation of the work plan contained in resolution 1325 (2000), our Government established a number of specialized centres at the central and national levels to coordinate the efforts of women in the fields of peace and development and to provide them with consultative guidelines with regard to strengthening the principles of equality and a gender perspective.

  • Country

    Sudan
  • Extracts

    In addition to the efforts deployed by the advisory council for human rights in Darfur, social services and security units as well as the unit against violence against women, the Government this month launched the 10-year national action plan on human rights as a clear-cut national strategy to enhance the situation of human rights in the Sudan. The plan was welcomed by the United Nations independent expert on human rights during his latest visit to the Sudan earlier this month. The Government of the Sudan emphasizes its interest in enhancing the rights of women and in protecting them, and reiterates its wish to continue cooperation with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, as well as with the relevant institutions. We will also continue our cooperation with the relevant United Nations agencies with regard to capacity-building.

Conflict Prevention
  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    Botswana believes that efforts to end sexual violence must also promote women's active and equal participation in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, transitional justice and security sector reform processes. In that regard, we strongly support the involvement of women in peace negotiations, peacebuilding and conflict prevention.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Secondly, it is important to adopt a comprehensive approach in dealing with sexual violence in armed conflict. Success will be achieved only if the countries concerned are also able to address the root causes of this scourge. To that end, a coordinated approach is needed, not only at the national level but also at that of the United Nations, notably through strengthening national institutions in order to prevent conflicts. In that regard, we highly value the goals of the United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict and recognize the need for its implementation.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    As with any other type of violence against civilians, conflict prevention is the best way to ensure the protection of women and girls. First and foremost, parties and the international community, especially the Council, must actively seek to prevent conflict from arising and, if conflict emerges, resolutely commit to settling their differences by peaceful means. This is an ethical imperative and an objective international obligation under the Charter.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    In our prevention efforts, the interlinkage between security, development and sustainable peace must not be overlooked. Prevention can greatly benefit from women's empowerment and gender equality, which in many cases depend on social inclusion and economic opportunity. Adequately responding to the needs of women in areas such as education, employment and health services helps create favourable preconditions for their long-term protection.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Canada welcomes the engagement of the Security Council on the issue of preventing sexual violence. We urge the Council to ensure the inclusion of prevention and response to sexual violence in its mandates and resolutions and to ensure that those elements are implemented. The Council should take concrete measures to support women's opportunities for equal participation and decision-making in all conflict- prevention and -resolution processes. It must ensure the health, safety, human rights and dignity of survivors and should hold perpetrators to full account.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    In recent years, efforts have been made to modernize Chilean institutions to conform to the human rights and gender focus of resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent resolutions on the subject in a forward-looking approach reflecting our national and regional reality. This year we will be launching our national plan based on that resolution, updated for the period 2014-2018, with specific indicators for effectively measuring various types of activity. That, in turn, will be the basis for the next national plan for the period 2019-2022. The indicators represent five specific goals: prevention, participation, protection, help and recovery. They will be implemented globally and jointly, with the aim of creating a strong foundation for combating sexual violence committed in pre-conflict and post-conflict situations.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    Sexual and gender-based violence can be seen from two perspectives. On the one hand, we see women as victims of such violence, from the perspective of violence against women. On the other hand, however, we often tend to underestimate the role that women can play in finding solutions through conflict prevention, resolution and transformation — in fact, by using the reverse perspective, of women against violence. That capacity is underutilized, decreasing the effectiveness and likelihood of success of any peace and reconstruction process. The Netherlands recognizes that women play active roles as peacebuilders, politicians, activists and quite often also as combatants. We should listen, therefore, to the priorities that women define, and we should understand the barriers that women perceive. Their participation in finding solutions to conflicts and in reconstruction processes is indispensable.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    The Netherlands considers sexual violence in conflict as a sign of a failure to implement all the elements of the agenda for women and peace and security. In today's debate, therefore, we would like to stress four points. First is the importance of taking urgent action in key areas, especially those of women's participation and equality and of prevention, response and accountability. Another important area is national and regional efforts to end impunity, including through referrals to the International Criminal Court, and by emphasizing the importance of reparations.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    Moreover, it is important to underscore the fact that the prevention effort is also a collective one, as it transcends borders and deals with a phenomenon that poses a serious threat to peace and security throughout the world. Worse yet, acts of sexual violence constitute crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of genocide, in line with the decision handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in the Jean-Paul Akayesu case.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    This shows the importance of taking into account sexual violence in the context of preventive diplomacy, particularly when ceasefire agreements are reached between warring parties. In that connection, I support the recommendations made by the Secretary-General to establish monitoring mechanisms for the commitments entered into by parties during the good offices process, in line with resolution 1960 (2010). That also applies to peacekeeping missions and to special political missions, which should have a sufficient number of women's protection advisers.

Disarmament
  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    The draft resolution emphasizes that sexual violence must be specifically reflected in other critical peace and security processes and arrangements, such as security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes. That includes ensuring that those who commit, command or condone sexual violence be vetted and excluded from positions of influence and power.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    We also recently signed the Arms Trade Treaty, after having worked together with many present here, fighting hard to ensure that for the first time the link between the international arms trade and gender violence could be recognized. The President of my country has signed a decree regarding the implementation of our national plan of action on resolution 1325 (2000) and complementary measures. Men and women participating in peacekeeping missions are given training on gender perspectives and human rights. The strengthening of gender focal points in Blue Helmets is also a priority.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    There has also been legislative progress, with the recent adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty as the first legally binding treaty to regulate arms transfers. It recognizes the link between the international arms trade and gender-based violence, which France has strongly supported. We very much hope that such analysis will continue to prevail in our future discussions.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    Secondly, we should give specific attention to the importance of providing effective support and protection to women-led organizations and defenders of women's human rights, particularly given the threats such defenders face and their lack of resources. Thirdly, there is a need for a comprehensive multisectoral response for survivors, including medical care, in accordance with international humanitarian law, and access to emergency contraception, safe abortion and HIV treatment, as well as access to justice and psychosocial health care services for women and girls. Lastly, and equally important, is strengthening the gender components of security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, not least through ratification and full compliance with the Arms Trade Treaty, which gives substantive attention to gender dimensions.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    Let me stress some important points and provide some practical examples. First, it cannot be stressed enough that part of any effective prevention of sexual violence is the equal involvement of women. Not only the consideration of their special needs, but also their participation in all stages of decision-making processes are essential. This also applies to programmes such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, security sector reform and transitional justice. In this regard, Germany has supported, inter alia, a regional project in the Horn of Africa to empower women by helping them to gain access to political and economical decision-making processes.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    As timely highlighted by the Secretary-General in his report (S/2013/149), the failure of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform efforts in many countries has led, as we know, to violations against women. In addition, there is a risk of reprisals against the victims of sexual violence.

  • Country

    Lithuania
  • Extracts

    All pre-departure training for Lithuanian military and police personnel participating in international missions includes specific training on gender issues. Lithuania strongly supports the inclusion of gender- based violence and violence against women and children among the mandatory assessment criteria for arms exports in the international Arms Trade Treaty.

  • Country

    Lithuania
  • Extracts

    The disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform processes, including stringent vetting of personnel, provide an important window of opportunity for effective justice for victims of sexual violence in conflict. Security sector reforms must include provisions on the personal accountability of the police and the military, all the way up to the leadership.

  • Country

    Togo
  • Extracts

    Despite all the difficulties and the need to ensure the protection of women and girls in armed conflict and to prosecute their attackers, there is still the hope that combating such violence will succeed thanks to the commitment and efforts of the international community. We wish to commend the efforts of UN-Women, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and many international and non-governmental organizations to that end. However, their advocacy must include a plea for the universalization of the Arms Trade Treaty, because its implementation by all States, particularly those where weapons are manufactured, could make a big contribution to ending the sale and illegal trafficking of arms in countries in conflict. Such weapons fuel conflict and violence, particularly against women and girls.

  • Country

    Sudan
  • Extracts

    National programmes on rehabilitation, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration have devoted special priority to the situation of women, in close cooperation with the relevant United Nations agencies, including UN–Women. My country has had a national strategy on combating gender-based violence since 2005, and has established a unit under the Ministry of Justice to combat violence against women and children. In order to safeguard our borders, prevent the smuggling of weapons and stem the subversive activities undertaken by rebel movements, which violate human rights, particularly the rights of women and girls, we will continue to enforce the border agreement with Chad, as well as the tripartite agreement with Chad and the Central African Republic, in addition to extending the security cooperation protocol with Libya. At the justice level, the Office of the Prosecutor General in Darfur continues to look into reports submitted by victims.

Participation
  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We need to home in on lack of accountability as one of the root causes of rape and sexual violence in conflict, but at the same time not forget that women's political, social and economic empowerment across all societies is essential and that our goal must be the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    I would like here to mention the feminist movement, to pay tribute to it and to the thousands of women who risk their lives on a daily basis to defend women's human rights and put an end to impunity.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    I would like to recall here the principles of the United Nations initiative to combat sexual violence against women in conflict situations. Rape is not an inevitable consequence of war. Gender violence, including sexual violence, is a violation of women's dignity and fundamental human rights. Attempts to halt and respond to sexual violence must address gender inequalities and contribute to women's empowerment. Women are often leaders in the process of eliminating sexual violence and ensuring peace; the constructive participation of men and boys in it is vital to the prevention of sexual violence in conflict situations. Best practices against sexual violence must be strengthened. Sexual violence in conflict situations and impunity for those who commit such crimes have been met with a deafening silence. We all have a duty to act.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    Those important advances are without a doubt the result of the jurisprudence of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the statements condemning sexual violence against women made at Beijing and Vienna, and the active participation of the women's movement.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    We live in a world today where rape is used as a weapon of physical, psychological and social destruction, a world where in some places where women's bodies have become a real battleground. Such sexual violence committed in conflict should in no way be forgotten or go unpunished, and that is what we have come here to say today. The international community, of course, has been dealing with this question for some 10 years now, through the Council's adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) and succeeding resolutions, and that has led to commendable progress — condemning such violence unanimously, calling for the intensification of efforts aimed at better protecting women and, of course, at combating impunity, but also by establishing an important principle that I would like to recall here, that of women's equal participation in the reconciliation and reconstruction process. We must not forget that the best way of protecting those women is by making them stakeholders, rather than only subjects.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    I am extremely concerned by the humanitarian tragedy affecting Syrian women. Women have played a leading role in peaceful demonstrations; they have mobilized on the ground to rebuild a new Syria and to play an important role within the Syrian National Coalition. They represent a key element of the solution that we must urgently seek for the country.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    We should like to see United Nations reports, particularly that of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as the information conveyed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which contains tangible information on the crimes I have just described, to militate for a swift referral to the International Criminal Court. The perpetrators of those crimes must understand that they will be punished in a manner commensurate with their savagery. France also supports the principle of women's participation in terms of the Geneva II discussions on Syria.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    In my opinion, and in conclusion, four actions must be continued in the fight against sexual violence. These four actions seek four goals, the so-called “four Ps” rule: preventing violence, protecting victims, prosecuting perpetrators, and women's participation in the peace and reconstruction process.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    In that respect, national action plans on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) are a crucial instrument and must be broadened. As part of its plan of action, France , in partnership with UN-Women, has undertaken cooperation programmes aimed at combating violence against women in Africa and the Arab world. Recently, we allocated specific funds to programmes in Mali implemented by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in particular to support women's participation in political processes. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, more than €2 million have been earmarked since 2012 to support Congolese NGOs combating sexual violence and strengthening women's participation in decision-making processes. Along those lines, the President of France recently announced the convening of a summit on peace and security in Africa in Paris in December.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    However, we cannot address sexual violence simply by naming and punishing offenders. More fundamental changes are needed at the institutional and societal levels. In that context, sexual violence against women will never be adequately addressed without focusing on the empowerment of women and their participation in the political, social and economic spheres.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    Armenia takes note of some positive trends in that field. Over the past decade, the Security Council has put in place a normative framework for women's participation in peace processes, the protection and promotion of women's human rights and the mainstreaming of gender equality and perspectives in the contexts of armed conflict, peacebuilding and reconstruction.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    Peacebuilding needs the involvement of women. The role played by women in peacebuilding in many countries over the past decade has highlighted the importance of their full participation. Women need to be present at the table to discuss issues such as genocide, impunity and security, if a just and enduring peace is to be built.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    However, despite the progress made, a great deal remains to be addressed and accomplished, as female voices are not always heard. Women remain largely excluded, especially from efforts to find workable solutions to conflicts. We should further promote their participation.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    It will come as news to no one that the costs of conflict are borne disproportionately by women and girls. And since women pay the highest price when peace is absent, they are important stakeholders in peacebuilding. The inclusion of women in all stages of peace processes would help guarantee more lasting and representative settlements.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    Armenia recognizes the key role and critical efforts of the Security Council in preventing sexual violence and combating impunity in conflict and post-conflict situations. We have encouraged continued action by the Council, including the development of effective measures to put an end to sexual violence in conflict. We welcome the adoption of today's resolution by the Council (resolution 2106 (2013)), which will serve as a practical tool in the consideration of policies, programmes and actions that can successfully further the implementation of commitments in combating sexual violence.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, sexual violence should be addressed in peace agreements. Sexual violence should be included in the definition of acts prohibited by ceasefires. The principle of no amnesty for the perpetrators for crimes of sexual violence should always be respected. The participation of women in peace negotiations and ceasefires are the best way to ensure that these issues are not traded off for other agendas.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    The long-term prevention of sexual violence is equally important. We also commend UN-Women for its increasing contribution to the promotion of gender equality and women's political, social and economic empowerment, as well as their participation in every sector of society.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    Botswana believes that efforts to end sexual violence must also promote women's active and equal participation in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, transitional justice and security sector reform processes. In that regard, we strongly support the involvement of women in peace negotiations, peacebuilding and conflict prevention.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    We also underline the importance that all relevant peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations properly address the impact of conflict on women and girls, and that the increased participation of women be encouraged. It is an approach that is reflected domestically through our National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, which we launched in 2011. The plan is Croatia's blueprint for practical implementation of our obligations under resolution 1325 (2000).

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    We need much greater progress in ensuring the adequate participation of women in peace talks. The inclusion of relevant issues in peace agreements is the exception rather than the rule. Peace accords that fail to include women in post-conflict governance often neglect their access to economic opportunities, justice and reparations. We need to have more women as lead negotiators and ensure adequate gender expertise for peace processes.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    It is crucial to bear in mind that the participation of women on an equal footing with men is indispensible for achieving peace. The State of Ecuador has incorporated the gender perspective into its National Plan for Good Living, but also has a national plan for the eradication of gender-based violence, which was established as State policy in 2007. The Ministry of National Defence promotes the concept of defence as a public good, and a gender approach is therefore incorporated into defence policy. Human rights are seen as an area for action in policy implementation, including through the promotion of policies of gender equality, coexistence and respect for cultural identity and the effective implementation of resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1889 (2009).

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    In March this year, we established the Ecuadorian Armed Forces Gender Policy, based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination, especially non-discrimination against women. The Policy emphasizes the strategic political importance of the participation of women in the military sphere, with equal rights and opportunities. The Gender Policy promotes change in the cultural patterns that lead to gender-based violence, is incorporated into the education of military personnel, and promotes educational programmes on preventing sexual violence, in particular in training troops.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    In our prevention efforts, the interlinkage between security, development and sustainable peace must not be overlooked. Prevention can greatly benefit from women's empowerment and gender equality, which in many cases depend on social inclusion and economic opportunity. Adequately responding to the needs of women in areas such as education, employment and health services helps create favourable preconditions for their long-term protection.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Canada, which is a proud member and Chair of the Group of Friends against Sexual Violence in Conflict, recognizes that women's social, political and economic empowerment, their equality with men and the active participation of men and boys in combating all forms of violence against women are central to long-term prevention efforts. Preventing sexual violence requires promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls. Prevention also requires supporting survivors on their path to recovery from such crimes, assisting their access to justice and holding perpetrators to account.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Canada welcomes the engagement of the Security Council on the issue of preventing sexual violence. We urge the Council to ensure the inclusion of prevention and response to sexual violence in its mandates and resolutions and to ensure that those elements are implemented. The Council should take concrete measures to support women's opportunities for equal participation and decision-making in all conflict- prevention and -resolution processes. It must ensure the health, safety, human rights and dignity of survivors and should hold perpetrators to full account.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    In recent years, efforts have been made to modernize Chilean institutions to conform to the human rights and gender focus of resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent resolutions on the subject in a forward-looking approach reflecting our national and regional reality. This year we will be launching our national plan based on that resolution, updated for the period 2014-2018, with specific indicators for effectively measuring various types of activity. That, in turn, will be the basis for the next national plan for the period 2019-2022. The indicators represent five specific goals: prevention, participation, protection, help and recovery. They will be implemented globally and jointly, with the aim of creating a strong foundation for combating sexual violence committed in pre-conflict and post-conflict situations.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    While there has been a welcome shift towards acknowledging conflict-related sexual violence as an issue of peace and security, rather than viewing it simply as a women's issue, it is undeniable that sexual violence touches women and affects women far more profoundly than men. It is therefore appropriate that women take the lead in driving the necessary national political change.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region, which might be considered the cockpit of conflict-related sexual violence, is a case in point. On 4 June, the Permanent Mission of Ireland convened a high-level panel discussion on women and peacebuilding in the Great Lakes region. A report on the event is available on our website. At the event, Special Envoy Mary Robinson explored the opportunities provided by the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region. In particular, she highlighted the importance of bringing together women civil society leaders as part of a regional platform for peace. At the panel discussion, Special Representative Bangura described the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework as a new opportunity to tap into the vast potential that is African women. Lina Zedriga, a civil society leader for Uganda, offered powerful personal testimony and called for women to be given the opportunity to speak for themselves, saying “We are not victims; we are stakeholders”.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    In support of Mary Robinson, Lina Zedriga and women's leaders like her from the region intend to join forces to change the national political calculus. They aim to encourage and pressure national political leaders to take ownership of the issue of sexual violence and to implement the full range of commitments they have made under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework. To help kick-start the process of engaging women, Ireland is pleased to co-fund an event in Bujumbura next month organized by Femmes Africa Solidarité.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    At the Security Council debate last week (S/PV.6980), the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict announced the launch of a campaign to galvanize concerned Governments, interested Member States and the United Nations system to end the recruitment and use of children by State forces in armed conflict by 2016. Do we dare to challenge ourselves in a similar fashion and to raise the level of our ambition?

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    Sexual and gender-based violence can be seen from two perspectives. On the one hand, we see women as victims of such violence, from the perspective of violence against women. On the other hand, however, we often tend to underestimate the role that women can play in finding solutions through conflict prevention, resolution and transformation — in fact, by using the reverse perspective, of women against violence. That capacity is underutilized, decreasing the effectiveness and likelihood of success of any peace and reconstruction process. The Netherlands recognizes that women play active roles as peacebuilders, politicians, activists and quite often also as combatants. We should listen, therefore, to the priorities that women define, and we should understand the barriers that women perceive. Their participation in finding solutions to conflicts and in reconstruction processes is indispensable.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    The Netherlands considers sexual violence in conflict as a sign of a failure to implement all the elements of the agenda for women and peace and security. In today's debate, therefore, we would like to stress four points. First is the importance of taking urgent action in key areas, especially those of women's participation and equality and of prevention, response and accountability. Another important area is national and regional efforts to end impunity, including through referrals to the International Criminal Court, and by emphasizing the importance of reparations.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    Through policies such as its human rights and gender strategies, the Netherlands pays particular attention to issues such as gender equality, women's political role and leadership, economic empowerment and ending trafficking of and violence against women in post-conflict countries and unstable areas. In that regard, we are actively implementing resolution 1325 (2000) through a second national action plan for 2012- 2015, signed by three Dutch ministries and 41 civil organizations. The plan focuses on six countries: Afghanistan, South Sudan, the Sudan, Burundi, Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as on the Middle East and North Africa region. I will cite three examples.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, women can be powerful actors for peace, security, and prosperity. When they participate in peace processes and other formal decision-making processes, they can play an important role in initiating and inspiring progress on human rights, justice, national reconciliation and economic revitalization. They can also build coalitions across ethnic and sectarian lines and speak up for marginalized and minority groups. Investing in women's leadership is therefore smart security as well as smart development.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    Portugal recognizes that, while the Council has been quite successful in discharging its responsibilities, much more can be done to reinforce the effectiveness of our common fight against sexual violence. We strongly support, in that regard, the five-point priority agenda carried out by Special Representative Zainab Bangura: ending impunity, empowering women, mobilizing political leadership, increasing recognition of rape as a tactic and consequence of conflict and ensuring a more coherent response from the United Nations system. Those five elements represent fundamental goals that are complementary and mutually reinforcing.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    Urgent action in another dimension of the broader women, peace and security agenda will also have a positive impact on our common fight against sexual violence. Indeed, the full and effective participation of women in formal peace processes will allow peacemakers to benefit fully from their knowledge and experience. By empowering women and upholding women's rights, we will also fight sexual violence more efficiently.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, the ongoing global interest in the role of women in peace and security, and the improvement we are witnessing in their participation in policy efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts will have real and positive impacts on peace and security and will shape the typical disastrous outcomes in various conflict regions throughout the world.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    Involving women in conflict prevention and mediation and deploying women's protection advisers to United Nations peacekeeping and special political missions is crucial to building and reinforcing peace. We believe that women should play a greater role as legitimate partners in international and national efforts to maintain peace and security, which is fundamental for more effective performance on the ground. Recruiting women in the civil, military and police components of peacekeeping missions can encourage local women to report incidents of sexual violence and contribute to establishing better communication with local communities. We spare no effort in advancing this issue and, as result of our commitment the relevant authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina have adopted a policy that one-third of candidates nominated for peacekeeping missions must be women.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    We welcome this open debate and thank your delegation, Mr. President, for its useful concept paper (S/2013/335). While a continued emphasis on protection issues is crucial, we call at the same time for the same level of emphasis on the participation pillar of this agenda.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    The international justice mechanism should support the restoration or establishment of justice and accountability at the national level. The empowerment of women and girls, as well as the education of boys about the rights of girls and women, are some of important elements that instil nurturing and responsible behavioural patterns. We welcome the call by the Group of Eight for urgent action to address impunity and to hold perpetrators of sexual violence in armed conflicts accountable. There can be no sympathy for any person or group of persons who commit sexual violence anywhere. My delegation acknowledges the important role that the Council plays by encouraging the development of joint Government-United Nations comprehensive strategies on combating sexual violence.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    While this debate is mainly addressing issues of sexual violence, we must also focus our attention beyond the realm of conflict periods. However, we are concerned about the continued low representation of women in all structures and phases of the peacebuilding processes. In spite of the disproportionate impact of conflict on women, they continue to hold their families and communities together, often undertaking initiatives between warring factions under extremely difficult conditions. When included in formal peace processes, they bring their experiences to bear on the parties. It is therefore imperative that they be included at all peacebuilding levels.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    It is unfortunate that, more often than not, the efforts of women are insufficiently recognized and supported, both politically and financially. As a result, women's rights are rarely integrated into peace agreements or post-conflict support structures.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, we have focused today on the victims of sexual violence, who are overwhelmingly female. But women are not just victims. They are critical agents in conf lict prevention, resolution, rebuilding and reconciliation. Just as we must ensure women's full and effective participation in efforts to address sexual violence through both prevention and protection, we must also to utilize their decisive power to bring about peace. That is fundamental to the Council's work.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    Women are a major force for peace, stability and development in society. The promotion of gender equality and women's rights represents a true reflection of human civilization and progress, and is also closely related to peace and world development. In situations of armed conflict, however, sexual violence against women is employed by parties to conflict as a means of war more often than not. Vulnerable groups, including women, bear the brunt of conflict in many situations. Sexual violence against women and their sexual enslavement in armed conflict are not only grave violations of women's rights but also a flagrant challenge to the human conscience and social justice.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    The ICC is, however, not only about punishing perpetrators, but also about empowering victims of atrocity crimes. The Court is committed to ensuring victims a participatory role in its proceedings, and the Rome Statute contains a relatively broad reparations provision. The Trust Fund for Victims established under the Rome Statute has been doing important work in countries where the court is conducting investigations to alleviate the suffering of victims. Among other activities, it is providing assistance to the victims of rape and to children born as a result of rape. In replenishing the Fund, Estonia has paid special attention to the needs of victims of sexual violence, who are very often stigmatized by their own communities. The trust fund is dependent on voluntary donations in order to effectively fulfil its mandate, and Estonia welcomes voluntary donations to the Fund.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    With regard to ensuring women's leadership and the participation of women in peace processes and conflict resolution, those processes should also recognize explicitly the need to address crimes of sexual violence, as they lay the foundation for future institution-building and political and legal reforms.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    Let me stress some important points and provide some practical examples. First, it cannot be stressed enough that part of any effective prevention of sexual violence is the equal involvement of women. Not only the consideration of their special needs, but also their participation in all stages of decision-making processes are essential. This also applies to programmes such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, security sector reform and transitional justice. In this regard, Germany has supported, inter alia, a regional project in the Horn of Africa to empower women by helping them to gain access to political and economical decision-making processes.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    The resolution of conflict situations requires the adoption of a sustainable and holistic approach to conflict resolution and the overall reconstruction of impacted societies. In our view, gender equality and women's empowerment are integral to the pursuit of this objective. The participation of women in peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction efforts is imperative for laying the foundation for durable peace. Economic recovery, social cohesion and political legitimacy cannot be achieved without the active engagement of women.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    Thirteen years ago, resolution 1325 (2000) highlighted the disproportionate impact of armed conflict on women and children, and the need for effective institutional arrangements to guarantee their protection and the full participation of women in peace processes. That resolution also contained several detailed recommendations on how to deal with various aspects of this issue.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    In resolution 1325 (2000), the Security Council called for greater participation by women in the field- based operations of the United Nations in terms of the deployment of police personnel. We are proud of the fact that India was the first State Member of the United Nations to successfully deploy an all-woman police force as part of the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Liberia, where sexual violence had been one of the hallmarks of the conflict. Apart from the effectiveness of the force, which has been acknowledged by many, we believe that the functioning of such an all- woman force has also sent a strong deterrent message to those who indulge in the egregious crime of sexual violence in conflict. By deploying women to deal with conflict situations, we have demonstrated that we can push forward the goal of empowering women to deal with the crime of sexual violence in conflict and play a major role in the post-conflict reconstruction of traumatized societies. We hope that this example will encourage others to follow suit.

  • Country

    Israel
  • Extracts

    As a family of nations, our responsibility to one another stems from our common humanity. Our moral imperative supersedes whatever politics, religion or geography may divide us. There can be zero tolerance for sexual violence. We must tirelessly persist until the day when women are the agents of peace rather than the victims of war.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    Malaysia believes that the equal, full and active participation of women is key to peacekeeping and peacebuilding. My delegation is of the view that women should not just be seen as victims, but as central to all efforts to end this global phenomenon. It is crucial to bring women into peace processes. They must be active participants in all efforts to combat this horrific phenomenon.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    In that context, we welcome today's adoption of resolution 2106 (2013) on the issue discussed. My delegation hopes that there will be sufficient impetus for the actual realization of the relevant resolutions, including the landmark resolution 1325 (2000), to increase women's participation in the area of peace and security. We should also seriously consider appointing more women to senior positions in United Nations missions, lest we be accused of ignoring experienced and potential women leaders in the security and defence sectors.

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    Colombia also joins in the repeated condemnations by the Security Council of violations of international humanitarian law committed against women and girls, and the need to bring to justice those who are responsible for such crimes, in particular the perpetrators of sexual violence against women. We also underscore the importance of enhancing the role of women in peacebuilding and in providing assistance to victims, in particular the victims of sexual violence. It is clear that in order to ensure that those cases are managed properly, information has to be gathered by United Nations agencies on the ground in a timely, precise, reliable and objective way. In that way, the United Nations entities can address each case individually, conduct related criminal investigations, and ensure due process and follow-up, as required.

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    Strengthening the role and ability of women and promoting the enjoyment and observance of their rights is particularly important to the Government of Colombia. In that regard, the contribution of the United Nations system and the international community is key within a framework of respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States. As can be seen and has been underscored by the Secretary-General in his reports, Colombia has different measures and safeguards that mark a decisive step forward in its efforts to comprehensively and consistently address that problem.

  • Country

    Nepal
  • Extracts

    After the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord in 2006, the Government of Nepal has traversed a long path towards empowering women. The interim Constitution of Nepal 2007 has ensured the maximum participation of women in decision-making positions in all walks of national life, from grassroots to national levels. Peace committees at the district level play a very important role in managing post-conflict issues, including one-third representation by women. Nepal is committed to increasing the number of women in the Nepal army and police and United Nations peacekeeping operations in order to make them more inclusive.

  • Country

    Nepal
  • Extracts

    Protecting and promoting the rights of the people and ensuring inclusive development is at the core of our efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous Nepal. We are fully committed to preventing all forms of violence against women, including sexual violence. Nepal is a State party to seven core international human rights instruments, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The independent judicial system and the National Human Rights Commission — a constitutional human rights watchdog body — are playing a prominent role in safeguarding the rights of the people.

  • Country

    Nepal
  • Extracts

    Nepal is the first South Asian country to develop a national plan of action on resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008). Increasing the participation of women in decision-making, protecting women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence and ending impunity are the topmost priorities set forth in our plan. We have a zero-tolerance policy against gender-based violence.

  • Country

    Southern Africa
  • Extracts

    We support the recommendations of the Secretary- General as contained in his recent report. We believe, however, that the effective implementation of resolution 1960 (2010) will require greater involvement of women in conflict resolution, mediation and peacebuilding processes. While there is value in the Security Council's developing monitoring mechanisms to ensure the implementation of the provisions of resolution 1960 (2010), the greater involvement of women in negotiation and peacemaking processes brings with it a greater infusion of gender concerns and interests in the resolution process.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    The United States welcomes this opportunity to reaffirm the indispensable role of women in bringing peace and security to countries embroiled in conflict or emerging from it. Women's active, indeed integral, involvement in peace processes and transitional justice mechanisms, including to address sexual violence, is critical to laying the foundation for lasting peace. The resolution that we have adopted today reinforces our collective efforts to prevent conflict-related sexual violence, hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes and provide support and justice to survivors. It also recognizes that national Governments have the primary responsibility for addressing the issue.The United States welcomes this opportunity to reaffirm the indispensable role of women in bringing peace and security to countries embroiled in conflict or emerging from it. Women's active, indeed integral, involvement in peace processes and transitional justice mechanisms, including to address sexual violence, is critical to laying the foundation for lasting peace. The resolution that we have adopted today reinforces our collective efforts to prevent conflict-related sexual violence, hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes and provide support and justice to survivors. It also recognizes that national Governments have the primary responsibility for addressing the issue.

  • Country

    New Zealand
  • Extracts

    New Zealand welcomes the Council's consideration of this specific aspect of the women, peace and security agenda, and we urge that it give consideration to the specific issues we have raised and that it also remain seized of the wider agenda, including women's participation in political processes.

Peace Processes
  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    It will come as news to no one that the costs of conflict are borne disproportionately by women and girls. And since women pay the highest price when peace is absent, they are important stakeholders in peacebuilding. The inclusion of women in all stages of peace processes would help guarantee more lasting and representative settlements.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, sexual violence should be addressed in peace agreements. Sexual violence should be included in the definition of acts prohibited by ceasefires. The principle of no amnesty for the perpetrators for crimes of sexual violence should always be respected. The participation of women in peace negotiations and ceasefires are the best way to ensure that these issues are not traded off for other agendas.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    We need much greater progress in ensuring the adequate participation of women in peace talks. The inclusion of relevant issues in peace agreements is the exception rather than the rule. Peace accords that fail to include women in post-conflict governance often neglect their access to economic opportunities, justice and reparations. We need to have more women as lead negotiators and ensure adequate gender expertise for peace processes.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    Sexual and gender-based violence can be seen from two perspectives. On the one hand, we see women as victims of such violence, from the perspective of violence against women. On the other hand, however, we often tend to underestimate the role that women can play in finding solutions through conflict prevention, resolution and transformation — in fact, by using the reverse perspective, of women against violence. That capacity is underutilized, decreasing the effectiveness and likelihood of success of any peace and reconstruction process. The Netherlands recognizes that women play active roles as peacebuilders, politicians, activists and quite often also as combatants. We should listen, therefore, to the priorities that women define, and we should understand the barriers that women perceive. Their participation in finding solutions to conflicts and in reconstruction processes is indispensable.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, women can be powerful actors for peace, security, and prosperity. When they participate in peace processes and other formal decision-making processes, they can play an important role in initiating and inspiring progress on human rights, justice, national reconciliation and economic revitalization. They can also build coalitions across ethnic and sectarian lines and speak up for marginalized and minority groups. Investing in women's leadership is therefore smart security as well as smart development.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, the ongoing global interest in the role of women in peace and security, and the improvement we are witnessing in their participation in policy efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts will have real and positive impacts on peace and security and will shape the typical disastrous outcomes in various conflict regions throughout the world.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    While this debate is mainly addressing issues of sexual violence, we must also focus our attention beyond the realm of conflict periods. However, we are concerned about the continued low representation of women in all structures and phases of the peacebuilding processes. In spite of the disproportionate impact of conflict on women, they continue to hold their families and communities together, often undertaking initiatives between warring factions under extremely difficult conditions. When included in formal peace processes, they bring their experiences to bear on the parties. It is therefore imperative that they be included at all peacebuilding levels.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    With regard to ensuring women's leadership and the participation of women in peace processes and conflict resolution, those processes should also recognize explicitly the need to address crimes of sexual violence, as they lay the foundation for future institution-building and political and legal reforms.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    Malaysia believes that the equal, full and active participation of women is key to peacekeeping and peacebuilding. My delegation is of the view that women should not just be seen as victims, but as central to all efforts to end this global phenomenon. It is crucial to bring women into peace processes. They must be active participants in all efforts to combat this horrific phenomenon.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    The United States welcomes this opportunity to reaffirm the indispensable role of women in bringing peace and security to countries embroiled in conflict or emerging from it. Women's active, indeed integral, involvement in peace processes and transitional justice mechanisms, including to address sexual violence, is critical to laying the foundation for lasting peace. The resolution that we have adopted today reinforces our collective efforts to prevent conflict-related sexual violence, hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes and provide support and justice to survivors. It also recognizes that national Governments have the primary responsibility for addressing the issue.The United States welcomes this opportunity to reaffirm the indispensable role of women in bringing peace and security to countries embroiled in conflict or emerging from it. Women's active, indeed integral, involvement in peace processes and transitional justice mechanisms, including to address sexual violence, is critical to laying the foundation for lasting peace. The resolution that we have adopted today reinforces our collective efforts to prevent conflict-related sexual violence, hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes and provide support and justice to survivors. It also recognizes that national Governments have the primary responsibility for addressing the issue.

Protection
  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    To the contrary, the resolutions of the Security Council affirm that this crime, when committed systematically and used as a tool of war, is a fundamental threat to the maintenance of international peace and security, and as such requires an operational, security and justice response. That paradigm shift requires a new approach to attack the scourge of war-time rape. Among other things, it compels us to expand the circle of stakeholders beyond the traditional gender experts, to also engage uniformed peacekeepers, mediators, ceasefire monitors, war-crime prosecutors and the full range of civilian-protection and justice-sector actors.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    In the negotiations leading to the adoption today of resolution 2106 (2013), we held intensive discussions on the tensions that may occur between the protection of human rights and the principle of State sovereignty, both fundamental pillars of the system of international relations arising from the Charter of our Organization.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    We live in a world today where rape is used as a weapon of physical, psychological and social destruction, a world where in some places where women's bodies have become a real battleground. Such sexual violence committed in conflict should in no way be forgotten or go unpunished, and that is what we have come here to say today. The international community, of course, has been dealing with this question for some 10 years now, through the Council's adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) and succeeding resolutions, and that has led to commendable progress — condemning such violence unanimously, calling for the intensification of efforts aimed at better protecting women and, of course, at combating impunity, but also by establishing an important principle that I would like to recall here, that of women's equal participation in the reconciliation and reconstruction process. We must not forget that the best way of protecting those women is by making them stakeholders, rather than only subjects.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    In my opinion, and in conclusion, four actions must be continued in the fight against sexual violence. These four actions seek four goals, the so-called “four Ps” rule: preventing violence, protecting victims, prosecuting perpetrators, and women's participation in the peace and reconstruction process.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Those four actions consist of, first, strengthening protection on the ground. Women's protection advisers play a key role. France wishes to see their deployment in peacekeeping and political missions extended beyond the missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Mali, and, above all, that they be provided with appropriate resources to carry out their work.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    Armenia takes note of some positive trends in that field. Over the past decade, the Security Council has put in place a normative framework for women's participation in peace processes, the protection and promotion of women's human rights and the mainstreaming of gender equality and perspectives in the contexts of armed conflict, peacebuilding and reconstruction.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Since then, the Ugandan court has adopted some of the procedures practiced by the ICC, including the use of redacted statements to support witness safety in proceedings and in the practices regarding the disclosure of evidence. These processes are new under the Ugandan rules of procedure and are helping to strengthen the understanding that successful witness and victim protection is at the core of any efficient investigation and prosecution.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Fourthly, national authorities should be supported in their efforts to fight against impunity. Governments have the primary responsibility to protect their populations from sexual violence and to ensure that justice is done. The international community must stand ready to provide technical assistance and capacity- building, and to help strengthen the rule of law. The United Nations has a key role to play, as proven by the work done by the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict. Peacekeepers shouldd be trained and tasked with investigating crimes of sexual violence. Cooperation with civil society organizations, particularly those led by women, is also essential.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Italy has placed a high priority on the protection of women against sexual violence in its human rights policy. Last week, the Italian Parliament ratified the Council of Europe convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. We strongly encourage States to ratify this important instrument. Moreover, the Italian national action plan on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) includes specific provisions addressing sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    I would like to underline the following three points. First, we underscore the importance of accountability at the national level. States bear the primary responsibility to protect women and girls from conflict-related sexual violence and bring those responsible to justice. In that regard, my delegation welcomes the stress placed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on national ownership, leadership and responsibility in combating sexual violence as one of her priorities. All States should include the full range of acts of sexual violence in national penal legislation and ensure the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for violations through proper legal and policy frameworks.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    We begin by reaffirming the importance that Botswana attaches to the protection and promotion of the rights of women and children, as well as our commitment to address all forms of violence against women, including sexual violence.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    In that regard, I wish to state categorically that impunity for sexual violence, including by armed groups, is unacceptable and can never be tolerated. To that end, my delegation wishes to underscore the importance of ending impunity for such acts as part of a comprehensive approach to seeking sustainable peace, justice and security. Regrettably, a lack of accountability tends to reinforce the social normalization of, and tolerance for, sexual violence. We therefore recognize the need for enhanced political will and commitment to prevent these crimes by promoting and protecting the rights of women and children.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    Clear guidance on how to operationalize the protection of civilians mandate, including the protection of women and girls from sexual violence, is also needed for peacekeeping missions. We have the opportunity to use United Nations expertise, including such human rights mechanisms as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women. All Member States should ensure that the training of peacekeepers includes training on resolution 1325 (2000).

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence is a violation of fundamental human rights, and of the human rights and dignity of women in particular. Efforts to use international humanitarian law and international criminal law to protect women from sexual violence must be redoubled.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Fourthly, particular attention and priority should be given to the vulnerability of refugee populations, namely, women and children, living in the proximity of combat zones or unsecured borders or territories. Restriction of access to vulnerable groups, including women and girls, who often have no registration documents, poses major risks to the efforts of the United Nations in the fight against sexual violence in armed conflict. It is important that all parties ensure that there is access to refugee camps in order to reduce their suffering, promote their rights and ensure their optimal protection.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Lastly, the involvement of public authorities, national institutions for human rights, civil society and non-governmental organizations, including local women's associations, in raising awareness to enhance the protection of women in conflict situations, as well as the involvement of the donor community, should be encouraged, as they make a positive contribution to our common endeavour.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    The commitment of the United Kingdom to raise awareness on war-zone rape and on the need to bring perpetrators to justice is commendable. In London in May 2012, you, Secretary Hague, launched a campaign in London to prevent rape and sexual violence in conflict zones. Last March, you visited our region: first Rwanda, where you paid tribute to the victims of the genocide perpetrated against Tutsis, and discussed lasting peace in the region. Then you visited the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where sexual and gender-based violence, tragically, remain prevalent, and reached out in order to hear from the victims of such violence. Last April, with your leadership, the Foreign Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of Eight adopted a declaration on the prevention of sexual violence in conflict, which urged every State to bring the perpetrators to justice. Rwanda commends your leadership on the issue, Sir, and stands firmly beside you as we pursue a meaningful international response.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    For Rwanda's part, we have adopted a range of policies to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. One of the foremost priorities is to protect and rehabilitate the dignity of victims. That figures prominently in our national action plan on the implementation of the resolution 1325 (2000). To that end, sexual and gender-based violence centres were established at the community level throughout the country, and a 2009 law on the prevention and punishment of gender-based violence includes penalties and substantive mechanisms to empower police to deal with such crimes

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    For those reasons, we support the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and resolution 1960 (2010), which emphasize that all peacekeeping mandates incorporate provisions that specifically identify steps to address sexual violence, and that should include the clear identification of women's protection advisers alongside gender advisers and human rights protection units.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    As with any other type of violence against civilians, conflict prevention is the best way to ensure the protection of women and girls. First and foremost, parties and the international community, especially the Council, must actively seek to prevent conflict from arising and, if conflict emerges, resolutely commit to settling their differences by peaceful means. This is an ethical imperative and an objective international obligation under the Charter.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    In our prevention efforts, the interlinkage between security, development and sustainable peace must not be overlooked. Prevention can greatly benefit from women's empowerment and gender equality, which in many cases depend on social inclusion and economic opportunity. Adequately responding to the needs of women in areas such as education, employment and health services helps create favourable preconditions for their long-term protection.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    In recent years, efforts have been made to modernize Chilean institutions to conform to the human rights and gender focus of resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent resolutions on the subject in a forward-looking approach reflecting our national and regional reality. This year we will be launching our national plan based on that resolution, updated for the period 2014-2018, with specific indicators for effectively measuring various types of activity. That, in turn, will be the basis for the next national plan for the period 2019-2022. The indicators represent five specific goals: prevention, participation, protection, help and recovery. They will be implemented globally and jointly, with the aim of creating a strong foundation for combating sexual violence committed in pre-conflict and post-conflict situations.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    Chile attaches great importance to the prevention of sexual violence in conflicts and to the care, protection and compensation of victims of sexual violence in conflict. On earlier occasions we have drawn attention, inter alia, to the progress made by our national legislation on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). We particularly support the role being played by the women serving as protection advisers for their work with survivors of acts of sexual violence in places affected by conflicts, and we attach the greatest importance to ending the culture of impunity for sexual violence in conflicts in all its manifestations

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    Secondly, we should give specific attention to the importance of providing effective support and protection to women-led organizations and defenders of women's human rights, particularly given the threats such defenders face and their lack of resources. Thirdly, there is a need for a comprehensive multisectoral response for survivors, including medical care, in accordance with international humanitarian law, and access to emergency contraception, safe abortion and HIV treatment, as well as access to justice and psychosocial health care services for women and girls. Lastly, and equally important, is strengthening the gender components of security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, not least through ratification and full compliance with the Arms Trade Treaty, which gives substantive attention to gender dimensions.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    We cannot consider the issue of women, peace and security without addressing the root causes of their suffering and insecurity. Consequently, improving women's protection is not merely a humanitarian task, but one that requires focused efforts in several areas — first and foremost, the enforcement of the laws necessary to protect them in armed conflict, without discrimination or selectivity, and calling upon all parties to the conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence during the conflict.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    I reiterate the State of Qatar's support for all efforts aimed at strengthening the rule of law and preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict situations. I also stress the importance of continuing to fight the impunity that hampers access by victims of such crimes to justice, security and safety. To be sure, the prosecution and trial of the perpetrators of sexual violence are key steps contributing to strengthened efforts to prevent sexual violence and protect women and girls.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    Violence against women is certainly the most brutal manifestation of discrimination, and we are fully committed to addressing all forms of violence against women and girls, including sexual violence in conflict. The protection of women in conflict situations and ending impunity remain our utmost priorities. Sexual violence in armed conflict represents one of the most serious forms of the violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Furthermore, impunity for sexual violence in conflict is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. Therefore, we advocate recognition of the importance of women's access to justice in conflict and post-conflict settings. We also believe that more has to be done to address these ongoing crimes, including by permanent opposition to the traditional account that sexual violence in armed conflict is a cultural phenomenon, an unavoidable consequence of war or a less important crime.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    We welcome this open debate and thank your delegation, Mr. President, for its useful concept paper (S/2013/335). While a continued emphasis on protection issues is crucial, we call at the same time for the same level of emphasis on the participation pillar of this agenda.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    In conflict situations, the dignity of women and girls must be respected; they cannot be treated as subhuman. First, they are human beings endowed with the right to pursue happiness in every possible way. Secondly, they are grandmothers, mothers, wives, sisters and little girls in the eyes of their parents and in their communities in general. In conflict situations too, the family bond remains and it must be accorded adequate protection.a

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, my delegation urges the Security Council to act expeditiously on the information presented to it. The paramount consideration should be that more needs to be done to protect women and girls and men and boys from the scourge of sexual violence. I support the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    We know that sexual violence is both a tactic and a consequence of conflict. It can prolong and deepen conflict. Its prevention is intrinsic to the protection of civilians in conflict, a primordial concern of the Council, and to rebuilding societies devastated by conflict. As successive resolutions of the Council make plain, sexual violence goes to the heart of the Council's mandate in conflict and post-conflict situations.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    Secondly, the Security Council has an active role to play in fighting sexual violence in armed conflict, in the light of its own mandate and strengths. However, it is different from the Human Rights Council and it is also different from the Commission on the Status of Women. When addressing sexual violence, the Council must not encroach upon the responsibilities of other United Nations bodies. It must effectively implement its primary responsibility, that of maintaining international peace and security, and its efforts must focus on conf lict prevention, peacekeeping and post-conf lict reconstruction, thereby creating a legal, political and security environment conducive to addressing sexual violence in armed conflict and to protecting women's rights. The various organs of the United Nations must follow their own mandates and respect the division of labour, making every attempt to avoid any overlap of efforts.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, attention must be paid to the issues underlying the protection of women's security and curbing sexual violence in armed conflict. It is important to address issues of women's rights at a deeper level, in order to promote women's full development and eliminate the root causes of conflict. Attention should also be given to improving the economic and social development of the countries concerned, in order to enhance women's status and fully empower them. The international community must increase its attention to the development of women in those countries and scale up its aid in that area. It should support capacity- building for the Governments concerned and ensure that assistance to women's development is increased in their countries so as to effectively enhance women's status and protect their rights.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    With regard to ensuring adequate information, fact- finding and documentation, sexual violence in conflict remains universally underreported. Inter alia, that is the result of the threats faced by those who come forward to report this crime. We reiterate the need to take all measures for the protection of survivors, human rights defenders and journalists, who contribute to collecting information on sexual violence.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    Thirteen years ago, resolution 1325 (2000) highlighted the disproportionate impact of armed conflict on women and children, and the need for effective institutional arrangements to guarantee their protection and the full participation of women in peace processes. That resolution also contained several detailed recommendations on how to deal with various aspects of this issue.

  • Country

    Israel
  • Extracts

    It is the legal and moral obligation of all States to protect women and girls from sexual violence. There must be a system of law and justice that leaves no doubt that sexual intimidation and violence aimed at women is inexcusable. In the Middle East, many legal systems do not meet basic international standards when it comes to protecting women. In some instances, marital rape is not regarded as a criminal offence, and there are no procedures in place to deal with cases of domestic sexual abuse.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    That leads me to welcome resolution 2106 (2013), which the Council has just adopted and which places victims at the heart of efforts to combat sexual violence and to improve conflict resolution. On that basis, efforts to combat this scourge should be based on adequate prevention as well as on accountability, which helps to dissuade people from committing these crimes once again. Prevention is first and foremost the responsibility of Governments, particularly of security forces, which have a duty to protect their own citizens. We need to support the countries affected in establishing the rule of law by enhancing the capacity of the security forces in a substantive way and by developing their legal capacities. The basic goal is to fill the gaps in terms of their protection and judicial mechanisms, particularly in the spheres of intelligence, investigations and prosecution of perpetrators. In that regard, we are happy to see the significant progress achieved by various countries thanks to the United Nations campaign on sexual violence in conflict, which includes “firewood patrols” in Darfur and an early-warning system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    Colombia endorses the repeated rejections by the Security Council of all acts of sexual violence and other forms violence against civilians in armed conflict, in particular against women and children. My country deplores the fact that these situations continue to arise in armed conflict in various parts of the world, and believes that the international community should adopt an attitude of strict condemnation and seek, through all means, to abolish violence, ensure the protection of and reparations for victims, and see to it that perpetrators are brought to justice.

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    Colombia is aware of the impact of sexual violence in conflicts on international peace and security, and believes that we must not lose sight of the fact that the primary responsibility to put an end to that scourge and to protect the victims lies with States. We believe it necessary for international cooperation in this field to be developed and implemented, not just in a constructive way, but also on the basis of an open dialogue with the Governments concerned, so as to ensure that effective solutions are found and that national institutions and processes are strengthened, while respecting States' policies and priorities.

  • Country

    Nepal
  • Extracts

    Nepal is the first South Asian country to develop a national plan of action on resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008). Increasing the participation of women in decision-making, protecting women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence and ending impunity are the topmost priorities set forth in our plan. We have a zero-tolerance policy against gender-based violence.

  • Country

    Slovenia
  • Extracts

    One of the key priorities of Slovenia in the United Nations is to address issues of importance to women around the world. It has been acknowledged many times that global stability, peace, and prosperity depend on protecting and advancing the rights of women and girls. But many times we find ourselves too late in implementing preventive measures, which may include efforts to promote the rights of women or other means, and find ourselves in the midst of armed conflicts, where particularly vulnerable groups, such as women and children, are disproportionately impacted.

  • Country

    Southern Africa
  • Extracts

    While the Security Council has adopted the requisite resolutions to address those crimes, including resolution 2106 (2013) today, full and effective implementation of the key resolutions underpinning the women, peace and security agenda is critical to closing the existing protection gaps. The Secretary-General's report (S/2013/335) correctly alludes to a systemic United Nations response to that problem. However, we cannot agree more with the Secretary-General's observation that Member States bear the primary legal and moral responsibility for preventing and addressing conflict-related sexual violence.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    We see signs of progress as some national Governments are making justice systems more responsive and accessible to survivors of sexual violence. For example, Sierra Leon's new sexual offence law gives stiff minimum sentences to perpetrators. Sri Lanka's women's protection units provide female staff at police stations, and privacy for women to report crimes. In May, Somalia committed to ensuring the the protection of victims, witnesses, journalists and others who report on sexual violence — a necessity for strengthening legal cases and bringing those issues into the public sphere.

  • Country

    Azerbaijan
  • Extracts

    Unfortunately, not all grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including acts of sexual violence, receive sufficient attention and response at the international and regional levels. More resolute and targeted measures are therefore required to bring the perpetrators of such acts to justice; such measures and appropriate protection efforts must obviously be free of selectivity and politically motivated approaches and preferences.

  • Country

    New Zealand
  • Extracts

    As my delegation said in the April debate on sexual violence in conflict during the Rwandan presidency (see S/PV.6948), it is vitally important that the Council send a clear message on the issue of sexual violence to the entire international community and that it does so through, inter alia, the strong statements made in debates like this. We welcome the United Kingdom's concept note (S/2013/335, annex) and the Secretary- General's most recent report on sexual violence in conflict (S/2013/149), both of which correctly highlight that national Governments have primary legal and moral responsibility for the protection of civilian populations, including from sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    Togo
  • Extracts

    There can be no doubt that atrocities against women and girls will continue to be committed if their authors have no fear of being caught and if aggressors are not prosecuted and punshed. We believe that verbal condemnations and promises to act are no longer enough. We must go further by seeking to further educate not only military and Government leaders, but also rebel movements. Raising awareness among the commanders of these forces on the protection of civilians, respect for international legal instruments, humanitarian law and human rights law, as well as the effective implementation of relevant agreements, should be favored and supported.

  • Country

    Togo
  • Extracts

    Despite all the difficulties and the need to ensure the protection of women and girls in armed conflict and to prosecute their attackers, there is still the hope that combating such violence will succeed thanks to the commitment and efforts of the international community. We wish to commend the efforts of UN-Women, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and many international and non-governmental organizations to that end. However, their advocacy must include a plea for the universalization of the Arms Trade Treaty, because its implementation by all States, particularly those where weapons are manufactured, could make a big contribution to ending the sale and illegal trafficking of arms in countries in conflict. Such weapons fuel conflict and violence, particularly against women and girls.

  • Country

    Russia
  • Extracts

    It is important that the primary responsibility in protecting civilians in their territory be borne by Governments. Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States is a fundamental and indivisible principle of the United Nations work. These principles will be vigorously upheld when they can foster the development of effective international cooperation in combating sexual violence.

  • Country

    Sudan
  • Extracts

    In addition to the efforts deployed by the advisory council for human rights in Darfur, social services and security units as well as the unit against violence against women, the Government this month launched the 10-year national action plan on human rights as a clear-cut national strategy to enhance the situation of human rights in the Sudan. The plan was welcomed by the United Nations independent expert on human rights during his latest visit to the Sudan earlier this month. The Government of the Sudan emphasizes its interest in enhancing the rights of women and in protecting them, and reiterates its wish to continue cooperation with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, as well as with the relevant institutions. We will also continue our cooperation with the relevant United Nations agencies with regard to capacity-building.

  • Speaker

    Holy See
  • Extracts

    That obligation does not fall on States alone; international organizations such as the United Nations must also adhere to it. This is particularly important in the area of peacekeeping operations, so that those sent to protect people from violence do not become a source of it themselves. In that regard, my delegation welcomes the measures outlined by the Secretary-General in his report on “Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse” (A/65/742).

  • Country

    Spain
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence in conflict is a phenomenon that should receive more and urgent attention, and Spain welcomes every effort of the international community to continue working to combat this scourge more effectively. We also welcome the Council's adoption this morning of resolution 2106 (2013), of which Spain was a sponsor. It is particularly pertinent in that it specifically addresses the issue of impunity as one of the key components in the fight against sexual violence in conflict. Combating impunity must be addressed with a comprehensive approach that promotes an education system that promotes the dignity and equality of men and women, a social system that condemns sexual violence and a legal mechanism aimed at ensuring the protection of victims and the punishment of perpetrators.

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    In conflicts in nearly every corner of the globe, rape is used systematically and ruthlessly in the almost certain knowledge that there will be no consequences for the perpetrators. If the international community does not address this culture of impunity, millions more women, children and men could well be subjected to the same appalling treatment, now and in the conflicts of the future. The lead we set and the action we take therefore has the potential to save lives and change the course of events around the world; nothing less than that should be our ambition

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    Today we face another burning need to unite to improve the condition of humanity; together it is time to say that rape and sexual violence used as a weapon of war is unacceptable, that we know it can be prevented and that we will act now to eradicate it, shouldering our responsibilities as national Governments, and collectively as the Security Council.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts


    Sexual violence is used to destroy lives, tear apart communities and achieve military objectives, in just the same way that tanks and bullets are.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    Like others here I have witnessed the terrible life sentence of trauma and illness inflicted on victims, and the devastating impact on their families and communities.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    I am appalled that the vast majority of survivors never receive justice, support or recognition despite years and even decades of waiting, and that it is the victims, not the perpetrators, who still bear the shame and stigma.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    I have also seen the devastating impact that sexual violence has on prospects for peace and reconciliation, undermining our efforts as the Security Council to advance peace negotiations and agreements.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We have seen the world over that unresolved grievances fuel further cycles of violence and conflict. Where there is no justice or dignity, the seeds of future violence are sown. A new consciousness of this issue and strong action to protect women and children must run throughout all the Security Council's peacebuilding efforts.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    Their efforts, allied with new attention from Governments and efforts by the United Nations, means that we are at last poised to be able to make unprecedented and historic progress on confronting wartime rape and sexual violence.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We have made important progress. In London in April, the States members of the Group of Eight (G-8) pledged to address sexual violence in conflict as a threat to global peace and security. I am grateful for the commitments they joined the United Kingdom in making and for the work that is flowing from that agreement.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    For example, the United Kingdom is now taking the lead in developing a new international protocol on the investigation and documentation of rape and sexual violence in conflict, working with experts from all over the world. Its aim is to increase the number of successful prosecutions by setting out practical standards for the investigation and documentation of such crimes, so that the strongest possible evidence is collected and survivors are cared for sensitively.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We have also set up a team of over 70 United Kingdom experts, including doctors, forensic scientists, police and gender experts, which can be deployed to reinforce United Nations and national efforts. It has already been deployed in Bosnia, to the Syrian border, and to Libya, Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo this year. Later this year we will carry out further deployments to support Syrian survivors, and we will return to Bosnia, Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    Resolution 2106 (2013), which we have just adopted today, sends a powerful signal to the world of leadership from the Security Council. It recognizes the commitments made in the G-8 declaration, which will add to the international momentum that has begun to gather but which must now become unstoppable. It recognizes the responsibility of national Governments to uphold human rights and the rule of law in their countries, and it will expand the tools available to Ms. Bangura to work with them, notably the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia, which have shown great courage in signing joint communiqués with the United Nations.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    The resolution also recognizes that effective investigation and documentation of sexual violence in armed conflict is vital to bringing perpetrators to justice and ensuring recourse to justice for survivors, and I hope that the new international protocol will be able to make a difference in that area.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    These and other steps listed in the resolution, if fully implemented, will represent vital new advances. But it is only a beginning. We need action on all fronts, from the Security Council and the United Nations as a whole, and from Governments in conflict-affected countries. We need to begin to demolish impunity, create a new culture of deterrence, and at the same time focus on long-term care and support for survivors.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We need to home in on lack of accountability as one of the root causes of rape and sexual violence in conflict, but at the same time not forget that women's political, social and economic empowerment across all societies is essential and that our goal must be the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We need the Security Council to keep showing the determined leadership that we have called for, and at the same time must listen to, involve and support local organizations. Indeed, I strongly support the development of a network of regional champions to support their efforts.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We can and must do all those things but must never lose sight of our overriding objective: to consign the use of rape as a weapon of war to the pages of history. I believe that has to begin, above all, with a focus on ending impunity and by bringing to bear the weight, authority and leadership of the Security Council.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    The women's protection advisers are a new cadre of specialists combining political and security expertise, human rights monitoring and gender analysis. Their principal role is to catalyse the implementation of the key operational aspects of the Council's resolutions on sexual violence in conflict.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    Crucially, the draft resolution calls on all parties to a conflict to make specific commitments to prevent sexual violence, and challenges the United Nations to engage with parties to illicit such commitments. Such an engagement-based approach has already begun to yield results, with several formal agreements between the United Nations and affected countries to address conflict-related sexual violence.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    I believe that we have the collective will, and increasingly the tools, to make it an unsustainable liability for parties to use sexual violence as a weapon of war. The resolve of the Council and the international community as a whole has set us firmly on the path of accountability and prevention. We must stay the course until we achieve the critical mass of action that will turn the tide on history's oldest and least condemned crime.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    I cannot overemphasize that the commitment of the United Nations system, however great it may be, can never substitute for the political will and action of national actors. The United Nations, through the United Nations Action Network of 13 entities, stands ready to support local efforts. But national actors must lead from the front, and the international community must support their efforts with adequate resources and technical assistance.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    I wish to thank the Secretary- General for his statement. His personal commitment to this cause ensures that sexual violence in conflict remain a critical concern for the entire United Nations system, and challenges us to work in unison.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the guns may have fallen silent 20 years ago, but for the survivors of sexual violence the war has not ended. Their battle continues as they struggle with physical and psychological injuries, stigma and isolation, poverty and destitution. That is what I have witnessed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in many other countries devastated by war. Conflict- related sexual violence, when left unaddressed by justice and reparations, can have a profound impact on the sustainability of peace and the prospects for developments.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    In their day-to-day lives, survivors of sexual violence are forced to face the men who raped them — in banks, in supermarkets and at the schools of their children, children whose “inheritance” is the stigma of sexual violence, many of whom are offspring born of rape. Those women told me that they could look forward to the future when that future continued to be determined by many of the very people who had destroyed their lives.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    Over the course of five years, we have seen significant progress at the political level, advances led largely by the Security Council. Its engagement has shattered an enduring myth that has paralysed action for too long, namely, that sexual violence is culturally or socially unspeakable, that it is an inevitable by-product of war for which little can be done, or that it does not merit such singular focus because in the hierarchy of human rights violations sexual violence is a lesser evil.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    Since taking office, in September 2012, I have placed particular emphasis on engaging national stakeholders in order to foster national ownership, leadership and responsibility. My experience to date reinforces my belief that it is at the country level that will and resolve are most urgently required to implement national legislation, strengthen institutions for the prosecution of crimes of sexual violence and to enhance capacity to care for survivors

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    That is why the theme of today's debate — combating impunity for sexual violence — is of the utmost relevance and urgency. By focusing on impunity, we make a more concerted effort to put the spotlight on the perpetrators, that is, on those who commit, or command, or condone sexual violence in conflicts. In so doing, we begin to re-direct the stigma and the consequences of sexual violence from the survivors to the perpetrators.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    The draft resolution emphasizes that sexual violence must be specifically reflected in other critical peace and security processes and arrangements, such as security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes. That includes ensuring that those who commit, command or condone sexual violence be vetted and excluded from positions of influence and power.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    The draft resolution emphasizes the need for comprehensive and multidimensional strategies for us to meet our obligations to the survivors of sexual violence — the critical health, psychosocial, legal and other interventions that they must have to rebuild their lives.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    The draft resolution places emphasis on a more consistent and rigorous investigation and prosecution of sexual violence crimes as a central aspect of deterrence and, ultimately, prevention. Essentially, we must raise the cost and consequences for those who commit such crimes. The draft resolution also stresses that considerations of sexual violence must be explicitly and consistently reflected in peace processes, ceasefires and peace agreements. That gives fundamental recognition to the principle that there can be no viable peace and security when the security of women is not at the heart of peacemaking.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    The draft resolution to be adopted by the Council today consolidates that approach. It reinforces the robust conceptual framework, the infrastructure and the elements of the compliance regime established by resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010) — a compliance regime based on reliable and timely information and analysis, and the political, strategic and tactical-level actions that must be taken on the basis of such information. In its scope, operational detail and clarity, the draft resolution encapsulates the evolution of our understanding of conflict-related sexual violence and what it takes to prevent it. As such it, outlines a comprehensive operational approach to tackle the problem.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    The United Nations Team of Experts plays an important role in that regard, serving as a ready resource for national authorities in their efforts to strengthen the rule-of-law response to sexual violence. That is proving to be an innovative and valuable tool for Governments, and should be further reinforced. In the coming months, we also hope to accelerate the deployment of women's protection advisers to the relevant United Nations peacekeeping and special political missions.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    To the contrary, the resolutions of the Security Council affirm that this crime, when committed systematically and used as a tool of war, is a fundamental threat to the maintenance of international peace and security, and as such requires an operational, security and justice response. That paradigm shift requires a new approach to attack the scourge of war-time rape. Among other things, it compels us to expand the circle of stakeholders beyond the traditional gender experts, to also engage uniformed peacekeepers, mediators, ceasefire monitors, war-crime prosecutors and the full range of civilian-protection and justice-sector actors.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    Today it is still largely cost-free to rape a woman, child or man in conflict. Sexual violence has been used throughout the ages precisely because it is such a cheap and devastating weapon. But for the first time in history, we can reverse that reality. It will require leadership and political courage, and a relentless determination to match the cold, calculating brutality of those who would rape the innocent for military or political gain.a

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    Twenty years ago, the United Nations provided irrefutable evidence that the widespread and systematic rape of women, girls and men was being perpetrated in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. That led to unprecedented advances in international jurisprudence — the recognition of rape as a war crime and crime against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunals established for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    Two weeks ago, I visited Bosnia and Herzegovina, where an estimated 50,000 women were targeted with rape and other forms of sexual violence during four years of conflict. But 20 years after peace was re-established, impunity for those crimes still reigns. There have been only a handful of prosecutions. While the perpetrators have enjoyed the fruits of peace and have been free to rebuild their lives, their victims continue to work in the shadows and in shame, unable to lay the past to rest and to move forward.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    I would like to recall here the principles of the United Nations initiative to combat sexual violence against women in conflict situations. Rape is not an inevitable consequence of war. Gender violence, including sexual violence, is a violation of women's dignity and fundamental human rights. Attempts to halt and respond to sexual violence must address gender inequalities and contribute to women's empowerment. Women are often leaders in the process of eliminating sexual violence and ensuring peace; the constructive participation of men and boys in it is vital to the prevention of sexual violence in conflict situations. Best practices against sexual violence must be strengthened. Sexual violence in conflict situations and impunity for those who commit such crimes have been met with a deafening silence. We all have a duty to act.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    Based on that significant progress, violence against women is now recognized as a human rights violation in that it flouts a series of rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to life; the right not to be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; the right to equality before the law; the right to equality in the family; and the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, inter alia.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    Part of the process of recognizing that violence against women is a violation of human rights involves stepping back from views that hold that violence against women represents a kind of cultural expression or is the unquestionable prerogative of specific groups or individuals in the context of the exercise of power.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    We know that violence against women is woven into the social fabric and pervades not only judicial systems but also the way in which we see the world and relationships between human beings in time of peace and in time of armed conflict.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    In armed conflict, then, appalling violence against women, mass rape, abduction and sexual slavery must not be regarded as exceptions but, rather, as a savage extension of the daily violence against women. Indeed, violence against women is not a horrifying exception; it is, rather, a continuum of violence. Thus, we note that perhaps because of this, although such violence is repugnant and illegal, it is in cases of sexual violence that we see the lowest level of protection and the highest rate of failure on the part of States to implement their unshirkable responsibility to respect and guarantee the human rights of women.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    Such vulnerability is particularly acute in the field of criminal procedural law, where a perverse cycle of victimization of women occurs. In cases of sexual violence, victims are routinely interrogated about their participation in the crime; they are exposed to unacceptable standards of proof; their lives are investigated and assessed; their testimony is minimized or rejected; and their claims are silenced. Today, gender discrimination has reached the level of juris et de jure presumptions of law, with real and discriminatory effects.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    In the context of armed conflict, violence against women has particular significance. The worst crimes are committed in times of war, which exacerbates the inequality of women. Thus rape is a message of castration and mutilation of the enemy, a battle fought among men but carried out on the bodies of women.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    We all know that one of the elements used to legitimize such acts has been the concept of the sexual honour of women as being the basis of male honour. Hence sexual violence against women, sexual slavery and forced pregnancy become acts that are justifiable in time of armed conflict, on the basis of the argument that they meet the needs of men. Faced with this horrifying reality, we as women are throughout the world turning our sorrow into strength to demand that our human rights be respected and that an end be put to impunity.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    As we move along the road to equality, a key milestone has been the entry into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. There, for the first time, it was recognized in the framework of international humanitarian law that rape and other forms of sexual and gender violence are crimes as serious as genocide, torture, cruel treatment, mutilation and slavery.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    That was also a turning point in the context of impunity — against impunity in law, which has its origins in norms such as amnesties, and impunity in act, which runs the gamut from complicity on the part of public power, to the passivity of investigators, to selectivity or corruption on the part of the judiciary.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    Those important advances are without a doubt the result of the jurisprudence of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the statements condemning sexual violence against women made at Beijing and Vienna, and the active participation of the women's movement.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    We also recently signed the Arms Trade Treaty, after having worked together with many present here, fighting hard to ensure that for the first time the link between the international arms trade and gender violence could be recognized. The President of my country has signed a decree regarding the implementation of our national plan of action on resolution 1325 (2000) and complementary measures. Men and women participating in peacekeeping missions are given training on gender perspectives and human rights. The strengthening of gender focal points in Blue Helmets is also a priority.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    In the negotiations leading to the adoption today of resolution 2106 (2013), we held intensive discussions on the tensions that may occur between the protection of human rights and the principle of State sovereignty, both fundamental pillars of the system of international relations arising from the Charter of our Organization.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    However, just as human rights cannot be degraded to be used as a Trojan horse for foreign interventionism in the domestic affairs of a country, neither can sovereignty be invoked to cast a veil over serious human rights violations or to protect from impunity in a particular location. Argentina thus voted in favour of the resolution, in the belief that it respects the sovereignty of States and protects human rights, particularly those of women. As our dear friend Zainab Bangura has said, eradicating sexual violence in armed conflict is not a mission impossible.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    We live in a world today where rape is used as a weapon of physical, psychological and social destruction, a world where in some places where women's bodies have become a real battleground. Such sexual violence committed in conflict should in no way be forgotten or go unpunished, and that is what we have come here to say today. The international community, of course, has been dealing with this question for some 10 years now, through the Council's adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) and succeeding resolutions, and that has led to commendable progress — condemning such violence unanimously, calling for the intensification of efforts aimed at better protecting women and, of course, at combating impunity, but also by establishing an important principle that I would like to recall here, that of women's equal participation in the reconciliation and reconstruction process. We must not forget that the best way of protecting those women is by making them stakeholders, rather than only subjects.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Significant progress has been made since then, above all political progress, due in particular to the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary- General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. I would like once again to commend her commitment, as it has strengthened international awareness on the subject. I also thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the zero-tolerance policy that has been set forth here against all forms of exploitation or sexual abuse attributed to United Nations staff, in particular forces deployed on the ground. That policy must continue with the same determination and firmness, because the United Nations must be nothing more than exemplary in that context.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    There has also been judicial progress. The ad hoc tribunals established by the Council and the International Criminal Court (ICC) have gradually included sexual violence as crimes under their jurisdiction. The recognition of sexual violence, in particular rape, as a war crime, crime against humanity or possibly genocide represents a major step forward; it is an effective tool in the fight against impunity and a deterrent, which is exactly what we are seeking.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    There has also been legislative progress, with the recent adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty as the first legally binding treaty to regulate arms transfers. It recognizes the link between the international arms trade and gender-based violence, which France has strongly supported. We very much hope that such analysis will continue to prevail in our future discussions.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Nevertheless, we are far from done with our work. The scale and intractable nature of sexual violence in current conflicts are intolerable. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, despite the mobilization of the international community, sexual violence remains ubiquitous. Committed by all parties, it is carried out by the Mouvement du 23 mars and by the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC). The Minova tragedy in South Kivu, where more than 130 women were raped in November 2012 by soldiers of the FARDC who were tasked with their protection, reminds us of that brutal reality. France will pursue its efforts to ensure that the perpetrators of those crimes and their commanders are prosecuted and punished.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    It is known that the regime and its militias have used sexual violence to terrorize the population since the crisis began. Today, given the militarization and radicalization of the conflict, Syrian women are being silenced, whether in Syria itself, where they continue to be targeted by the Syrian regime, or in refugee camps, where forced marriages continue and their vulnerability is magnified.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    We should like to see United Nations reports, particularly that of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as the information conveyed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which contains tangible information on the crimes I have just described, to militate for a swift referral to the International Criminal Court. The perpetrators of those crimes must understand that they will be punished in a manner commensurate with their savagery. France also supports the principle of women's participation in terms of the Geneva II discussions on Syria.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    In Mali, the President of the Republic has underscored that the French intervention was in fact also based on the need to defend the rights of female victims of violence. The deployment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, the political process currently under way and the elections to come will, we hope, assist in re-establishing peace and stability in the country. However, the sexual violence committed by armed groups in the north in 2012 has traumatized Malian society. Justice must be pursued for all victims of sexual violence. They must be provided with psychological and legal assistance. The Malian authorities, with the support of the United Nations and the ICC, cannot avoid that issue.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    In my opinion, and in conclusion, four actions must be continued in the fight against sexual violence. These four actions seek four goals, the so-called “four Ps” rule: preventing violence, protecting victims, prosecuting perpetrators, and women's participation in the peace and reconstruction process.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Those four actions consist of, first, strengthening protection on the ground. Women's protection advisers play a key role. France wishes to see their deployment in peacekeeping and political missions extended beyond the missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Mali, and, above all, that they be provided with appropriate resources to carry out their work.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Secondly, there is a need to ensure victims' access to services, particularly sexual and reproductive health services. Young girls, adolescents and women victims of sexual violence can suffer, above and beyond psychological trauma, serious physical harm from violence. Adolescents and women are exposed to early, unwanted pregnancies. We must therefore fully consider all aspects of that reality.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Why do the sexual and reproductive rights of the victims of sexual violence continue to be contested? Restricting access to sexual and reproductive health care is an infringement of a woman's right to control her own body. Substantial progress was made in the recent session of the Commission on the Status of Women, in forging consensus to affirm those rights at the global level. We must consolidate those achievements and ensure that victims of sexual violence have access to effective sexual and reproductive health care.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, we must take to the fight against impunity with earnest; stigma and shame must switch sides so that the victims are no longer those who suffer the consequences of the crimes. That task falls above all to Governments, which have the responsibility to prosecute and punish. However, as has been said, if the State is unable to so act, the International Criminal Court, which is universal, must and should play its role

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, I wish to underscore that, in addition to the indescribable savagery of sexual violence that has been addressed here, it is also important to recall the tragic observation made recently by the World Health Organization that one in every three women worldwide has been subjected to domestic or sexual violence. No region has been spared from the violence. However it is true that, like ignorance, it behaves as an epidemic that can reach epidemic level in some countries. It is therefore absolutely crucial to continue to work unfailingly on all of those issues, because women's rights, like human rights, are universal and indivisible.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    We continue to witness a disturbing increase in the trend to use sexual violence as a political and military tool, the effects of which are grave and long- lasting, often alienating entire groups, communities and peoples. It is unfortunate that, despite the existence of international legal instruments and normative mechanisms, there is an alarming escalation in the levels of sexual violence during and after armed conflicts, which has devastating consequences on women and girls. Their protection deserves our utmost attention as a primary responsibility of all of us, because it is a serious humanitarian concern and significant security issue. It also requires a multidimensional approach.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    It is commendable that the Council continues to focus on how best to achieve effective justice for crimes of sexual violence in conflict in order to end impunity, formally investigate and prosecute persons responsible for such crimes and grave violations, prevent their recurrence and seek justice and peace.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    In that context, Armenia also attaches the utmost importance to the promotion of justice and the rule of law, as those values are indispensable for the maintenance of international and regional security and the protection of human rights. A consensus has emerged that the rule of law should be promoted at both the national and the international levels and should be based on the Charter of the United Nations, the norms of international law and the principle of good governance. We therefore share the views expressed by Council members and other speakers calling for more systematic attention to impunity and justice. We also agree that increased efforts to fight impunity at the national and international levels are essential.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    I would also like to emphasize that special attention must be paid to children who are victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence, especially girls, who usually make up the largest group of victims in armed conflict. In addition to the physical damage it causes, sexual violence often leaves other forms of lasting harm and stigma.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    However, we cannot address sexual violence simply by naming and punishing offenders. More fundamental changes are needed at the institutional and societal levels. In that context, sexual violence against women will never be adequately addressed without focusing on the empowerment of women and their participation in the political, social and economic spheres.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Domestic efforts must be complemented by effective international prosecutions; United Nations interventions empowered to engage militias and other perpetrators of these crimes; effective protection mechanisms for civilians, including those targeting sexual violence; cooperative regional bodies; and, above all, compliance by the United Nations and Member States with their collective resolutions and recommendations on security, women, peace and the prevention of and response to acts of sexual violence.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    However, there are also challenges at the national level when attempting to prosecute conflict-related crimes, including sexual violence. These can include lack of jurisdiction for the prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity, perhaps a lack of familiarity of the judiciary with the provisions relating to sexual violence, ongoing myths regarding sexualized violence and, sometimes, one-sided prosecutions depending on the outcome of the conflict. There can also be challenges related to the practice and administration of justice, and in Uganda, this has meant a lack of court reporters, professional interpreters and the management of transcripts.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Implementing the existing resolutions regarding the commission of sexual violence in armed conflict, highlighting its impact on those targeted by these crimes, especially girls and women, and addressing the purpose of this particular form of violence are essential steps for effecting change in this crisis.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    In the past decade of our work, the Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice has worked with thousands of victims/survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and monitored accountability for such crimes in several conflict or post-conflict countries. With more than 6,000 grass-roots members and partners within armed conflict situations, we are aware of the demand from local communities for a reduction in impunity and more frequent domestic trials for perpetrators responsible for committing sexual violence and other grave crimes. Drawing on all of this work, there are three observations I would like to offer today regarding accountability for sexual violence in armed conflicts.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Let me again draw on our experience in Uganda. In 2011, the International Crimes Division within Uganda became operational, with the jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in compliance with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The creation of that domestic war crimes court was welcomed by large sections of the community, in particular women's rights and peace advocates, who described the court as comforting for victims and a milestone in raising hopes and expectations for the realization of justice and meaningful peace

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Over the past 27 years, northern Uganda and several of its neighbouring countries, including South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have been subjected to armed conflict, instability, displacement of the population and widespread and brutal forms of sexual and gender- based crimes committed by a range of perpetrators, including armed forces, militia groups and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Since then, the Ugandan court has adopted some of the procedures practiced by the ICC, including the use of redacted statements to support witness safety in proceedings and in the practices regarding the disclosure of evidence. These processes are new under the Ugandan rules of procedure and are helping to strengthen the understanding that successful witness and victim protection is at the core of any efficient investigation and prosecution.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Some of these issues are resource and capacity- related, which leads me to my third observation, which is that the scale of sexual violence crimes committed during armed conflict is beyond the capacity of any national judicial system to address on its own.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    The first is that it is well documented that the commission of rape and other forms of sexual violence intensify and increase during times of civil war and armed conflicts, and yet too often impunity for these crimes continues to be guaranteed through amnesty laws. Let me provide an example from Uganda.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    The paucity of domestic prosecutions for crimes of sexual violence, the limited volume of international prosecutions for these crimes and the scale worldwide of crimes of sexualized violence, particularly in situations of armed conflict, continue to leave an impunity gap so distinct that in recent years it has become the focus of several Security Council resolutions. The attention given by the Council to sexual violence is necessary and urgent, and with developments such as the United Kingdom's Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, the United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict and the work of the International Criminal Court, attention to this issue is becoming increasingly strategic.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    The second observation we would like to make is that leadership on accountability for conflict-related crimes, including sexual violence, must be provided at the national level, with priority given to resourcing, adequate legislation prohibiting acts of sexual violence and capacity-building for police, investigators, lawyers and judges regarding the adjudication of these crimes. The inclusion of credible national prosecutions for conflict-related crimes, including acts of sexual violence, within the basket of accountability and reconciliation initiatives is crucial for locating justice in proximity to victims. Just as crucial is that domestic courts prosecuting these international crimes do so in compliance with the established international standards.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Under the Ugandan Amnesty Act of 2000, complete amnesty was extended to members of the LRA on the condition that they report to a designated area, surrender their weapons and make a declaration renouncing and abandoning involvement in the war or armed rebellion. Unfortunately, there were no conditions regarding truth-telling; individuals were not required to make a full declaration of the acts they had committed or the incidents they might have witnessed; and no crimes, including sexual violence, were excluded from qualification under the amnesty regime. Victims did not even receive an apology through this process. The granting of amnesty guaranteed impunity and therefore did not shift the stigma of shame away from the survivors to the perpetrators of these crimes. The pardoning facility under the Amnesty Act was dissolved last year, but while in existence, it provided blanket immunity from prosecution for sexual violence and other crimes for the entire period of the Ugandan LRA conflict.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Italy welcomes the Security Council's adoption of resolution 2106 (2013), regarding sexual violence in conflict, which signals the commitment of the Council to address an issue that is key to international peace and security.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    We appreciate the focus of this debate on impunity for crimes of sexual violence. Impunity makes those responsible for crimes confident enough to use sexual violence as a tactic of war. Impunity takes away any hope for justice from victims and survivors. Impunity is a stumbling block in rebuilding peaceful societies after conflicts. In order to make a full contribution to our discussion, I will focus on six specific points.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Secondly, there must be strict implementation of zero-tolerance policies towards sexual misconduct by peacekeeping, political and peacebuilding personnel. Those actors are the face of the United Nations for the people who are plagued by conflict. They must ensure the highest standards of respect for human rights and humanitarian law and be accountable for their violation.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, sexual violence should be addressed in peace agreements. Sexual violence should be included in the definition of acts prohibited by ceasefires. The principle of no amnesty for the perpetrators for crimes of sexual violence should always be respected. The participation of women in peace negotiations and ceasefires are the best way to ensure that these issues are not traded off for other agendas.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Fourthly, national authorities should be supported in their efforts to fight against impunity. Governments have the primary responsibility to protect their populations from sexual violence and to ensure that justice is done. The international community must stand ready to provide technical assistance and capacity- building, and to help strengthen the rule of law. The United Nations has a key role to play, as proven by the work done by the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict. Peacekeepers shouldd be trained and tasked with investigating crimes of sexual violence. Cooperation with civil society organizations, particularly those led by women, is also essential.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Fifthly, cooperation should be enhanced between the Security Council and the International Criminal Court (ICC), in particular when dealing with cases of sexual violence. The perpetrators of large-scale sexual violence should never benefit from differences of opinion within the Council on a specific situation. Well-documented crimes should act as a clear basis for fast-track referrals by the Council to the ICC.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Sixthly, and lastly, comprehensive strategies are needed. While we are thoroughly committed to bringing to justice the perpetrators of sexual violence, we must give equal priority to the health, safety and the dignity of survivors. National and international programmes for post-conflict reconstruction must ensure that the needs of victims are met and their voices heard. All forms of reparation and redress must follow a victim- centred approach.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Italy has placed a high priority on the protection of women against sexual violence in its human rights policy. Last week, the Italian Parliament ratified the Council of Europe convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. We strongly encourage States to ratify this important instrument. Moreover, the Italian national action plan on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) includes specific provisions addressing sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Finally, Italy will enhance its support for the United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women, which is the global grant- making mechanism dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls in all of its forms, including sexual violence.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    To conclude, today we must all send a strong message to the perpetrators of sexual violence. They must know that sexual violence is not cost-free. The more seriously we endeavour to make this message a reality, the closer we will come to finally relegating rape in war to history books.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    Rape, sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence in conflict are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law and can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and constitutive acts of genocide. Ensuring accountability for those responsible is crucial to eradicating conflict-related sexual violence. However, it is a disturbing historical fact that, in many cases, national and international justice systems have failed to bring perpetrators of such sexual violence to justice. Against that backdrop, my delegation would like to commend the leadership of the United Kingdom in addressing the issue.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    We welcome the declaration of the Group of Eight (G-8) on preventing sexual violence in conflict, adopted in April under the United Kingdom presidency of the G-8. As the declaration recognizes, sexual violence represents one of the most serious forms of violation or abuse of international humanitarian law and human rights law, and there should be no safe haven for perpetrators of such crimes.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    I would like to underline the following three points. First, we underscore the importance of accountability at the national level. States bear the primary responsibility to protect women and girls from conflict-related sexual violence and bring those responsible to justice. In that regard, my delegation welcomes the stress placed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on national ownership, leadership and responsibility in combating sexual violence as one of her priorities. All States should include the full range of acts of sexual violence in national penal legislation and ensure the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for violations through proper legal and policy frameworks.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    We believe that political will is crucial. The lack of adequate national capacity to investigate and prosecute sexual violence may also be one of the main challenges to ensuring accountability for crimes of conflict-related sexual violence. We welcome the fact that the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict has been focusing its efforts on strengthening the capacity of national rule of law and justice actors.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    The long-term prevention of sexual violence is equally important. We also commend UN-Women for its increasing contribution to the promotion of gender equality and women's political, social and economic empowerment, as well as their participation in every sector of society.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    Secondly, we would like to stress the significance of the international justice mechanism. When national justice systems are unwilling or unable to fulfil their responsibilities, international mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court (ICC), as well as the ad hoc and mixed tribunals, should play the role of ensuring accountability. The fact that charges of sexual violence are included in nearly every case of investigation and prosecution indicates both the prevalence of conflict-related sexual violence and the significant role of the ICC in holding perpetrators of those crimes accountable.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    The Security Council should play its role by referring serious sexual violence to the ICC and by adopting targeted and graduated measures of relevant sanctions committees. Furthermore, the Security Council needs to systematically ref lect sexual violence in conf lict in all relevant country resolutions and ensure the inclusion of specific language on addressing conflict- related sexual violence, including the accelerated and extended deployment of women's protection advisers in all peacekeeping and political mission mandates.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, fighting impunity and ensuring accountability should be given critical importance in ceasefire and post-conflict reconstruction processes. Ending impunity is crucial if a society recovering from conflict is to come to terms with the past and to prevent future abuses. Sexual violence should be included in the definition of acts prohibited by ceasefires and in provisions for ceasefire monitoring. Furthermore, crimes of sexual violence need to be excluded from amnesty provisions in the context of conflict resolution processes.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    In that context, my delegation would like to stress that delivering justice for victims of sexual violence is not just about holding perpetrators accountable, but also ensures reparative justice. We fully support the recommendation in the report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/149) that reparations awarded through judicial or administrative mechanisms be established and made available to victims of sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    My delegation welcomes resolution 2106 (2013) adopted today, and commends the leadership of the United States delegation for effectively steering the negotiation process. We believe that the resolution will mark another significant milestone in our difficult but victorious journey towards ending sexual violence and the culture of impunity the world over.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    We begin by reaffirming the importance that Botswana attaches to the protection and promotion of the rights of women and children, as well as our commitment to address all forms of violence against women, including sexual violence.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence in armed conflict represents one of the most heinous violations or abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The prevention of sexual violence in armed conflict is therefore a matter both of upholding universal human rights and of maintaining international security, in keeping with relevant Security Council resolutions. In that regard, Botswana welcomes the continued focus by the Council on this thematic debate and wishes to reiterate the importance of increased and more systemic attention to the women and peace and security agenda in the Council's own work.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    We remain deeply concerned that, despite repeated condemnations by the international community of sexual violence in conflict situations, such acts continue to occur, and in some situations have even become systematic and widespread, with women and children constituting the majority of those adversely affected by armed conflict. We call on all perpetrators of such heinous acts to find it in their hearts to stop such crimes. Sexual violence in the name of armed conflict contravenes human rights. It goes against human nature and against humankind.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    In that regard, I wish to state categorically that impunity for sexual violence, including by armed groups, is unacceptable and can never be tolerated. To that end, my delegation wishes to underscore the importance of ending impunity for such acts as part of a comprehensive approach to seeking sustainable peace, justice and security. Regrettably, a lack of accountability tends to reinforce the social normalization of, and tolerance for, sexual violence. We therefore recognize the need for enhanced political will and commitment to prevent these crimes by promoting and protecting the rights of women and children.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    While we remain convinced that more needs be done to address such ongoing atrocities, my delegation also wishes to emphasise the responsibility of States to comply with their relevant obligations to end impunity, and to effectively use all available means to enforce accountability by prosecuting all perpetrators of such crimes. Botswana recognises the important role of the United Nations system in addressing violence against women and children at the global, regional and national levels, and in assisting States in their efforts to eliminate and prevent all forms of violence against women and children.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    To that end, I wish to express the support of my delegation for the work of UN-Women, as well as the mandates of the Secretary-General's Special Representatives on Sexual Violence in Conflict and on Children and Armed Conflict. While also recognizing the existing normative framework established under various Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1261 (1999), 1325 (2000) and other subsequent resolutions on women and peace and security and on children and armed conflict, Botswana shares the belief that efforts to address sexual violence in conflict should be consistent with, and complementary to, wider United Nations efforts. In that regard, we also wish to underline that greater coordination and collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders is essential to strengthening global efforts to address sexual violence.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    Botswana believes that efforts to end sexual violence must also promote women's active and equal participation in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, transitional justice and security sector reform processes. In that regard, we strongly support the involvement of women in peace negotiations, peacebuilding and conflict prevention.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    With regard to women's access to justice, we call on States to take practical steps to address obstacles in women's access to justice, including by creating an enabling environment where women can easily report incidents of violence without fear or intimidation. Furthermore, we urge all States to strengthen the capacity of national criminal justice systems to serve victims with dignity.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    With regard to the engagement of all segments of society to combat sexual violence, our belief is that men and boys must be socialized and engaged as partners to create a culture of peace, tolerance and respect for women. That includes ending the stigmatization of victims and instilling a change of attitude and behaviour in men and boys.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    Botswana therefore pledges to work with the international community as it seeks to find ways to stop violence against women and children in the context of conflict. We welcome the Council's unanimous adoption this morning of a new resolution on women and peace and security (resolution 2106 (2013)). We remain optimistic that, given our collective will, especially in the Security Council, we will end such shameful crimes against humanity.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    The latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/149) paints a grim picture. Women and girls suffer from sexual violence in armed conflict. Victims are often left alone and unprotected when pursuing legal action, or are otherwise effectively denied access to justice. Perpetrators benefit from a climate of impunity. It is essential that we address the problem comprehensively. In my own country, in the heart of Europe, rape was used as a method of intimidation and terror during the aggression to which we were exposed at the beginning of the 1990s. Today, Croatia's strong commitment to gender equality, domestically and internationally, is well established. Our work on the agenda of women and peace and security is a key priority, and we are ready to contribute.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    Croatia welcomes the Group of Eight (G-8) Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, announced at the ministerial meeting held in London in April. It is an important signal from some of the world's most powerful countries that the G-8 is ready to take a prominent role in preventing and combating sexual violence in war and conflicts.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    Women are often victims of armed conflict, but they can also play a central role in preventing and resolving violent conf licts, as actors in conf lict resolution and peacebuilding. The continued high incidence of horrific sexual violence against women and girls in conflicts demands the international community's attention as a human rights matter and as a question of ensuring respect for international humanitarian law. It is an issue that bears directly on peace and security. The Council's landmark resolution, 1325 (2000), is still not being fully implemented.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    It is clear that the use of rape and sexual violence exacerbates conflicts and perpetuates them long after active hostilities are over. Such crimes inflict indelible scars on individuals, families and societies that make reconciliation and peacebuilding much more difficult.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    A special effort is required to tackle the culture of impunity head-on. We can no longer tolerate impunity for the worst acts of violence against women and girls, as set forth in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. I wish to pay special tribute to all women and girl victims of the brutal violence in Syria. We must all join forces to end impunity for such crimes. The Statute of the International Criminal Court explicitly states that rape and other forms of sexual violence can be prosecuted as war crimes or crimes against humanity. Amnesties should not extend to crimes of sexual violence.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence is linked to the illicit extraction of natural resources and leads to the displacement of civilian populations. Armed groups use forced marriages, rape and sexual slavery as tactics during detentions or interrogation. The plight of children born of wartime rape, about which there is little or no information available and therefore no meaningful programmatic intervention, is a matter of our deepest concern.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    Croatia welcomes the emphasis on the urgency of ensuring that sexual violence considerations are explicitly and consistently reflected in peace processes, ceasefires and peace agreements, and in all security sector reform and other processes in which the United Nations is involved. In that regard, we commend the adoption of resolution 2106 (2013), which we are proud to have co-sponsored.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    As we address the problem of sexual violence in conflict against this backdrop, it must be borne in mind that there exist social conventions whereby violence against women is permitted and has, unfortunately, come to seem normal and commonplace. Rapes committed during conflict are intended to terrorize, break families and communities apart, and transmit infections, and, at times, change the ethnic composition of populations. However, beyond the motivations for the use of such acts as weapons of war, they also contribute to the possession and control of women as pawns of war.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence is a violation of fundamental human rights, and of the human rights and dignity of women in particular. Efforts to use international humanitarian law and international criminal law to protect women from sexual violence must be redoubled.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    All States are responsible not only for ending such violence but also for ending impunity for war crimes, including those related to sexual violence. In Ecuador, the Constitution recognizes the right of people to live free from all forms of violence. Our Constitution also designates the armed forces as an institution to protect the rights, freedoms and guarantees of citizens, and that members of the armed forces may be judged only by the legal system, which is why the Military Justice Court was abolished in 2008. This reflects the determination of the State to ensure the impartiality of judges and to prevent impunity.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    In keeping with these constitutional foundations, reforms to the penal code were introduced in 2010, and a chapter was included on crimes against people and goods protected by international humanitarian law, incorporating the crimes covered by the Rome Statute and providing for the severe punishment with extended prison sentences of 16 to 25 years for any military personnel who commit acts of a sexual or reproductive nature, including rape, against protected persons during an armed conflict.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    It is crucial to bear in mind that the participation of women on an equal footing with men is indispensible for achieving peace. The State of Ecuador has incorporated the gender perspective into its National Plan for Good Living, but also has a national plan for the eradication of gender-based violence, which was established as State policy in 2007. The Ministry of National Defence promotes the concept of defence as a public good, and a gender approach is therefore incorporated into defence policy. Human rights are seen as an area for action in policy implementation, including through the promotion of policies of gender equality, coexistence and respect for cultural identity and the effective implementation of resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1889 (2009).

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    In March this year, we established the Ecuadorian Armed Forces Gender Policy, based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination, especially non-discrimination against women. The Policy emphasizes the strategic political importance of the participation of women in the military sphere, with equal rights and opportunities. The Gender Policy promotes change in the cultural patterns that lead to gender-based violence, is incorporated into the education of military personnel, and promotes educational programmes on preventing sexual violence, in particular in training troops.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    We believe that if each State establishes a national framework, international ones will be strengthened. No one should be beyond the reach of national or international justice in cases of gender violence, particularly sexual violence in situations of conflict. Hence Ecuador, as a State party, supports the International Criminal Court and calls on those States that have not yet done so, particularly those involved in conflict of any sort, to accede to the Rome Statute.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    Finally, Ecuador stresses that combating impunity is vital in order to deal with the issue of sexual violence in conflict. But even more important is to address the causes of conflict, that is, the arms economy and violence committed by the powerful. Our commitment is to build a true culture of peace and new ways of coexistence.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    Allow me to thank you, Sir, for having organized this important open debate on sexual violence in armed conflict. Its focus on the fight against impunity and on the crucial need to ensure justice for survivors is, in our opinion, particularly appropriate.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    It is important that the Council reiterate today its most firm condemnation of sexual violence. That abject and cowardly war tactic ruins the lives of hundreds of thousands of women and girls, as well as of many men and boys, who become not only the powerless witnesses of the harm inflicted on their spouses, mothers, daughters and sisters, but also, with greater frequency, direct victims of sexual violence.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence in armed conflict is indisputably a subject directly linked to international peace and security, as underscored in resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010), and today's resolution 2106 (2013). The fight against sexual violence in conflict is complex undertaking requiring various levels of action, including combating impunity, which is especially important.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    Both restorative and punitive, justice can play a prevention role in terms of future conflict by deterring potential perpetrators from committing crimes. By the same token, justice must enable victims to gain recognition for wrongs they have experienced, and thereby facilitate the process of remembrance and reparation, eventually leading to reconciliation and peacebuilding. As the representative of a victims organization in Guinea once said, “before turning the page, we must read the page”. Unfortunately, at present the vast majority of victims are deprived of this basic right and the vast majority of the perpetrators of these crimes do not answer for their actions. That is inacceptable.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    We all know that regardless of cultures and backgrounds, cases of sexual violence are not always reported, either because the survivors fear being ostracized or because they fear for their lives or those of their relatives, or for both reasons at once. We must therefore make every effort to ensure protection for victims. It is also important to protect the human rights advocates who struggle daily to make the survivors heard. A crime that is not denounced and documented is a crime that can never be prosecuted and will never be the subject of reparations.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    National courts are primarily responsible for prosecuting and trying the perpetrators of sexual violence associated with armed conflict. States must likewise assume their responsibilities by taking the steps necessary to incorporate into their national legislation provisions criminalizing sexual violence and excluding amnesty laws for the most serious crimes, including sexual violence. The international community, for its part, must continue to support national authorities in their efforts to fight impunity. At the United Nations, the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict can play a particularly useful supporting role in this regard.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    But we must be clear — whatever the reason, many countries in post-conflict situations do not have and will not have in the medium term a legal system capable of judging, with all the guarantees of fair justice, the perpetrators of these crimes. In such circumstances, under the principle of complementarity, international criminal justice must fulfill its supplementary role.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    My delegation applauds the efforts made in this regard by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The actions and proceedings before the ICC have clearly helped to strengthen the fight against impunity. I recall in this context that the issue of a second arrest warrant against General Bosco Ntaganda includes counts of crimes against humanity, rape and sexual slavery. Bosco Ntaganda is now in The Hague being tried for his crimes, thanks to the cooperation of Member States that have contributed to his transfer to the ICC. This is critical matter, and I reiterate the call on States to cooperate with the Court in accordance with their respective obligations.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    Finally, in the fight against impunity and to end sexual violence related to conflict, it is important for the Council to continue to discharge its responsibilities, provide concrete follow-up to its decisions, adopt, if necessary, targeted measures to increase the pressure on perpetrators, and systematically inscribe the alleged perpetrators of sexual violence on sanctions committee lists, taking into account the information provided by the Special Representative in this regard. Resolution 2106 (2013), which we have just adopted, is important in that respect, and Luxembourg is proud to be a sponsor.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    It sends a clear signal to all parties who commit sexual violence that the Security Council will not relax its attention to these acts. Impunity will not prevail.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence continues to destroy, scar and traumatize the lives of millions around the world, both victims and survivors, as well as families and communities. Regrettably, women and girls are the most affected by such deplorable acts.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Over the years, a number of tools and mechanisms have been developed to ensure that action is taken against the scourge of sexual violence in armed conflicts. The Security Council, through its growing focus on women and peace and security, has played an important role in establishing a solid framework to prevent and address conflict-related sexual violence. In that regard, civil society has also contributed to this noble goal and shed much-needed light on one of history's greatest silences. Yet more needs to be done.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Today we have a legal and moral responsibility to act collectively in order to prevent the recurrence of such crimes, to strengthen the repressive measures against perpetrators of these horrific acts and to ensure that they do not remain unpunished. My delegation would like to make the following five points.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    First, the commitment of the national Governments concerned in the fight against sexual violence in armed conflict and their ownership of the process are crucial to preventing and putting an end to this phenomenon. That requires an innovative approach on our collective part, one that builds upon the gains achieved so far, enhances national ownership in the process and tackles the root causes of conflicts, namely, weak institutions, poverty, marginalization, social discrimination and exclusion, while ensuring adequate technical assistance and financial support to help States meet their commitments.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    In that regard, Morocco recognizes the important role played by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and her team in increasing the international visibility of this important issue, and for the valuable support she brings to concerned countries and subregional and regional organizations.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    It is crucial that the United Nations system and the international community continue to support and assist Member States, while fully respecting their sovereignty, in the elaboration of relevant national legislation, action plans and codes of conduct, as well as in the strengthening of their institutions and the rule of law.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Secondly, it is important to adopt a comprehensive approach in dealing with sexual violence in armed conflict. Success will be achieved only if the countries concerned are also able to address the root causes of this scourge. To that end, a coordinated approach is needed, not only at the national level but also at that of the United Nations, notably through strengthening national institutions in order to prevent conflicts. In that regard, we highly value the goals of the United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict and recognize the need for its implementation.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, the fight against impunity should be a priority. We need to break the existing cycle of violence and prevent the recurrence of such acts in armed conflict by ensuring that those responsible of committing crimes against women and children are brought to justice.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Fourthly, particular attention and priority should be given to the vulnerability of refugee populations, namely, women and children, living in the proximity of combat zones or unsecured borders or territories. Restriction of access to vulnerable groups, including women and girls, who often have no registration documents, poses major risks to the efforts of the United Nations in the fight against sexual violence in armed conflict. It is important that all parties ensure that there is access to refugee camps in order to reduce their suffering, promote their rights and ensure their optimal protection.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    In recent months, the Security Council has quite rightly directed considerable energy to the fight against sexual and gender-based violence. Today's open debate on sexual violence in conflict follows a similar open debate under Rwanda's presidency in April (see S/PV.6948), and one month after the Arria Formula meeting on gender advisers in peacekeeping missions, organized by Australia and Guatemala. Although we can never do enough to protect women and girls — in families, in villages, across communities and at national and international levels — we hope that debates such as these, supported by the eager participation of many States Members of the United Nations, will translate into concrete action, and that by taking action to protect women and girls from violence their key role in our respective societies will be promoted.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    The commitment of the United Kingdom to raise awareness on war-zone rape and on the need to bring perpetrators to justice is commendable. In London in May 2012, you, Secretary Hague, launched a campaign in London to prevent rape and sexual violence in conflict zones. Last March, you visited our region: first Rwanda, where you paid tribute to the victims of the genocide perpetrated against Tutsis, and discussed lasting peace in the region. Then you visited the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where sexual and gender-based violence, tragically, remain prevalent, and reached out in order to hear from the victims of such violence. Last April, with your leadership, the Foreign Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of Eight adopted a declaration on the prevention of sexual violence in conflict, which urged every State to bring the perpetrators to justice. Rwanda commends your leadership on the issue, Sir, and stands firmly beside you as we pursue a meaningful international response.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    During the 1994 genocide perpetrated against Tutsis, women and girls were forced to endure inhuman and degrading atrocities. That memory and history inspire Rwanda in our unyielding and heartfelt commitment to eradicate sexual violence as a weapon of war and genocide. Tens of thousands of Rwandan women and young girls were raped and left for dead during the months of April to July 1994. Among those who survived, many were infected with incurable diseases, some were made pregnant, and many suffered the humiliation of having been abused in front of their families. It is deeply regrettable that many of those who committed those atrocities in Rwanda continue such practices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo today, with total impunity.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    Rwanda has been able to achieve meaningful reconciliation within our borders only by insisting on justice and fighting impunity. Rwandans have come to understand first-hand the importance of strengthening internal justice mechanisms and building institutions that enhance accessibility to justice. Fighting against impunity must be the primary responsibility of States. The international community, including the United Nations, should support national jurisdictions, by helping to build capacity where gaps exist and by providing guidance and direction drawn from a rich well of best practices in the field, including those gleaned from post-conflict societies such as Rwanda's.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    For Rwanda's part, we have adopted a range of policies to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. One of the foremost priorities is to protect and rehabilitate the dignity of victims. That figures prominently in our national action plan on the implementation of the resolution 1325 (2000). To that end, sexual and gender-based violence centres were established at the community level throughout the country, and a 2009 law on the prevention and punishment of gender-based violence includes penalties and substantive mechanisms to empower police to deal with such crimes

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    In a recent trip to our region, the Secretary- General was joined by the President of the World Bank to launch a centre of excellence for the fight against violence against women and children. This is a best- practice one-stop centre and a place where all the relevant Government and non-Government support services — health, justice and police, counselling and welfare — converge to provide support for victims of sexual and gender-based violence. Such centres offer a non-threatening environment that allows victims to take full advantage of their legal rights, as well as to begin the process of healing. As noted by the Secretary- General during his visit, “Rwanda's strong political commitment to prevent and combat violence against women and children” is reflected in all spheres of the Government.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    The Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) considers the prevention and mitigation of sexual violence against women and girls as a key imperative across all its deployments. The RDF gender desk devises training programmes to raise awareness of sexual and gender- based violence. Those programmes have been fully incorporated into the core curriculums of Rwanda's military academies and training institutions. That is considered integral to the preparation of all RDF battalions bound for peacekeeping missions abroad. Moreover, Rwanda is among the leading contributors of female police and correctional officers to United Nations peace-support and peacekeeping missions, where they combat and raise awareness about violence against women and serve as advisers on gender-based violence, sharing best practices with officers and local authorities.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    For those reasons, we support the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and resolution 1960 (2010), which emphasize that all peacekeeping mandates incorporate provisions that specifically identify steps to address sexual violence, and that should include the clear identification of women's protection advisers alongside gender advisers and human rights protection units.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    The legal and institutional framework against sexual and gender-based violence has been strengthened over time. However, as the recent report of the Secretary- General indicates (S/2013/335), sexual violence remains prevalent in armed conflict, particularly on the African continent. Ultimately, it is self-evident that the most effective means to eradicate sexual violence in conflict zones is to bring those conflicts to an end. Any comprehensive global response to the problem must acknowledge that sexual violence, while vile and unacceptable under any circumstances, is the by- product of war. Therefore, any meaningful solution must address the root causes of conflict. Furthermore, any global approach must include more effective monitoring of the commitments made by Member States to prevent sexual violence where possible and address its consequences where necessary.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    Let me conclude by once again thanking non-governmental organizations, civil society and other non-State actors for their support to the cause of women and girls and for their contribution to justice against perpetrators of sexual and gender- based violence. We hope and trust that their actions, combined with a genuine commitment by States as well as by the international community, will hasten the day when women, girls and children are no longer brutally targeted in conflicts that they did not at all create.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence is probably one of the most shameful facets of armed conflict. Despite the progress achieved since the adoption of resolution 1820 (2008), the deliberate use of sexual violence as a tactic of war is still widespread. Effectively addressing the remaining challenges requires combining prevention, justice and support to victims.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    As with any other type of violence against civilians, conflict prevention is the best way to ensure the protection of women and girls. First and foremost, parties and the international community, especially the Council, must actively seek to prevent conflict from arising and, if conflict emerges, resolutely commit to settling their differences by peaceful means. This is an ethical imperative and an objective international obligation under the Charter.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    The effective prevention of sexual violence in armed conflict also requires the strengthening of national institutions and capabilities so that States can lead in designing and implementing comprehensive domestic strategies in this domain. The international community's duty is to provide adequate support to local authorities, when requested, and cooperate with national efforts in areas such as awareness-raising, education campaigns, reconciliation and early-warning systems.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    The consistent prosecution of sexual crimes is a strong deterrent to future incidents. The United Nations is in a unique position to cooperate with national authorities, as appropriate, in strengthening national justice systems. Brazil welcomes the work of Ms. Bangura's office in this area, as well as the valuable role that the United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict can play.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    National Governments should also focus on seeking to improve services for victims. Authorities and societies must be ready to provide the critical health, psychosocial, legal and other support needed by women and girls who have been subject to the horrors of sexual violence in conflict situations.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    Brazil is seeking to do its part. Our Ministry of Defence has signed a letter of intent with UN-Women to deepen our cooperation regarding the training of peacekeepers on gender issues and the promotion of South-South cooperation on this subject. In Haiti, we have been helping to build local capacity to deal with victims of gender-based violence in areas such as health, justice and security. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, more than 400 victims of sexual violence have benefited from the Brazilian contribution to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    The international community must continue to work together to translate the increasing global awareness of the scourge of sexual violence in conflict into actual improvement of the security of women in armed conflict. Brazil remains committed to this cause.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Canada wishes to thank the United Kingdom for holding this open debate on the prevention of conflict- related sexual violence, an issue of great importance to our country, as it includes the despicable acts of rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced sterilization and any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity. Those acts are deplorable, prohibited by international law, and constitute an impediment to conflict resolution, development and transition to peace and democracy.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Canada, which is a proud member and Chair of the Group of Friends against Sexual Violence in Conflict, recognizes that women's social, political and economic empowerment, their equality with men and the active participation of men and boys in combating all forms of violence against women are central to long-term prevention efforts. Preventing sexual violence requires promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls. Prevention also requires supporting survivors on their path to recovery from such crimes, assisting their access to justice and holding perpetrators to account.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    The Security Council and the United Nations system should act systematically and comprehensively to address gaps and challenges in its work on women, peace and security, as well as to monitor the commitments by parties to conflict to prevent and address conflict-related sexual violence.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    The recent report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/149) details the global scope of conflict-related sexual violence, including many instances of early and forced marriage of women and girls. Canada is gravely concerned about reports of forced marriage, rape and sexual slavery and condemns the early and forced marriage of women and girls in all situations, including the practice of forcing rape survivors to marry their perpetrators or other family members. We welcome the efforts of the Secretary-General to focus attention on the practice of early and forced marriage in the context of armed conflict.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    The primary responsibility for the prevention of sexual violence in conflict lies with national Governments as well as with the leadership of non-State armed groups. Where those leaders fail to respond to sexual violence or are party to the crimes, they must be held to account. Often, however, Governments lack the capacity to respond adequately.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Conflict significantly weakens national justice systems, resulting in a limited number of perpetrators facing justice. In such cases, Member States could request the assistance of trained experts for investigations and prosecutions and to strengthen the capacity of local law enforcement.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Canada welcomes the engagement of the Security Council on the issue of preventing sexual violence. We urge the Council to ensure the inclusion of prevention and response to sexual violence in its mandates and resolutions and to ensure that those elements are implemented. The Council should take concrete measures to support women's opportunities for equal participation and decision-making in all conflict- prevention and -resolution processes. It must ensure the health, safety, human rights and dignity of survivors and should hold perpetrators to full account.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    In that regard, Canada calls on the Council to ensure that Sanctions Committees add criteria pertaining to acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence to their existing criteria. Further action at the international level is imperative to end sexual violence in conflict, to tackle the lack of accountability that exists for those crimes and to provide comprehensive support services to survivors. For its part, Canada is active in the prevention and response to sexual violence in conflict. For example, Canada is contributing $18.5 million to the United Nations Development Programme to support the fight against sexual violence in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition, at the London launch of the Group of Eight declaration on preventing sexual violence in conflict, Canada announced an additional $5 million contribution to international efforts to be programmed this year.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Canada urges all Member States to join the international effort and we look forward to working together to stop sexual violence.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    We agree with the Secretary-General's March report on sexual violence in conflict (S/2013/149) that national courts remain primarily responsible for investigating and judging crimes of sexual violence in conflicts, and we value the important complementary role played by the international tribunals in combating crimes of that kind. We attach the greatest importance to the contribution made by resolution 1960 (2010) in that regard, which represented great progress in establishing a political commitment to the prevention and handling of the atrocities of rape in wartime and in establishing the basis for ensuring the accountability of perpetrators.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    We also wish to highlight the work of the International Criminal Court. Its Rome Statute includes within the category of war crimes and crimes against humanity crimes involving acts of sexual violence against women and children. We emphasize the contribution made in that connection by the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, with their valuable rulings on the subject.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    In recent years, efforts have been made to modernize Chilean institutions to conform to the human rights and gender focus of resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent resolutions on the subject in a forward-looking approach reflecting our national and regional reality. This year we will be launching our national plan based on that resolution, updated for the period 2014-2018, with specific indicators for effectively measuring various types of activity. That, in turn, will be the basis for the next national plan for the period 2019-2022. The indicators represent five specific goals: prevention, participation, protection, help and recovery. They will be implemented globally and jointly, with the aim of creating a strong foundation for combating sexual violence committed in pre-conflict and post-conflict situations.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    Although that action concerns the national sphere, we also attach great importance to the enhancement of the international humanitarian response capacity and to the role of international cooperation in achieving those goals, particularly in the context of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. In accordance with the principle of gender equality, Chile has included a female military contingent in the Mission and supports the zero tolerance policy of the United Nations towards cases of sexual abuse and improper conduct in which some members of its contingent have been involved.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    The subject of women and peace and security and sexual violence poses many challenges and covers a number of areas. I refer in particular to the existence of and access to compensation and justice mechanisms for women and girls, especially in situations of armed conflict; the operation and supervision of compensation systems; and combating impunity for those responsible for crimes.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    Chile attaches great importance to the prevention of sexual violence in conflicts and to the care, protection and compensation of victims of sexual violence in conflict. On earlier occasions we have drawn attention, inter alia, to the progress made by our national legislation on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). We particularly support the role being played by the women serving as protection advisers for their work with survivors of acts of sexual violence in places affected by conflicts, and we attach the greatest importance to ending the culture of impunity for sexual violence in conflicts in all its manifestations

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    We wish to express concern, however, about the fact that in several areas it is still difficult to investigate and judge crimes of sexual violence committed against women and children because the national courts lack skills and expertise. That continues to make it difficult to bring perpetrators of such crimes to trial. For that reason, we emphasize the support needed from the United Nations as regards capacity-building in that area.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    Fourthly, I should say that in my professional life I have always been concerned with the grave problem of violence against women in general and on the impact it has on every aspect of economic and social development. This type of violence, which is particularly associated with the impunity that results from weak rule of law institutions, will surely form part, among other things, of the post-2015 development agenda that we will be debating in the General Assembly. Finally, I can state that President Otto Pérez Molina views combating violence against women as an absolute priority of his Government. If we do not eradicate gender violence we will not have security and peace in Guatemala or anywhere else in the world.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence in situations of armed conflict is an unacceptable phenomenon, a crime against humanity, and an insult to the world's conscience, as expressed through the actions of the Security Council and every organ of the United Nations. It has been the subject of numerous debates, presidential statements and resolutions of the Council in this very Chamber. Its development is built on the basic premise of resolution 1325 (2000), which is that without security for women, lasting peace is impossible. That was followed by resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010), and has culminated today in the adoption of resolution 2106 (2013), aimed at expanding the conceptual framework of the struggle against this scourge. At the same time, we have established concrete policies, including the creation of the post presently occupied by Ms. Bangura and the assignment of experts to many peacekeeping operations, among others.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    However, the phenomenon persists, as we have sadly seen in situations such as those in Syria, Mali, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In other words, the Council is acting, but, without denying the value of our proactive stance, we must recognize that our concrete impact on the ground continues to be relatively modest. The question we must ask, then, is what more can we do so that our decisions are translated into concrete action?

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    One promising approach lies in insisting more firmly that States make an ongoing priority of rule of law reform and strengthening their national institutions, including the civil and military justice systems, in order to address sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations, and to combat impunity for those that commit this type of crime. For that we unquestionably need political will, as we have heard, but we also need effective institutions. It is equally crucial to act on current situations where most of the victims of such crimes face a wall of impunity. We must act so that the truth comes out regarding the suffering of women and so that the perpetrators are held accountable for their acts. Acknowledging the truth and undertaking efforts aimed at achieving justice and promoting reconciliation are the minimum we should do to restore and re-establish the dignity of the victims.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    Guatemala's own internal conflict was resolved over 15 years ago, but there still are hundreds of victims of sexual violence committed by various armed perpetrators. Happily, and as I have already indicated, preventing violence against women is a priority of the Guatemalan State today. We recently enacted a law against murder and other forms of violence against women, and one prohibiting sexual violence, exploitation and human trafficking, which has enabled us to reform the codification of various crimes in the Guatemalan penal code. Furthermore, in a measure designed to improve the access of female victims of violence to justice, various programmes have been established in the executive and judicial branches to help eliminate impunity as it affects women. In that regard, our Ministry of the Interior, the Office of the Prosecutor and the courts, with technical and financial support from various United Nations agencies, have strengthened their capacity for prosecuting crimes related to violence against women.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    As has been done in Guatemala, the issue of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations should be reflected in concrete decisions included in peace accords, especially in matters related to security and transitional justice. We support the Council's promotion of peace and reconciliation processes and agreements ending conflicts that address the issue explicitly and thus promote respect for the dignity of victims.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    Finally, Guatemala strongly supports the elimination of obstacles to women's access to justice in conflict and post-conflict situations. That was one of the subjects of presidential statement S/PRST/2012/23, issued under Guatemala's presidency of the Security Council in October. As part of the fight against impunity regarding sexual violence, that statement also included a firm condemnation of all acts against women and girls that violate international law on armed-conflict and post-conflict situations.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    Before concluding, I would like to go off script to mention that my 13-year-old daughter Laura is with me in this Chamber. At 13 years of age I met a victim of sexual violence in conflict for the first time, a woman who was tortured and raped about 40 times. Subsequently, I have to say that I have witnessed such victims in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and Colombia. We are thus discussing an issue that many Latin American women have suffered from. I would like to say here, before my 13-year-old daughter, that in the twenty- first century the world needs freedom and dignity for women and security for them in their lives, so that no young girl or adolescent can ever suffer sexual violence because of an armed conflict or any other circumstance.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, we cannot sit by impassably in the face of any kind of sexual violence as a cause or result of armed conflict. We must combat it with every means at our disposal, not only by promoting awareness of its scale, scope and characteristics but also by taking specific actions to address it decisively.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    The Secretary-General's most recent report (S/2013/335) makes a series of further useful recommendations, but we are disappointed to see little evidence of progress regarding the very first recommendation, that is, that the Security Council should identify ways to target suspected perpetrators with sanctions and other measures in countries where no sanctions regime applies. Council members should also ask themselves whether the maximum pressure possible is being applied to the 32 parties named and shamed in the annex to the Secretary-General's March report (S/2013/149).

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    Despite the broad range of activities and efforts under way, the scourge of sexual violence remains pervasive in many conflict and post-conflict situations. How does impunity for those crimes persist? What explains the reluctance to take decisive action to address that impunity — to send a definitive signal that sexual violence will no longer be tolerated?

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    The Secretary-General and Special Representative Bangura have long emphasized that a radical challenge to impunity can only be delivered at the national level. The real imperative in that regard is the assumption by national political leaders of ownership of this agenda.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    While there has been a welcome shift towards acknowledging conflict-related sexual violence as an issue of peace and security, rather than viewing it simply as a women's issue, it is undeniable that sexual violence touches women and affects women far more profoundly than men. It is therefore appropriate that women take the lead in driving the necessary national political change.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region, which might be considered the cockpit of conflict-related sexual violence, is a case in point. On 4 June, the Permanent Mission of Ireland convened a high-level panel discussion on women and peacebuilding in the Great Lakes region. A report on the event is available on our website. At the event, Special Envoy Mary Robinson explored the opportunities provided by the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region. In particular, she highlighted the importance of bringing together women civil society leaders as part of a regional platform for peace. At the panel discussion, Special Representative Bangura described the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework as a new opportunity to tap into the vast potential that is African women. Lina Zedriga, a civil society leader for Uganda, offered powerful personal testimony and called for women to be given the opportunity to speak for themselves, saying “We are not victims; we are stakeholders”.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    In support of Mary Robinson, Lina Zedriga and women's leaders like her from the region intend to join forces to change the national political calculus. They aim to encourage and pressure national political leaders to take ownership of the issue of sexual violence and to implement the full range of commitments they have made under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework. To help kick-start the process of engaging women, Ireland is pleased to co-fund an event in Bujumbura next month organized by Femmes Africa Solidarité.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    While the greatest potential for change lies at the national level, we must all assume more responsibility and do so with a keener sense of urgency. For our part, Ireland recently published an independent mid-term progress report on implementation of our national action plan, based on resolution 1325 (2000). We are one of a very small number of countries to publicly share the lessons we have identified — where we have done well and where we need to improve. We hope that other States will benefit from the report, which is available on our website. We will focus, too, on preventing and responding to gender-based violence in the immediate aftermath of humanitarian emergencies, including through a roundtable on 28 June in Brussels that Ireland, as current President of the Council of the European Union, will co-host.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    As Zainab Bangura pointed out, it is still largely cost-free to rape a woman, child or man in conflict, and sexual violence is used so widely precisely because it is “such a cheap and devastating weapon”. Although there are many worthwhile initiatives being pursued to combat sexual violence, they are not enough.

  • Country

    Jordan
  • Extracts

    I begin by asking this: do we, as a collective membership, bound together in this Organization and by its Charter, have the credibility to offer strong opinions on this subject matter? Do we have the credibility when together we have all refused to undertake the complete range of actions necessary to ensure that sexual abuse and exploitation by our own peacekeepers, United Nations peacekeepers, be reduced to zero?

  • Country

    Jordan
  • Extracts

    Can we not be accused by others of brazen hypocrisy when we condemn in this Chamber all expressions of conflict-related sexual violence committed against women, girls and boys, and speak of them as unjust and intolerable — and we have done this for 13 years now — and then down the hall, only a few metres from here, in the Sixth Committee, we do next to nothing, year in and year out, on the draft convention on criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on mission, a draft which has been on the agenda of the Sixth Committee since 2007.

  • Country

    Jordan
  • Extracts

    Do we have any credibility when we insist that the United Nations has no business in relation to the conduct of investigations into alleged crimes committed by our own United Nations uniformed peacekeepers, knowing that in the past we, the Member States, were not reliable enough in guaranteeing that justice was done in respect of the victims?

  • Country

    Jordan
  • Extracts

    Are we credible when in 2012, the last Office of Internal Oversight Services reporting period, we still had 42 cases of sexual exploitation and abuse involving United Nations peacekeepers being investigated by that Office? By now, some seven years after we identified both the challenge and the plan needed to eliminate this odious phenomenon, there should be practically no cases at all. I do not wish to be misunderstood: if we had done everything we should have done over the past seven years to ensure the total elimination of this abominable practice by our own peacekeepers, and they still occurred, then we could accept that there is little more we can do. But we, as Member States, have not done everything, and so we cannot make that claim.

  • Country

    Jordan
  • Extracts

    The United Nations is required to set an example before our publics as an Organization that will without question pay special attention to the most vulnerable and defenceless protected persons in war, with, first, a guaranteed protection provided by ourselves, from ourselves and then from others. My intention here is not to cast doubt on or belittle the outstanding service and contributions of United Nations peacekeepers. As a former peacekeeper myself, I would never do that; I would never disgrace their efforts. I know only too well and first-hand what they do and can endure. But I also know that we have long treated those individuals who dare commit sexual abuses too lightly. Indeed, while it is they who in the end disgrace United Nations peacekeeping, we on occasion also contribute to it by our clear indifference. I hope that this debate will restart this discussion.

  • Country

    Jordan
  • Extracts

    So what must we do regarding United Nations peacekeeping? We must adopt the convention on criminal accountability as soon as possible; we must make the United Nations a co-examiner of the facts, even when the allegations involve United Nations military personnel. We must be more transparent regarding the severity and nature of the crimes being committed by United Nations peacekeepers. We must do better on matters relating to paternity. In situ court- martials for military offenders must be the rule and not the exception for sexual offences, and we must consider again the proposal that all United Nations personnel destined for field service submit a sample of their DNA to the United Nations before they embark, both to serve as a deterrent to the commission of crimes and also for the sake of possible subsequent investigations, including establishing paternity. And, lastly, we, the Member States, need to report to the UN clearly and at the earliest possible time, what judicial steps were undertaken by our authorities with respect to the alleged crimes.

  • Country

    Jordan
  • Extracts

    The United Nations, in our opinion, requires a single vehicle for the delivery of judicial and legal advice. My delegation has been saying this for many years now. So crucial is a functioning, credible judiciary to every State's existence, it is remarkable that, 68 years after the founding of the United Nations, while we have single-purpose departments and agencies for almost everything, we do not have one for this: only a hodge-podge of rule-of-law offices, representatives, units and experts scattered throughout the Secretariat and specialized agencies.

  • Country

    Jordan
  • Extracts

    Secondly, we must support all and every effort aimed at the creation of an international repository for evidence — a complicated business, we know, owing to concerns relating to contamination and admissibility. Nevertheless, we must try to set it up. We would then be in a position to better assist national jurisdictions that are incapable of or unwilling to prosecute during conflict, but would in some cases be better able to do so post-conflict. Such a facility could also be of service to the International Criminal Court.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    The recent cases of sexual and gender-based violence in countries in conflict such as Syria and Mali continue to illustrate that fighting such violence remains a priority. It is evident that sexual violence exacerbates conflict and perpetuates insecurity. It holds entire communities hostage and has an economic, social, cultural and inter-generational impact. Women are excluded from communities and cannot engage in economic activity or access markets; girls cannot go to school safely.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    Sexual and gender-based violence can be seen from two perspectives. On the one hand, we see women as victims of such violence, from the perspective of violence against women. On the other hand, however, we often tend to underestimate the role that women can play in finding solutions through conflict prevention, resolution and transformation — in fact, by using the reverse perspective, of women against violence. That capacity is underutilized, decreasing the effectiveness and likelihood of success of any peace and reconstruction process. The Netherlands recognizes that women play active roles as peacebuilders, politicians, activists and quite often also as combatants. We should listen, therefore, to the priorities that women define, and we should understand the barriers that women perceive. Their participation in finding solutions to conflicts and in reconstruction processes is indispensable.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    The Netherlands considers sexual violence in conflict as a sign of a failure to implement all the elements of the agenda for women and peace and security. In today's debate, therefore, we would like to stress four points. First is the importance of taking urgent action in key areas, especially those of women's participation and equality and of prevention, response and accountability. Another important area is national and regional efforts to end impunity, including through referrals to the International Criminal Court, and by emphasizing the importance of reparations.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    Secondly, we should give specific attention to the importance of providing effective support and protection to women-led organizations and defenders of women's human rights, particularly given the threats such defenders face and their lack of resources. Thirdly, there is a need for a comprehensive multisectoral response for survivors, including medical care, in accordance with international humanitarian law, and access to emergency contraception, safe abortion and HIV treatment, as well as access to justice and psychosocial health care services for women and girls. Lastly, and equally important, is strengthening the gender components of security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, not least through ratification and full compliance with the Arms Trade Treaty, which gives substantive attention to gender dimensions.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    Through policies such as its human rights and gender strategies, the Netherlands pays particular attention to issues such as gender equality, women's political role and leadership, economic empowerment and ending trafficking of and violence against women in post-conflict countries and unstable areas. In that regard, we are actively implementing resolution 1325 (2000) through a second national action plan for 2012- 2015, signed by three Dutch ministries and 41 civil organizations. The plan focuses on six countries: Afghanistan, South Sudan, the Sudan, Burundi, Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as on the Middle East and North Africa region. I will cite three examples.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    In Afghanistan, a group of Dutch signatories to the plan are working with a local telephone and Internet provider to start a programme connecting poor rural women and men with more modern young people in large towns via an SMS platform. The objective is keep the rural poor better informed about national women's issues and to foster dialogue between them and urban young people on issues such as violence against women and the role women can play in fighting it.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    My second example is that together with the Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women's Fund and the Human Rights Fund, the Netherlands supports many women's organizations in their struggle to combat violence against women. When women's political and economic empowerment is supported, their vulnerability to sexual violence is reduced. For example, the Netherlands has funded the Bell Bajao campaign, which combats violence against women with a very successful media effort. Started in India, it consists of small clips that are nested in various popular television talk shows and programmes such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The clips have become very popular and have spread to other countries in the region.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    In recent years, Security Council resolutions have recognized sexual violence as a tactic of war and its potential to undermine peace and security. We need to recognize that much has been accomplished since 2010. Monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements have been established in a number of conflict or post-conflict situations to collect more consistent information on conflict related sexual violence. A list of parties to conflicts that are credibly suspected of committing sexual violence on a repeated basis has been set up. A dialogue with those parties has been established by the Special Representative of the Secretary- General to obtain protection commitments and the United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict has been formed to assist national authorities to reinforce judicial systems. Last but not least, the Council has adopted sanctions against perpetrators that have been identified or that are credibly suspected of having committed sexual violence in situations of armed conflict on its agenda.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    Portugal values those significant achievements because there is no real security without women's security. The achievements will increasingly make sexual violence a liability for armed groups by exposing their leaders to international scrutiny and pressure. Another accomplishment that we value is the knowledge that has been developed on the issue in the past three years by the office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. The different dimensions of the problem are now better understood, and by better understanding the problem, the international community will be in a better position to fight it efficiently.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    Portugal recognizes that, while the Council has been quite successful in discharging its responsibilities, much more can be done to reinforce the effectiveness of our common fight against sexual violence. We strongly support, in that regard, the five-point priority agenda carried out by Special Representative Zainab Bangura: ending impunity, empowering women, mobilizing political leadership, increasing recognition of rape as a tactic and consequence of conflict and ensuring a more coherent response from the United Nations system. Those five elements represent fundamental goals that are complementary and mutually reinforcing.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    We should start to work towards the effectiveness of our fight against sexual violence by making full use of the existing tools — for instance, by ensuring the deployment in relevant peacekeeping operations of women's protection advisers, who will strengthen the prevention and the response to sexual violence. Many challenges have delayed the deployment of those advisers, even when specifically requested by the Council. That should not be acceptable. Constraints in the establishment of peacekeeping missions should not be at the expense of women's protection advisers, especially if sexual violence has been identified as a major concern in a conflict or post-conflict situation.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    Anther promising tool at the disposal of Member States that could be further engaged is the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict. The lack of capacity at the national level to investigate and prosecute sexual violence remains the main obstacle to ensuring accountability, and leads to the prevalence of impunity. It is, therefore, extremely encouraging that a number of countries have already requested technical cooperation from the Team to respond promptly and effectively to conflict-related sexual violence and to strengthen the capacity of their national rule of law and justice actors. Portugal commends the three United Nations entities — the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Development Programme — for their work in providing assistance in preventing and addressing that form of violence.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    Urgent action in another dimension of the broader women, peace and security agenda will also have a positive impact on our common fight against sexual violence. Indeed, the full and effective participation of women in formal peace processes will allow peacemakers to benefit fully from their knowledge and experience. By empowering women and upholding women's rights, we will also fight sexual violence more efficiently.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    Women are often — intentionally or by a lack of security structures — placed at risk. It is striking that sexual violence has been absent so often from peace talks and peace agreements, including those that have followed conflicts where sexual violence was a major feature of the fighting. The Security Council and the United Nations can, in general, play an important role in changing that situation. Sexual violence needs to be included in the definition of acts prohibited by ceasefires, and needs to be reflected in specific provisions of peace agreements related to security arrangements and transitional justice.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    In past years, some notable actions have been taken to combat impunity at national and international levels. Governments have prosecuted senior officers of their armed forces for crimes of sexual violence, and leaders of parties to armed conflict have been arrested and transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Subsequent verdicts of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the ICC constitute important landmarks of international justice and demonstrate that accountability for sexual violence is possible. They send a clear signal to many parties to armed conflict throughout the world that impunity is unacceptable. But they also send a powerful signal to the victims of sexual violence that no political or military leader is above the law. That fundamental political message needs to be constantly emphasized by the United Nations, and by the Security Council, in particular.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    I conclude this intervention with a word for the victims and the survivors of sexual violence. There is a need for recognition and reparation. There is a crucial need to extend affordable and accessible health services to survivors. Our aim is, certainly, to bring the perpetrators of sexual violence to justice; but also to bring justice and adequate care to the survivors and victims of such hideous crimes.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    Allow me at the outset to congratulate you, Sir, on assuming the presidency of the Security Council for this month, and to thank the United Kingdom delegation, especially His Excellency Mr. William Hague, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, for presiding over this meeting. It is an important opportunity to strengthen the Council's efforts on sexual violence in conflict situations, and to highlight the challenges faced by States in conflict and post-conflict situations in addressing that crime.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    The latest report of the Secretary-General, entitled “Sexual violence in conflict” (S/2013/149), contains many recommendations and significant information. In the report, he stresses that the lack of adequate national capacity and expertise to investigate and prosecute acts of sexual violence has remained one of the main impediments to ensuring accountability for related crimes. He also indicates that Member States bear the primary legal and moral responsibility for preventing and addressing conflict-related sexual violence, and reiterates the need for national ownership, leadership and responsibility in that context.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    In that context, I reiterate the importance of ensuring access to health care, social support services and justice for victims of sexual violence in conflict-affected areas. I also note the importance of strengthening cooperation among humanitarian actors, exchanging experiences and lessons learned, as well as initiatives to prevent sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    It is sad that today, even as we speak, many people in various countries of the world are being subjected to acts of sexual violence. In those countries, ongoing conflict has led to the displacement of populations and to increased security risks faced by refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), including the risk of sexual violence. It is clear that our Arab region is not immune to the dangers posed by armed conflict and its devastating effects on civilians, irrespective of their social group or whether they are men, women or children.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    We are deeply concerned by acts of violence that include kidnapping, rape and sexual violence in the context of armed conflict. Women bear the brunt of such acts, which constitute human rights violations. In our Arab region, as one of the most prominent examples of this phenomenon is that women in the sisterly country of Syria, who have not been spared by the brutal onslaught being waged against the Syrian people by their own regime, which has adopted a repressive military solution in addressing the demands of the people.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    In that context, women constitute the majority of Syrian IDPs and refugees. The regime's officials, security apparatus, loyalists and thugs subject them to discrimination, physical and sexual assault, violations of their right to privacy, arbitrary arrest and detention as a means of forcing their male relatives to turn themselves in. Such acts amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity and their perpetrators must be held accountable. The Secretary-General stresses in his report that in Syria, such acts constitute the main reasons why women and girls have fled conflict- affected cities, including the high level of insecurity and access constraints.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    I reiterate the State of Qatar's support for all efforts aimed at strengthening the rule of law and preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict situations. I also stress the importance of continuing to fight the impunity that hampers access by victims of such crimes to justice, security and safety. To be sure, the prosecution and trial of the perpetrators of sexual violence are key steps contributing to strengthened efforts to prevent sexual violence and protect women and girls.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    Violence against women is certainly the most brutal manifestation of discrimination, and we are fully committed to addressing all forms of violence against women and girls, including sexual violence in conflict. The protection of women in conflict situations and ending impunity remain our utmost priorities. Sexual violence in armed conflict represents one of the most serious forms of the violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Furthermore, impunity for sexual violence in conflict is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. Therefore, we advocate recognition of the importance of women's access to justice in conflict and post-conflict settings. We also believe that more has to be done to address these ongoing crimes, including by permanent opposition to the traditional account that sexual violence in armed conflict is a cultural phenomenon, an unavoidable consequence of war or a less important crime.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    Bearing all this in mind, we fully support the work of the United Nations in addressing sexual violence in armed conflict, particularly the mandates of the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict and Sexual Violence in Conflict, and we continue to closely cooperate with them. We acknowledge their active advocacy efforts, inter alia with Governments, in order to address these horrible crimes.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    The Security Council's recognition of this matter as a serious concern for international peace and security is of great importance for building a solid framework for preventing and addressing this gruesome tactic of war. Therefore, the Council has a significant role to play, in accordance with the relevant resolutions, particularly in emphasizing the importance of national and international authorities strengthening the rule of law response. All appropriate mechanisms and procedures for monitoring commitments by parties in conflict should be supported by the Council. Also, United Nations officials should be more engaged in dialogue with States and other stakeholders who may exert influence to elicit such commitments.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    Bosnia and Herzegovina is committed to promoting the role of women in peace and security through the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and related resolutions. To illustrate our genuine commitment in this regard, we need to point out that Bosnia and Herzegovina was the first country in South-East Europe to adopt an action plan aimed at implementation of the aforementioned resolution. The plan was used as sample document for other countries of the region that drafted similar action plans. In addition, my country has also adopted a gender action plan and enacted laws regulating the prevention of violence against women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    Involving women in conflict prevention and mediation and deploying women's protection advisers to United Nations peacekeeping and special political missions is crucial to building and reinforcing peace. We believe that women should play a greater role as legitimate partners in international and national efforts to maintain peace and security, which is fundamental for more effective performance on the ground. Recruiting women in the civil, military and police components of peacekeeping missions can encourage local women to report incidents of sexual violence and contribute to establishing better communication with local communities. We spare no effort in advancing this issue and, as result of our commitment the relevant authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina have adopted a policy that one-third of candidates nominated for peacekeeping missions must be women.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    We are aware of the fact that national Governments bear the primary legal and moral responsibility for the protection of civilian populations. In this regard, and with the aim of improving the overall situation of women who are victims of rape, we are undertaking efforts to finalize the drafting of a document entitled “Programme for victims of rape, sexual abuse and torture in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the period 2013-2016”, which will seek to improve the position of all victims. One of the goals of the programme emphasizes the obligation of the State to provide access to reparations programmes for victims of war and the need to provide legal and psychological support to victims and/or witnesses in court proceedings and after them.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    We recognize the positive steps in holding perpetrators to account at all levels. However, we believe that greater efforts need to be undertaken in this regard, including through the work of the International Criminal Court, the ad hoc tribunals and the national tribunals.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    Finally, we would like to point out that the international community must continue to work on strengthening United Nations efforts to address sexual violence in armed conflict, and Bosnia and Herzegovina stands ready to contribute to those efforts.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    In recent years, we have witnessed an alarming increase in the documented use of sexual violence in armed conflict, often as a method of warfare to achieve military goals. Much remains to be done in terms of an effective response. Ending impunity is clearly a central element in this respect. Unfortunately, however, we must acknowledge that, in practice, the fight to end impunity has barely begun. Effective justice for victims of sexual violence in conflict continues to be a great exception to the rule.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    The necessary work to that end is closely linked to broader efforts to strengthen justice and the rule of law. An effective judicial response requires States themselves to strengthen domestic justice systems in all their aspects, where appropriate, with the assistance of international donors and agencies. Particular emphasis should be placed on procedures that allow victims and witnesses to come forward while minimizing the risk of reprisals and that take into account the severe trauma that may have been inflicted on them.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    The International Criminal Court (ICC) also has an important role to play, and we were therefore somewhat surprised not to see the ICC mentioned explicitly in the concept paper. The work of the Court can serve in particular as an incentive for Governments to deliver accountability at the domestic level. The Court can also assist such work by providing information and evidence for use in domestic proceedings, and it is well known that the ICC Prosecutor has made the fight against sexual violence a focus of her work.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    There seems to be a major design flaw in our current national and international efforts to bring about justice for crimes of sexual violence — the voices of victims are rarely heard. This is lamentable and counterproductive, because a greater role for victims in this discourse could have a strong impact on the willingness of the relevant actors to bring about change.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    The Security Council should more often call on Governments to prioritize the strengthening of domestic justice systems, but it should also be more assertive where national systems fail, through the establishment of fact-finding commissions, commissions of inquiry and referrals to the ICC. Where domestic justice systems have broken down completely, such measures may often be the only way of creating deterrence and enabling longer-term justice. Evidence needs to be professionally collected at the earliest possible stages, a process that may be assisted inter alia by the Justice Rapid Response initiative.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    To conclude, I would briefly like to recall that sexual violence also affects men and boys, as stated in the concept paper. In this context, we would like to inform delegations about the next session of our lecture series on women and peace and security. It will take place on 8 or 9 July and will focus on the role of men as perpetrators but also as victims of sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence, wherever it is committed, is a crime against humanity. When committed in conflict situations, it is more than a double-edged sword for the victim. As highlighted in the concept note, this not only affects a large number of women and girls, but also men and boys. Without downplaying the impact of sexual violence on men and boys, women and girls are often more disproportionately affected because the impact of such acts and the consequences with which they have to live are often much more severe than for men and boys. However, no human being should be subjected to such a heinous and disgraceful crime. It is a pure manifestation of evil that cannot be justified or tolerated in the twenty-first century.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    My country has made its modest contribution to the issue of women in peace. During Namibia's presidency of the Council in October 2000, a discussion was initiated and an open debate held (see S/PV.4213) that culminated in the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000). The Council has also adopted resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010), which highlight the seriousness of sexual violence as a threat to international peace and security. The urgent question confronting the international community today is, what are the appropriate strategies to end sexual violence in conf lict?

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    The international justice mechanism should support the restoration or establishment of justice and accountability at the national level. The empowerment of women and girls, as well as the education of boys about the rights of girls and women, are some of important elements that instil nurturing and responsible behavioural patterns. We welcome the call by the Group of Eight for urgent action to address impunity and to hold perpetrators of sexual violence in armed conflicts accountable. There can be no sympathy for any person or group of persons who commit sexual violence anywhere. My delegation acknowledges the important role that the Council plays by encouraging the development of joint Government-United Nations comprehensive strategies on combating sexual violence.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    We encourage the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict to work with Governments and armed groups to seek their commitment to becoming accountable in the quest to prevent sexual violence. We also support the proposal to deploy women's protection advisers to United Missions missions, as well as to address sexual violence in the context of security sector reform. Furthermore, my delegation supports the establishment of a mechanism to monitor commitments by parties to a conflict, including issuing clear orders through the chains of command and enacting codes of conduct prohibiting sexual violence. Those who have been identified and proved beyond a reasonable doubt to have perpetrated or condoned acts of sexual violence should in future be excluded from any security institutions, or from holding positions of influence. Specific measures to impose targeted sanctions on those committing or condoning sexual violence should be taken against the perpetrators. When the use of legal mechanisms are insufficient to fight against sexual violence in the quest for justice, reforms in the administration of justice and the legislative process may become necessary.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    While this debate is mainly addressing issues of sexual violence, we must also focus our attention beyond the realm of conflict periods. However, we are concerned about the continued low representation of women in all structures and phases of the peacebuilding processes. In spite of the disproportionate impact of conflict on women, they continue to hold their families and communities together, often undertaking initiatives between warring factions under extremely difficult conditions. When included in formal peace processes, they bring their experiences to bear on the parties. It is therefore imperative that they be included at all peacebuilding levels.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, my delegation urges the Security Council to act expeditiously on the information presented to it. The paramount consideration should be that more needs to be done to protect women and girls and men and boys from the scourge of sexual violence. I support the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    We know that sexual violence is both a tactic and a consequence of conflict. It can prolong and deepen conflict. Its prevention is intrinsic to the protection of civilians in conflict, a primordial concern of the Council, and to rebuilding societies devastated by conflict. As successive resolutions of the Council make plain, sexual violence goes to the heart of the Council's mandate in conflict and post-conflict situations.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    Despite the Council's clear stance against sexual violence in conflict, we also know about the terrible number of women and girls, men and boys, who continue to be affected by it every day. Sexual violence is not just a grave concern, it is even endemic in many current situations on the Council's daily agenda: the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Afghanistan, Somalia, the Sudan, South Sudan and Syria. In the face of such violence, the international community's strong expectation — it should be their demand — is that the Council will do more. The Council's open debate on 17 April (see S/PV.6948) addressed many of the most compelling issues that we should be dealing with. Today's resolution 2106 (2013) is a further step towards ensuring that sexual violence is addressed across the breadth of our work, but in a very practical, programmatic way. That includes the consistent application of targeted sanctions and eliciting and monitoring commitments from all parties to conflict.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    Today I want to focus on the current culture of impunity. Changing that to one of accountability is fundamental to deterrence and prevention. We have recognized that sexual violence can constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity; we have recognized that States have an obligation to investigate and prosecute such crimes; and we have recognized that ending impunity is a critical part of achieving lasting peace. But the fact remains that we have seen only a tiny number of perpetrators brought to justice. That sends the dangerous message that sexual violence is still tolerated. As Special Representative Bangura said this morning, “Today it is still largely cost-free to rape a woman, child or man in conflict”.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    States have the primary obligation to investigate and prosecute crimes of sexual violence. That requires that they criminalize each recognized crime — rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization and other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity. It is not sufficient to just have those crimes on the books. Female victims of sexual violence must be provided with equal access to justice, which requires substantive rights to be recognized and women and girls to be encouraged to exercise those rights. Measures must be adopted to encourage victims and witnesses to testify against perpetrators and to protect those who do so.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    National capacity must be developed to translate substantive laws into successful investigations and prosecutions. In that context, we commend the work being done by the United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, the United Kingdom's own team of experts, Justice Rapid Response and the Institute for International Criminal Investigations, among others. The Australian Civilian Corps is strengthening its own gender-based violence expertise to complement these efforts.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    Obviously, even the most sophisticated criminal justice systems will be of little use if the political will to investigate and prosecute perpetrators is lacking. National authorities must fight stigmas that impede the reporting of incidents of sexual violence to law enforcement authorities. Investigators must be trained to look for evidence of crimes of sexual violence and to gather the evidence necessary to sustain prosecutions. Crimes of sexual violence, like other serious international crimes, must be excluded from amnesty provisions. States should also consider complementary processes, such as truth and reconciliation commissions, to supplement criminal accountability processes. Where national jurisdictions are unable or unwilling to prosecute crimes of sexual violence, the Council should consider International Criminal Court (ICC) referral, and ensure that the Council supports subsequent ICC activities. We commend the ICC on its leadership in seeking to ensure that crimes of sexual violence are not neglected in the fight against impunity.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, we have focused today on the victims of sexual violence, who are overwhelmingly female. But women are not just victims. They are critical agents in conf lict prevention, resolution, rebuilding and reconciliation. Just as we must ensure women's full and effective participation in efforts to address sexual violence through both prevention and protection, we must also to utilize their decisive power to bring about peace. That is fundamental to the Council's work.

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    I also thank the Secretary-General for his report (S/2013/149) and for his briefing this morning. The recommendations in his report are included in resolution 2106 (2013), which the Council has adopted today. Belgium welcomes the comprehensive operational framework outlined in the resolution to fight sexual violence in conflict, and is proud to co-sponsor the text.

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    My thanks also go to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Bangura, for her unwavering commitment. In clearly emphasizing the importance of national leadership, she has successfully negotiated specific commitments with the Governments of the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea and Somalia.

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    First, conflict-related sexual violence can amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. Such violations of international law are imprescriptible and perpetrators incur heavy penalties. During Minister Hague's visit to the Great Lakes region, he saw for himself how the lives of women and children continue to be destroyed every day by such crimes. We remain convinced that national courts must remain the locus of prosecution of perpetrators of serious international crimes, such as sexual violence. In that context, it is important to strengthen the judicial systems of those countries in order to allow trials to take place in the best possible conditions. The Special Representative has announced the important signing by the Congolese authorities of an agreement in principle to fight against sexual violence. In the light of recent human rights violations in the region, we nevertheless believe that the implementation of the agreement must be constantly monitored.

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    Secondly, the International Criminal Court is complementary to national criminal courts. The broad definition of sexual violence in the Rome Statute should be applied in this context. We invite those countries that have not yet done so to ratify the Statute without further delay.

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, I would also like to thank the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict for its determined and courageous actions. We also attach great importance to the activities of the intergovernmental organization Justice Rapid Response, which specializes in the deployment of the panels of experts where sexual violence has been committed. Belgium supports all efforts to build the capacities of national actors and all initiatives to aid the victims.

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    Fourthly, Belgium would also like to recall that any sexual violence is a serious violation of human rights. In that context, everything must be done to ensure that victims have access to all necessary services from multiple sectors.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    Women are a major force for peace, stability and development in society. The promotion of gender equality and women's rights represents a true reflection of human civilization and progress, and is also closely related to peace and world development. In situations of armed conflict, however, sexual violence against women is employed by parties to conflict as a means of war more often than not. Vulnerable groups, including women, bear the brunt of conflict in many situations. Sexual violence against women and their sexual enslavement in armed conflict are not only grave violations of women's rights but also a flagrant challenge to the human conscience and social justice.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    It is no surprise that such acts have been unanimously condemned and opposed by the international community. China strongly condemns all violence against civilians in armed conflict, and is resolutely opposed to using sexual violence as a means of war, as well as to any acts of sexual violence or sexual enslavement against women. We call for the full implementation of the Council's relevant resolutions and urge all parties to conflict to abide by international law and international humanitarian law, and to cease all acts of violence against women immediately. I would like to emphasize the following three points.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    First, combating sexual violence in conflict must be done with full respect for national sovereignty, and should rely primarily on national efforts. National Governments bear the primary responsibility for protecting women's rights in their country; it is they, first and foremost, that should carry out the task of implementing the Council's resolutions and fighting sexual violence in conflict. In assisting the countries concerned, the international community, including the United Nations, must fully respect their sovereignty; it is important to respect their will and the programmes drawn up by national Governments based on their own conditions. It is important to strengthen coordination with the Governments concerned, provide constructive help and avoid imposing from outside.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    Secondly, the Security Council has an active role to play in fighting sexual violence in armed conflict, in the light of its own mandate and strengths. However, it is different from the Human Rights Council and it is also different from the Commission on the Status of Women. When addressing sexual violence, the Council must not encroach upon the responsibilities of other United Nations bodies. It must effectively implement its primary responsibility, that of maintaining international peace and security, and its efforts must focus on conf lict prevention, peacekeeping and post-conf lict reconstruction, thereby creating a legal, political and security environment conducive to addressing sexual violence in armed conflict and to protecting women's rights. The various organs of the United Nations must follow their own mandates and respect the division of labour, making every attempt to avoid any overlap of efforts.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, attention must be paid to the issues underlying the protection of women's security and curbing sexual violence in armed conflict. It is important to address issues of women's rights at a deeper level, in order to promote women's full development and eliminate the root causes of conflict. Attention should also be given to improving the economic and social development of the countries concerned, in order to enhance women's status and fully empower them. The international community must increase its attention to the development of women in those countries and scale up its aid in that area. It should support capacity- building for the Governments concerned and ensure that assistance to women's development is increased in their countries so as to effectively enhance women's status and protect their rights.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    China took an active part in the consultations on drafting today's resolution on sexual violence in armed conflict (resolution 2106 (2013)), and has just voted in favour of it. We believe that the Special Representatives and United Nations missions should implement it in strict observance of the Council's mandate.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    China is ready to continue to play, with the international community, an active role in fighting sexual violence in armed conflict.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    The Security Council, through its resolutions, has developed a robust framework to prevent and address sexual violence in armed conflict. However, gender crimes remain an enduring part of most armed conflicts. The leading role the United Kingdom is playing in international efforts to combat sexual violence is therefore much needed and appreciated. I would also like to thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Ms. Bangura, Ms. Jolie and Ms. Anwar for their statements, and passionate and inspiring commitment and dedication.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    Estonia calls on States to take further political steps to fulfil the promise of Security Council resolutions on ending sexual violence as a tactic of war, and also calls on everyone to adhere to those tenets of international humanitarian law that prohibit rape and other forms of sexual violence. As to the United Nations, the next important step would be the further implementation of monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence. We would also urge the further deployment of women's protection advisers to the Security Council-mandated missions.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    Despite the increasing international focus on sexual violence in conflict, perpetrators of sexual violence are rarely held accountable. The vigorous investigation and prosecution of perpetrators are, however, necessary to deter and halt such violence. We share the assessment of Special Representative Bangura that national ownership, leadership and responsibility in addressing sexual violence are some of the most important aspects of the fight against sexual violence.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    In a similar vein, in his report of March 2013 on sexual violence in conflict (S/2013/149), the Secretary- General notes that national courts remain the principal venue for holding individuals accountable for crimes of sexual violence and that the national authorities should be supported in that regard. This is crucial, as the lack of adequate national capacity and expertise to investigate and prosecute acts of sexual violence remains one of the main impediments to ensuring accountability for gender crimes. To date, sexual violence in armed conflict has been prosecuted primarily at the international level through hybrid courts and international tribunals. These tribunals do indeed play an important complimentary role to national efforts.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    The International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda developed groundbreaking international jurisprudence outlawing rape and sexual violence during war. Investigating and prosecuting gender crimes has also been an integral part of the investigative and prosecutorial strategy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC), built upon the recognition of sexual violence as a serious international crime by the ad hoc tribunals and expanded the scope of sexual violence-based crimes in international law. The Rome Statute specifies a greater number of sexual violence crimes than the statutes of the ad hoc tribunals, and acknowledges that these crimes can be committed against men and women. It is important that the Rome Statute's gender sensitivity be translated into national prosecutions to make sure that national proceedings take into account the gender dimension of atrocity crimes to the same extent as the Rome Statute does.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    The ICC has also proven itself to be sensitive to gender crimes in practice. The Prosecutor gives priority to sexual and gender-based crimes from the outset of its preliminary investigations. Charges for gender-based crimes have so far been brought in cases arising from six of the eight situations. Estonia joins the Secretary- General in his call on the Council to employ all means at its disposal to address sexual violence in conflict, including through referrals to the ICC.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    The ICC is, however, not only about punishing perpetrators, but also about empowering victims of atrocity crimes. The Court is committed to ensuring victims a participatory role in its proceedings, and the Rome Statute contains a relatively broad reparations provision. The Trust Fund for Victims established under the Rome Statute has been doing important work in countries where the court is conducting investigations to alleviate the suffering of victims. Among other activities, it is providing assistance to the victims of rape and to children born as a result of rape. In replenishing the Fund, Estonia has paid special attention to the needs of victims of sexual violence, who are very often stigmatized by their own communities. The trust fund is dependent on voluntary donations in order to effectively fulfil its mandate, and Estonia welcomes voluntary donations to the Fund.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    With regard to ensuring adequate information, fact- finding and documentation, sexual violence in conflict remains universally underreported. Inter alia, that is the result of the threats faced by those who come forward to report this crime. We reiterate the need to take all measures for the protection of survivors, human rights defenders and journalists, who contribute to collecting information on sexual violence.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    With regard to ensuring the prosecution of crimes of sexual violence and punishing perpetrators of crimes against women and girls under national and international law, we emphasize the significant advancement in international law made by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which includes sexual violence in the definition of crimes, in particular as a crime against humanity, and note that the ICC, as well as the non-permanent International Criminal Tribunals, continue to be important mechanisms in combating sexual violence in conflict. We furthermore acknowledge the national efforts to implement the Rome Statute. The crimes of sexual violence must be excluded from amnesty provisions in conflict-resolution processes. We support the continued application of targeted and graduated measures by the relevant Security Council Sanctions Committees aimed at perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict, as well as other measures at its disposal including referrals to the ICC and steps towards the systematic monitoring of commitments by parties to conflict under resolution 1960 (2010).

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    With regard to ensuring women's leadership and the participation of women in peace processes and conflict resolution, those processes should also recognize explicitly the need to address crimes of sexual violence, as they lay the foundation for future institution-building and political and legal reforms.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    There is a need to ensure the availability of reparations as a form of transitional gender justice, as well as accessible services, including health, education, psychosocial, legal and economic support.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    We must raise awareness and combat the normalization of sexual violence, including beyond the end of the conflict, to counter stigmatization, shame and fear of social exclusion, which perpetuate the underreporting of sexual violence. We continue to underline the importance of the continued deployment of women's and child protection advisers.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    We continue to support the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict. We welcome the report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/335) and the recommendations contained therein. We also welcome the Council's adoption of resolution 2106 (2013) today as an expression of the Council's continued determination to keep this issue under close scrutiny.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    We welcome the focus of today's debate on addressing accountability and the fight against impunity. Let me be clear — our ultimate goal has to be, first and foremost, the prevention of sexual violence in conflict. In cases where acts of sexual violence have already occurred, it is indispensable that perpetrators be immediately brought to justice and survivors receive adequate support and redress. Only effective criminal prosecution during and after conflict will lead to an equally effective prevention system that can help to create long-term peace.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    Let me stress some important points and provide some practical examples. First, it cannot be stressed enough that part of any effective prevention of sexual violence is the equal involvement of women. Not only the consideration of their special needs, but also their participation in all stages of decision-making processes are essential. This also applies to programmes such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, security sector reform and transitional justice. In this regard, Germany has supported, inter alia, a regional project in the Horn of Africa to empower women by helping them to gain access to political and economical decision-making processes.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    Secondly, when sexual violence constitutes a crime against humanity, a war crime or even genocide, it has to be subject to punishment and has to be excluded from amnesty provisions. Whenever States are not willing or capable to fulfil their responsibility to prosecute perpetrators accordingly, the international community must react in order to prevent a culture of impunity, as was recently stressed at the Group of Eight meeting in the United Kingdom. Regional justice mechanisms and the International Criminal Court (ICC) can also play an important role. We also welcome the work of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict in Special Representative of the Secretary- General Bangura's Office in this regard.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    The German Centre for International Peace Operations offers special pre-deployment courses on establishing the rule of law, which emphasize the need to prosecute sexual violence and raise awareness for gender-based violence.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, appropriate medical and psychosocial support for survivors of sexual violence, including access to sexual reproductive health services, as well as access to justice and reparations, are fundamental prerequisites for the effective reintegration of women into their respective societies. Germany has, for example, funded several medical counseling centres in Congo, where women can receive medical and psychological support, as well as emergency HIV post- exposure prophylaxis. We also support transitional justice mechanisms, such as truth and reconciliation committees, and dialogue between these and women's rights organizations.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    Lastly, our full support is needed by those who are essential to the fight against the scourge of sexual violence, such as human rights defenders, doctors and journalists, who are themselves at special risk.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    Let me end by stressing that the Security Council has a role to play in monitoring the commitments made by parties to conflicts. In this regard, it can and should do more to hold perpetrators accountable. Without having to create a new mechanism, it could already make use of the tools at hand, for example by reacting to cases of sexual violence in a certain country with Security Council press statements, by writing specific letters to concerned Governments or by referring specific cases more frequently to the Sanctions Committees and, as a last resort, to the ICC.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    In resolution 1325 (2000), the Security Council called for greater participation by women in the field- based operations of the United Nations in terms of the deployment of police personnel. We are proud of the fact that India was the first State Member of the United Nations to successfully deploy an all-woman police force as part of the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Liberia, where sexual violence had been one of the hallmarks of the conflict. Apart from the effectiveness of the force, which has been acknowledged by many, we believe that the functioning of such an all- woman force has also sent a strong deterrent message to those who indulge in the egregious crime of sexual violence in conflict. By deploying women to deal with conflict situations, we have demonstrated that we can push forward the goal of empowering women to deal with the crime of sexual violence in conflict and play a major role in the post-conflict reconstruction of traumatized societies. We hope that this example will encourage others to follow suit.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    In earlier debates, India drew the attention of the Security Council to the impact of so-called militia groups on the mandates of United Nations peacekeeping operations. As the reports made to the Council since the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) show, that impact has been felt especially in crimes of sexual violence in conflict situations where peacekeeping mandates are in force.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    It is in that context that we take the view that national Governments have the primary responsibility for prosecuting and deterring such crimes in conflict situations on their territories, even if these are alleged to have been committed by so-called militia groups. We believe that national Governments should be assisted by the United Nations in augmenting their capacities to deal with this issue. That would play a vital role in ensuring better governance and the stabilization of post-conflict situations. The United Nations should focus its efforts in this area.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, I would like once again to reaffirm India's commitment to positively contribute to our collective efforts to tackle the crime of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict, in the overall framework of the work of the United Nations on peacebuilding and the prevention and resolution of conflicts.

  • Country

    Israel
  • Extracts

    This fall will mark 13 years since the Security Council adopted resolution 1325 (2000) and three years since it adopted resolution 1960 (2010). Those resolutions reflect the international community's desire to advance gender equality and denounce sexual violence in conflict. While those aspirations are the subject of frequent discussions and debates within these halls, on the ground — where it really counts — women continue to be marginalized and victimized. Around the world, at least one woman in every three has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. International resolve must be met with concrete action.

  • Country

    Israel
  • Extracts

    We cannot hope to tackle the issue of sexual violence in conflict while even in times of peace women are victims of gender bias and discrimination. The first step is to address the significant gaps that exist in many countries' legal systems. Violence against women takes root in cultures of discrimination that relegate women to second-class citizens and deny them the political, legal and economic rights that men enjoy.

  • Country

    Israel
  • Extracts

    Israel believes that women's rights are integral to building a just society in which all citizens live free of violence and their human rights are respected and protected. Israel is proud to sponsor resolution 2106 (2013) as we have with all previous resolutions on women and peace and security.

  • Country

    Israel
  • Extracts

    In certain States, thousands of women are victims of so-called honour killings. Owing to weak and indifferent justice systems, perpetrators who claim to have preserved family honour are rarely prosecuted, or if they are, they receive light sentences. In those instances, women are victimized twice — first by the perpetrator of the crime and then by an indifferent justice system. Often, rape survivors are forced to marry their rapists, and there are countless examples in which women and girls have been imprisoned for so-called moral crimes.

  • Country

    Israel
  • Extracts

    In Syria, under Bashar Al-Assad's brutal regime, the death toll has surpassed 93,000, and more than one-third of the population requires humanitarian assistance. The Syrian army and its State-sponsored militia, known as the Shabbiha, have employed sexual violence as devastating weapons in a ruthless campaign of intimidation. As described in the Secretary-General's report on sexual violence in conflict of March 2013 (S/2013/149), Syrian forces have committed rape, torture and other inhumane acts that constitute war crimes. Approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees have fled their homes. Thousands of women and children who escaped sexual violence in Syria now live in constant fear of kidnapping, assault and rape inside refugee camps.

  • Country

    Israel
  • Extracts

    As a family of nations, our responsibility to one another stems from our common humanity. Our moral imperative supersedes whatever politics, religion or geography may divide us. There can be zero tolerance for sexual violence. We must tirelessly persist until the day when women are the agents of peace rather than the victims of war.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    Malaysia is deeply concerned about the effect of sexual violence — the physical, psychological and emotional terror and trauma that it creates for women and girls. We strongly condemn acts of sexual violence against women and girls and underline the need for a deeper examination of the emerging incidence of sexual violence perpetrated against male victims and the plight of children born as a result of rape and the practice of forced marriages by armed groups.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    Without a doubt, ending impunity is critical in ending sexual violence, whether it is committed by individuals, groups or States. Nonetheless, Member States bear the primary legal and moral responsibility for the protection of their civilian populations. Malaysia therefore welcomes the continuous work of the United Nations and other stakeholders, including the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, which focuses its efforts on strengthening the capacity of national rule of law and justice actors. We feel that its engagement with relevant Governments will strengthen the latter's capacity to effectively address sexual violence against women and girls.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    In our effort to secure peace and security, we must move urgently to replace the prevailing culture of impunity with one of deterrence that promotes the need for the rule of law, justice and accountability. Malaysia views accountability as a duty of Member States under both domestic and international law. The national system in that regard should be steered towards meeting international standards in ensuring accountability and justice. The perpetrators of crimes of sexual violence should never go unpunished.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    We consider the routine deployment of women's protection advisers as crucial in addressing sexual violence. At present, only eight such advisers have been deployed in the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan. It is therefore encouraging to learn that more are being recruited for the United Nations missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire and the Central African Republic. Malaysia supports appointing more women's protection advisers, as the positive value they bring in creating greater awareness about sexual violence issues, reporting incidents of sexual violence and implementing Security Council resolutions on the ground cannot be overstated.a

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    In that context, we welcome today's adoption of resolution 2106 (2013) on the issue discussed. My delegation hopes that there will be sufficient impetus for the actual realization of the relevant resolutions, including the landmark resolution 1325 (2000), to increase women's participation in the area of peace and security. We should also seriously consider appointing more women to senior positions in United Nations missions, lest we be accused of ignoring experienced and potential women leaders in the security and defence sectors.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    Malaysia reaffirms its strong commitment to the efforts to address sexual violence in conflict and post- conflict situations. We strongly believe that the subject of women and peace and security deserves the Security Council's sustained attention. In that regard, the Council can be assured of our continuous engagement and unrelenting support for the advancement of the issue in our pursuit of achieving peace and security at the national, regional and international levels.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    Armed groups have always used pressure tactics of rape, forced marriage and sexual slavery against populations, especially women, to impose control over their communities. Those horrendous practices have also been used to force populations to move, which has led to unbearable humanitarian situations in neighbouring countries.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    In that context, I express my condemnation of the new trend of using sexual violence in order to gain illegal access to natural resources. Beyond undermining morale and trampling the dignity of the people who are the victims, those crimes also seriously undermine the development efforts of countries already suffering the effects of poverty.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    As timely highlighted by the Secretary-General in his report (S/2013/149), the failure of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform efforts in many countries has led, as we know, to violations against women. In addition, there is a risk of reprisals against the victims of sexual violence.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    Only a strong message, backed up by a holistic strategy on the part of the international community, will lead to the control of that phenomenon, which entails such disastrous consequences for maternal and child health, populations, international peace and security as well as for our people's well-being.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    That leads me to welcome resolution 2106 (2013), which the Council has just adopted and which places victims at the heart of efforts to combat sexual violence and to improve conflict resolution. On that basis, efforts to combat this scourge should be based on adequate prevention as well as on accountability, which helps to dissuade people from committing these crimes once again. Prevention is first and foremost the responsibility of Governments, particularly of security forces, which have a duty to protect their own citizens. We need to support the countries affected in establishing the rule of law by enhancing the capacity of the security forces in a substantive way and by developing their legal capacities. The basic goal is to fill the gaps in terms of their protection and judicial mechanisms, particularly in the spheres of intelligence, investigations and prosecution of perpetrators. In that regard, we are happy to see the significant progress achieved by various countries thanks to the United Nations campaign on sexual violence in conflict, which includes “firewood patrols” in Darfur and an early-warning system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    Moreover, it is important to underscore the fact that the prevention effort is also a collective one, as it transcends borders and deals with a phenomenon that poses a serious threat to peace and security throughout the world. Worse yet, acts of sexual violence constitute crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of genocide, in line with the decision handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in the Jean-Paul Akayesu case.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    This shows the importance of taking into account sexual violence in the context of preventive diplomacy, particularly when ceasefire agreements are reached between warring parties. In that connection, I support the recommendations made by the Secretary-General to establish monitoring mechanisms for the commitments entered into by parties during the good offices process, in line with resolution 1960 (2010). That also applies to peacekeeping missions and to special political missions, which should have a sufficient number of women's protection advisers.

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    Colombia endorses the repeated rejections by the Security Council of all acts of sexual violence and other forms violence against civilians in armed conflict, in particular against women and children. My country deplores the fact that these situations continue to arise in armed conflict in various parts of the world, and believes that the international community should adopt an attitude of strict condemnation and seek, through all means, to abolish violence, ensure the protection of and reparations for victims, and see to it that perpetrators are brought to justice.

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    Colombia is aware of the impact of sexual violence in conflicts on international peace and security, and believes that we must not lose sight of the fact that the primary responsibility to put an end to that scourge and to protect the victims lies with States. We believe it necessary for international cooperation in this field to be developed and implemented, not just in a constructive way, but also on the basis of an open dialogue with the Governments concerned, so as to ensure that effective solutions are found and that national institutions and processes are strengthened, while respecting States' policies and priorities.

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    Colombia also joins in the repeated condemnations by the Security Council of violations of international humanitarian law committed against women and girls, and the need to bring to justice those who are responsible for such crimes, in particular the perpetrators of sexual violence against women. We also underscore the importance of enhancing the role of women in peacebuilding and in providing assistance to victims, in particular the victims of sexual violence. It is clear that in order to ensure that those cases are managed properly, information has to be gathered by United Nations agencies on the ground in a timely, precise, reliable and objective way. In that way, the United Nations entities can address each case individually, conduct related criminal investigations, and ensure due process and follow-up, as required.

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    The resolutions that have been referred to in the framework of this debate call up the Secretary-General to conduct dialogues, “as appropriate”, with the parties to armed conflict. Currently, the Government of Colombia is holding a peace dialogue with the spokespersons of an illegal armed group. From the outset, we have believed that the ownership and autonomy of the Government are essential in this process, as an any outside intervention lacking the consent of the Colombian Government would negatively interfere in that process. When we believe support or mediation to be appropriate, we will make that known. Therefore, we are grateful for offers of good offices, and we welcome those voices that support the peace process and the international pressure to put an end to those violent acts and in particular those against women

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    Along those lines, it is worth mentioning some of the good practices introduced by Colombia to prevent, investigate and sanction sexual violence in armed conflict. For example, our National Council for Economic and Social Policy has used about $1 million to coordinate all the institutional forces within our country to implement the national public policy for gender equality and the comprehensive plan to ensure a life free of violence for women by implementing the law on reparations for victims.

  • Country

    Japan
  • Extracts

    Japan welcomes today's adoption of resolution 2106 (2013), which further strengthens the framework established by the previous relevant resolutions and contains critical operational guidance. As described in the historic Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict adopted at the Group of Eight Summit, held in London on 11 April — the early implementation of which was encouraged by the G-8 leaders last week — despite various efforts, sexual violence in conflict continues to occur in the twenty-first century, and we share the view that more must be done to address these ongoing crimes. Japan is committed to holding perpetrators to account and to supporting victims.

  • Country

    Japan
  • Extracts

    First, in order to prevent sexual violence, we need to raise the cost to perpetrators and end the culture of impunity. In this regard, it is essential that we support national Governments in meeting their own challenges in terms of justice and accountability, and that we strengthen international justice mechanisms. With regard to the former, Japan is helping national Governments to develop their legal systems and facilitate security sector reform. With regard to the latter, Japan attaches great importance to the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Japan, as a leading contributor to the ICC, believes that there is a need to further promote the Court's universality, and expects the dialogue and collaboration between the Security Council and the ICC to deepen.

  • Country

    Japan
  • Extracts

    Furthermore, the effective investigation and documentation of crimes of sexual violence are instrumental in bringing perpetrators to justice. To that end, developing the capacity of national Governments to investigate crimes and raising awareness of and sensitivity to sexual violence are both essential. In that regard, Japan believes that providing standard guidelines would be useful, and therefore supports the development of an international protocol on the investigation and documentation of sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    Japan
  • Extracts

    Secondly, we also recognize the importance of providing relief to the victims of sexual violence. Japan is committed to ensuring that multi-sectoral assistance and services are provided to victims. In this connection, we would like to mention that, in April of this year, Mr. Motoo Noguchi, a former judge in the Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia, was elected Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims.

  • Country

    Japan
  • Extracts

    In closing, Japan reiterates its full support for the mandate of Special Representative Bangura and commends her proactive engagements. We would also like to underline the important role played by the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict in fostering national ownership, leadership and responsibility in addressing sexual violence. Japan strongly supports their efforts and will cooperate closely with them.

  • Country

    Lithuania
  • Extracts

    To tackle impunity, sustained comprehensive efforts are needed at the national level to guarantee the prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence and support for survivors. The Council could make a major difference by supporting the early establishment of national reparations programmes as well as developing a more robust monitoring and reporting system.

  • Country

    Lithuania
  • Extracts

    All pre-departure training for Lithuanian military and police personnel participating in international missions includes specific training on gender issues. Lithuania strongly supports the inclusion of gender- based violence and violence against women and children among the mandatory assessment criteria for arms exports in the international Arms Trade Treaty.

  • Country

    Lithuania
  • Extracts

    The disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform processes, including stringent vetting of personnel, provide an important window of opportunity for effective justice for victims of sexual violence in conflict. Security sector reforms must include provisions on the personal accountability of the police and the military, all the way up to the leadership.

  • Country

    Lithuania
  • Extracts

    Establishing effective oversight, transparency, and human rights and gender training for security sector personnel is instrumental in countering the culture of impunity. My delegation welcomes the Secretary General's recommendation that blanket amnesties should not be applied where conflict-related sexual violence is in question. My delegation strongly supports the implementation of the zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct in the United Nations peacekeeping ranks, including the relevant provisions in all peacekeeping mandates. We call on the Security Council to use the tools at its disposal in a more systematic way, including the setting-up of commissions of inquiry, individual targeted sanctions and referrals to the International Criminal Court.

  • Country

    Lithuania
  • Extracts

    We must show iron-clad determination and political will to stamp out impunity for sexual crimes as a tool of war. Statesmen, political and religious leaders, women's groups, community elders and human rights defenders must join forces to generate global consensus on the need to end impunity and pursue accountability at all levels. By doing so, we shall give restore the voices of the victims of sexual violence in conflict and create a powerful deterrent for all those who may be tempted to resort to sexual crimes as a tactic of war.

  • Country

    Mexico
  • Extracts

    I thank the delegation of the United Kingdom for bringing this important matter to the attention of the Security Council. Also allow me to express our gratitude to the Secretary-General and to his Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Zainab Bangura, for their briefings. My country welcomes the adoption today of resolution 2106 (2013), which sends a resounding message concerning the fight against impunity and the need to focus our efforts on the prosecution of that crime as a fundamental aspect of prevention.

  • Country

    Mexico
  • Extracts

    My country deplores and condemns the recent, numerous cases of sexual violence recorded by the Secretary-General in his current report (S/2013/149). Mexico recognizes that the perpetration of acts of sexual violence in a post-conflict society impedes the restoration of peace and the security of the population, as well as the establishment of solid governmental institutions. The support of the agencies of the Organization and of regional organizations are fundamental elements in eradicating the social, cultural, economic and political dynamics that give rise to this these types of acts.

  • Country

    Mexico
  • Extracts

    Mexico commends the efforts and actions of the United Nations, its agencies and the Governments of States in conflict. However, much remains to be done in order to ensure full access for victims to systems of justice and reparation and to ensure that the perpetrators of the acts are brought before the corresponding tribunals. To that end, it is fundamental that States provide the necessary training and skills for armed and security forces in order to combat the perpetration of those crimes. Of equal importance is the training of magistrates and other agents of justice in order to ensure effective, independent and impartial judicial systems that are well versed in that area.

  • Country

    Mexico
  • Extracts

    The Security Council must continue to use all resources at its disposal in targeting the perpetrators of acts of sexual violence through the adoption of selective and phased measures through its sanctions committees, the ad hoc and mixed tribunals, and the special chambers of national tribunals.

  • Country

    Mexico
  • Extracts

    Mexico emphasizes the relevance and usefulness of the International Criminal Court and its complementary competency in order to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of international crimes, including the war crime of sexual violence. We encourage those States that have not yet done so to accede to the Rome Statute as soon as possible in order to achieve the universalization of that important instrument. We encourage States to cooperate so that the Court is able to effectively fulfil the mandate for which it was established.

  • Country

    Mexico
  • Extracts

    Allow me to conclude by reiterating that Mexico is convinced that there can be no lasting peace without justice and that there is no room for amnesty for international crimes, such as that of sexual violence in conflicts

  • Country

    Nepal
  • Extracts

    Protecting and promoting the rights of the people and ensuring inclusive development is at the core of our efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous Nepal. We are fully committed to preventing all forms of violence against women, including sexual violence. Nepal is a State party to seven core international human rights instruments, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The independent judicial system and the National Human Rights Commission — a constitutional human rights watchdog body — are playing a prominent role in safeguarding the rights of the people.

  • Country

    Nepal
  • Extracts

    Nepal strongly believes that there can be no peace and security if violence against women and girls persists. The Domestic Violence (Crime and Punishment) Act, 2009; the Human Trafficking and Transportation (Control) Act, 2007; the Gender-Based Violence Act, 2010; the National Plan of Action against Trafficking in Women and Children, 2012; the National Commission on Women Act, 2006; and other national laws provide the measures necessary to address violence against women and girls. Moreover, there is a sustained effort to review laws that discriminate against women.

  • Country

    Nepal
  • Extracts

    Nepal is the first South Asian country to develop a national plan of action on resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008). Increasing the participation of women in decision-making, protecting women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence and ending impunity are the topmost priorities set forth in our plan. We have a zero-tolerance policy against gender-based violence.

  • Country

    Nepal
  • Extracts

    The Government of Nepal has never reneged on its commitment to prosecute cases involving grave violations of human rights and to end impunity through the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms. We are fully conscious of fulfilling our international obligations and national commitments, and we are enacting laws to establish transitional justice mechanisms. Our 2013 ordinance on the investigation of disappeared persons and on the truth and reconciliation commission is currently being examined by the Supreme Court, and is therefore sub judice.

  • Country

    Nepal
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, I want to reiterate that the international community has to play an important role in ending all forms of violence against women, including sexual violence in conf lict and post-conf lict situations. Nepal stands firmly committed to ensuring the full protection of women's rights and preventing sexual violence and all other forms of violations of human rights. We look forward to working more closely with the international community in the days ahead.

  • Country

    Slovenia
  • Extracts

    Needless to say, in such circumstances social norms get stripped away and sexual attacks all too often become a weapon of war. Such violence leaves behind hundreds of thousands of victims, all of whom are left traumatized and stigmatized for life. Those hideous acts affect whole communities and remain vividly remembered for generations, as seen in the Western Balkans and Rwanda.

  • Country

    Slovenia
  • Extracts

    It is therefore of paramount importance to look beyond prevention. The investigation of cases of sexual violence in conflict and the holding of perpetrators of sexual violence in armed conflict accountable are also of great importance. Ending impunity is pivotal in addressing sexual violence in conflict. Only that can serve as a strong deterrent for such actions. In that regard, we would like to commend the work of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, as well as Justice Rapid Response, an intergovernmental standby facility of active-duty criminal justice and related professionals.

  • Country

    Slovenia
  • Extracts

    The International Criminal Court is the only international tribunal whose statute explicitly refers to sexual and gender violence as crimes against humanity. The use of the Court in such cases should be an important aspect of establishing peace and security and the rule of law, whereby special attention should be given to the principle of complementarity and to the issue of closing the legal gaps regarding accountability for the most serious international crimes. However, the most important area of focus must remain the victims.

  • Country

    Slovenia
  • Extracts

    Let us recall that Slovenia, together with Netherlands and Belgium, presented an initiative aimed at improving the international framework for mutual legal assistance and extradition in cases involving the investigation and prosecution of the most serious crimes of international concern, including sexual and gender violence as crimes against humanity. As suspects, evidence, witnesses and assets related to those crimes are usually not restricted to the territory of any one State, strengthening mutual legal assistance between States is indispensable for States, if they are to be truly effective in the national prosecution and investigation of those crimes.

  • Country

    Slovenia
  • Extracts

    Finally, let me inform the Council that these pertinent issues will also be on the agenda of the Bled Strategic Forum, a high-level strategic dialogue among leaders from the private and public sectors to be held in Slovenia in early September of 2013. A panel discussion entitled “International criminal justice as a precondition for a prosperous economic future?” will be organized, and it will, inter alia, address the issue of sexual and gender violence, with a particular emphasis on violence against women and children. We see the meeting as an opportunity to continue this important dialogue and also as a sign of my country's continuous involvement in matters that promote women's rights.

  • Country

    Southern Africa
  • Extracts

    The technical assessment missions of peacekeeping operations should, as a matter of standard practice, include an agenda adviser whose primary task must be situational awareness, analysis and recommendations regarding the threat of or acts of sexual violence in conflict. As part of a systemic response, multidimensional peacekeeping missions should incorporate a public awareness campaign at the field level that encourages community involvement in monitoring and reporting of the threat of or actual incidences of all forms of sexual violence.

  • Country

    Southern Africa
  • Extracts

    While scenario-based training for peacekeepers is essential to enhancing operational readiness and prevention, it can never be a panacea for eliminating sexual violence in conflict. The reach of the national Government throughout its territories and its ability to exercise control over those territories through its national security apparatus, including law enforcement and military capabilities, will always remain integral to preventing and arresting sexual violence.

  • Country

    Southern Africa
  • Extracts

    In closing, every effort must be made to end impunity by perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict. Making parties live up to their commitments in peace agreements, which include the prohibition of sexual violence in such agreements, is certainly one of the tools that must be utilized with fervour. The Security Council must also include measures that bring pressure to bear on perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict, especially on individuals and parties, through targeted and graduated measures, as well as for the Security Council to immediately and unambiguously pronounce on those acts as and when perpetrated.

  • Country

    Southern Africa
  • Extracts

    We concur with the five-point priority agenda of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, but we believe that priority must be given to fostering national ownership, leadership and responsibility in addressing sexual violence in conflict, thereby ensuring its sustainability. The role of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict becomes crucial in enhancing the capacity-building of civilian and military justice systems to address sexual violence in conflict afflicted communities.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    The United States welcomes this opportunity to reaffirm the indispensable role of women in bringing peace and security to countries embroiled in conflict or emerging from it. Women's active, indeed integral, involvement in peace processes and transitional justice mechanisms, including to address sexual violence, is critical to laying the foundation for lasting peace. The resolution that we have adopted today reinforces our collective efforts to prevent conflict-related sexual violence, hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes and provide support and justice to survivors. It also recognizes that national Governments have the primary responsibility for addressing the issue.The United States welcomes this opportunity to reaffirm the indispensable role of women in bringing peace and security to countries embroiled in conflict or emerging from it. Women's active, indeed integral, involvement in peace processes and transitional justice mechanisms, including to address sexual violence, is critical to laying the foundation for lasting peace. The resolution that we have adopted today reinforces our collective efforts to prevent conflict-related sexual violence, hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes and provide support and justice to survivors. It also recognizes that national Governments have the primary responsibility for addressing the issue.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    We see signs of progress as some national Governments are making justice systems more responsive and accessible to survivors of sexual violence. For example, Sierra Leon's new sexual offence law gives stiff minimum sentences to perpetrators. Sri Lanka's women's protection units provide female staff at police stations, and privacy for women to report crimes. In May, Somalia committed to ensuring the the protection of victims, witnesses, journalists and others who report on sexual violence — a necessity for strengthening legal cases and bringing those issues into the public sphere.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    We applaud and appreciate the critical role that civil society, especially local women's groups, plays in assisting survivors by providing them with medical care, counselling and a political voice, and by facilitating their access to justice. The United States is proud to support Congolese organizations that provide free legal aid for survivors, as well as training for provincial lawyers and mobile courts — courts that heard almost 3,000 cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year. The efforts of local civil society remain vital and deserve even greater support from national authorities and the international community.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    We also commend international initiatives that bolster national capacity on the issue. The United Kingdom, and Foreign Secretary Hague in particular, deserves praise for leading the development by the Group of Eight of an international protocol on the investigation and documentation of rape and other forms of sexual violence in conflict. Through efforts such as Justice Rapid Response, UN-Women and other entities have provided valuable technical support for promoting accountability by helping to document evidence for judicial processes. And the Security Council has adopted targeted sanctions against those who commit, command or condone sexual violence in places such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We strongly encourage United Nations Sanctions Committees to expand their use of that tool to fight impunity.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    We have indeed made strides in addressing sexual violence in conflict, but there is still a long way to go. More countries should criminalize conflict-related sexual violence. Provisions that prohibit amnesty for perpetrators must be put into ceasefire and mediation agreements. And it is imperative that the international community and senior United Nations officials, at Headquarters and in the field, support the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    The Security Council must continue to treat this threat to international peace and security with the utmost gravity. Sexual violence in conflict cannot and must not be viewed narrowly as just a women's issue, since it remains a horrific weapon of war that destroys individuals, devastates communities and even destabilizes countries. Above all, let us remember that sexual violence is not cultural, it is criminal.

  • Speaker

    African Union
  • Extracts

    The issue of sexual violence in conflict implies a collective moral obligation and provokes a sense of urgency, given the ongoing escalation of this crime and its devastating effects on its innocent victims — women and girls, men and boys. The African Union's efforts have focused on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in conjunction with the gender policy adopted by the African Union in 2009. Furthermore, the AU's road map for the African Peace and Security Architecture for the period 2011-2013 devotes an entire section to the topic of women and peace and security. The AU Peace and Security Department has taken concrete steps to mainstream gender into its work at the institutional, operational and programmatic levels. The inclusion of gender experts as part of post-conflict needs- assessment missions undertaken by the Peace and Security Reconstruction Department is a step forward in formulating efficient post-conflict reconstruction programmes.

  • Speaker

    African Union
  • Extracts

    Similarly, efforts have also been made within AU peace support operations to address the different needs of men and women as peacekeepers, while recognizing that much more must be done at the cultural and policy levels to address gender differences in such operations. In 2011, as part of its efforts to raise awareness in the Peace and Security Council on the situation of women and children in Africa, the AU Panel of the Wise commissioned a report on mitigating the vulnerabilities of women and children in armed conflicts in 2011. The report highlights how rape and sexual and gender-based violence have reached pandemic proportions during conflicts. Within its mandate, the Peace and Security Department has a central role to play in developing and implementing strategies on preventing and responding to sexual violence and sexual exploitation and abuse.

  • Speaker

    African Union
  • Extracts

    It was in that context that the African Union Peace and Security Council held a meeting on 28 March 2011 on the theme of women and children and other vulnerable groups in armed conflict, with the participation, among others, of the then United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Building on that meeting, given the priority accorded this issue by the leadership of the African Union Commission, efforts are under way to appoint an AU special representative on sexual violence in conflict.

  • Speaker

    African Union
  • Extracts

    The African Union Commission has been encouraged by its continued strong collaboration with the United Nations through the office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ms. Zainab Hawa Bangura, with a view to signing a cooperation framework in the near future. We are convinced that the envisaged cooperation framework will go a long way to enhancing cooperation and coordination between the African Union Commission and the United Nations as they address conflict-related sexual violence.

  • Country

    Azerbaijan
  • Extracts

    Azerbaijan welcomes the adoption of resolution 2106 (2013) on sexual violence at today's meeting and believes that it will further advance the issue. Civilians continue to suffer from inadequate protection in situations of armed conflict, including discriminatory treatment, torture, sexual violence, extrajudicial executions, mass population displacement and ethnic cleansing. In many situations of armed conflict, sexual violence continues to be used as a tactic of war to terrorize and force displacement. The increasing attention of the Security Council and the wider international community to the issue has led to the development of a solid normative framework and to raising awareness about the impact of sexual violence on its victims, their families and societies.

  • Country

    Azerbaijan
  • Extracts

    It is imperative that all parties to armed conflict strictly abide by their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. Azerbaijan reiterates its strong condemnation of all acts of sexual violence in conflict. There can be no tolerance for such acts, and all the necessary measures must be taken to end impunity. Governments bear the primary responsibility for the protection of civilians, and national courts are the principal venues for holding individuals accountable for crimes of sexual violence. At the same time, inadequate national capacity and expertise for investigating and prosecuting acts of sexual violence remains one of the main impediments to ensuring accountability. In that regard, we note the efforts of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, established pursuant to resolution 1888 (2009), to strengthen the capacity of national rule-of-law and justice actors. However, when national authorities fail to take action, the international community should play a more proactive role in ensuring an appropriate response.

  • Country

    Azerbaijan
  • Extracts

    It is essential to establish the truth with respect to gross violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including sexual violence in conflict, and to provide adequate and effective reparations. It is also important to ensure that such reparations are established through judicial or administrative mechanisms and made available to victims. Furthermore, past wrongs that have been left unpunished or unrecognized may impede progress in achieving long-awaited peace and reconciliation, and can also play a key role in the eruption of new conflicts and the commission of new crimes. It is also essential to address sexual violence in conflict through all available means, including by mandating international commissions of inquiry and fact-finding missions, as well as by supporting the implementation of their recommendations.

  • Country

    Azerbaijan
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, I would like to reiterate our support for more systematic and frequent discussions of this topic and to once again commend the United Kingdom for convening this open debate.

  • Country

    Azerbaijan
  • Extracts

    Unfortunately, not all grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including acts of sexual violence, receive sufficient attention and response at the international and regional levels. More resolute and targeted measures are therefore required to bring the perpetrators of such acts to justice; such measures and appropriate protection efforts must obviously be free of selectivity and politically motivated approaches and preferences.

  • Country

    New Zealand
  • Extracts

    As my delegation said in the April debate on sexual violence in conflict during the Rwandan presidency (see S/PV.6948), it is vitally important that the Council send a clear message on the issue of sexual violence to the entire international community and that it does so through, inter alia, the strong statements made in debates like this. We welcome the United Kingdom's concept note (S/2013/335, annex) and the Secretary- General's most recent report on sexual violence in conflict (S/2013/149), both of which correctly highlight that national Governments have primary legal and moral responsibility for the protection of civilian populations, including from sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    New Zealand
  • Extracts

    Next, accountability for sexual violence does not lend itself to a one-size-fits-all approach. The Council must be agile, inclusive and open to considering alternative courses of action. Presidential and public statements from the Council give voice to the international community's abhorrence for sexual violence and send a very strong signal that it will not be tolerated. But words alone are not enough, and, in appropriate circumstances, where national authorities are unwilling or unable to act, the Council should consider referrals to the International Criminal Court. Similarly, the Council should also consider the use of mixed tribunals and truth and reconciliation processes, and any judicial measures should be clearly victim- focused.

  • Country

    New Zealand
  • Extracts

    We also encourage the Council to include this topic in its annual consultations with the African Union's Peace and Security Council. The perspectives and expertise of regional organizations are valuable in developing comprehensive strategies for addressing accountability for sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    New Zealand
  • Extracts

    We also highlight the important role that non-governmental organizations and civil society groups can play in drawing attention to some of the worst abuses, and their related role as an important part of the accountability landscape — sometimes, as the representative of Germany has pointed out, by putting themselves at considerable special risk.

  • Country

    Pakistan
  • Extracts

    As the briefers have substantiated once again today, the vile crime of sexual violence in armed conflict is a growing phenomenon. Women, girls, men and boys are all targeted, but women bear the brunt of sexual atrocities in wars and armed conflicts. They are harassed, molested, raped, maimed and disabled.

  • Country

    Pakistan
  • Extracts

    Other forms of violence — sexual slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced pregnancies and enforced sterilization — are rampant. Such violence assaults human dignity, ruins the lives of survivors and their families, and subjects communities and societies to torture and trauma. Sexual violence in armed conflicts is used to force the displacement of populations, illegally acquire natural resources, eliminate political opponents and punish ethnic and religious groups.

  • Country

    Pakistan
  • Extracts

    Security Council resolutions over the years have established that systematic sexual violence, used as an instrument of war, is a grave threat to international peace and security. By now, we have developed a strong normative and institutional framework to fight that scourge. The erroneous thesis that sexual violence in armed conflict is a cultural phenomenon has been rejected. Yet, we know that the implementation of decisions has been slow and monitoring indifferent. Those who commit, command and condone sexual violence still, by and large, act with impunity.

  • Country

    Pakistan
  • Extracts

    Resolution 2106 (21303), adopted today, will have an impact on implementation as it translates the Secretary-General's recommendations into concrete decisions. The Security Council, by today's resolution, calls for targeted sanctions against perpetrators. It equips different bodies and entities with tools to oppose impunity, empowers women to seek redress, strengthens international political response and fosters national ownership. The Council's call for the immediate cessation of acts of sexual violence and implementation of time-bound commitments should be heeded by all parties to armed conflicts. Those calls are not abstract. They should resonate to real life situations in the Syria Arab Republic, Guinea-Bissau, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and other armed conflicts.

  • Country

    Solomon Is.
  • Extracts

    The Solomon Islands agrees that sexual violence is widespread in conflicts and is often used as a tool to deliberately humiliate opponents. A number of Council resolutions speak to that, particularly resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010), as well as resolution 1325 (2000). It is also correct to say that the vast majority of victims and survivors of sexual violence do not see justice come their way.

  • Country

    Solomon Is.
  • Extracts

    Turning to the purposes of this debate — to examine the mechanisms and processes by which countries have dealt with the victims and survivors of sexual violence — I would like to share some of the experience of the Solomon Islands in dealing with victims of sexual violence during and after a period of conflict. The Solomon Islands went through an ethnic conflict between 1998 and 2000. In 2009, with the support of the United Nations, and particularly of Australia, currently a member of the Security Council, the Solomon Islands established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Commission provided a mechanism for the victims' stories to be heard and for efforts to be made to restore the dignity of survivors of that ethnic conflict, including those who had been sexually violated, with the Commission listening in compassion and respect and providing a space for expression in a traditional society where shame and humiliation often prevent victims from coming forward. The Commission, established by law in the Solomon Islands, has since presented its findings and recommendations to my Government.

  • Country

    Solomon Is.
  • Extracts

    Secondly, while primary responsibility in this area lies with States, I would like to underscore that in 2003, at the invitation of the Government of the Solomon Islands, a regional assistance mission, as provided for under Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, and led by Australia and strongly supported by New Zealand and all the Pacific small island developing States, was deployed to the Solomon Islands. The mission, which included military, police and civilian components, undertook peacekeeping, peacebuilding and peacemaking initiatives. One of its roles was to strengthen the country's security apparatus and address gaps in the system, including regional support for strengthening the rule of law, such as institutional training of police and corrections officers and building court infrastructure and police stations all over the country. That support has enabled the Solomon Islands to conduct a strong campaign aimed at protecting victims and dealing with perpetrators of gender violence, while working with all the relevant stakeholders. We have a policy in place and are now holding consultations on a draft bill on gender violence that we hope will address our high rates of gender violence.

  • Country

    Solomon Is.
  • Extracts

    The role of UN-Women in combating sexual violence remains important, but its task in the Pacific is challenging. It has one inter-country office managing 13 countries. We continue to push for it to establish itself in more countries in the region.

  • Country

    Solomon Is.
  • Extracts

    Finally, to answer the question posed in the concept paper (S/2013/335, annex) — yes, the Solomon Islands and the Pacific have a story to tell and a model that tries to address the issue of sexual violence comprehensively through regional cooperation. I would like to close by stating that sustainable peace and stability can be achieved only through embracing all three pillars of sustainable development, and by addressing the security threats connected to climate change by calling for stronger mitigation targets to avoid the possibility that the world will reach a point of no return. Failing that, the threats we see today will continue to increase as States' capacity to respond will become more challenging.

  • Country

    Togo
  • Extracts

    Women and girls continue to be the victims of violence of all kinds during and after armed conflict, despite all the efforts being made to prevent it. The emergence of new armed groups in old conflicts, such as those in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, and the emergence of new conflicts, such as those in Mali and Syria, have undoubtedly increased the number of women and girl victims of sexual violence. These armed groups, with their generally undisciplined fighters, engage in countless acts of violence that constitute crimes under international law. We cannot exonerate national armed forces from such human rights violations, since they too harbour so-called rogue elements who commit the same abuses as those committed by armed rebel groups, particularly rape, which has now become a tactic common to all belligerents.

  • Country

    Togo
  • Extracts

    As we noted in our statement on this issue in April under the Rwandan presidency (see S/PV.6948), the main underlying causes of the violence include poverty, poor governance, the democratic deficit, revenge and the desire for racial domination and to impose one's culture or religion. This reality is common to all countries in conflict, and such problems should be taken into account by all Governments while their countries enjoy peace and stability.

  • Country

    Togo
  • Extracts

    There can be no doubt that atrocities against women and girls will continue to be committed if their authors have no fear of being caught and if aggressors are not prosecuted and punshed. We believe that verbal condemnations and promises to act are no longer enough. We must go further by seeking to further educate not only military and Government leaders, but also rebel movements. Raising awareness among the commanders of these forces on the protection of civilians, respect for international legal instruments, humanitarian law and human rights law, as well as the effective implementation of relevant agreements, should be favored and supported.

  • Country

    Togo
  • Extracts

    We must address the issue of impunity through the adoption of strict provisions. In this regard, the United Nations should assist States in developing or establishing mechanisms of cooperation through bilateral or regional agreements for the arrest and extradition of alleged perpetrators of violence against women and girls. and by strengthening the capacity of national courts, whose weaknesses with respect to this issue tend to perpetuate the violence.

  • Country

    Togo
  • Extracts

    Despite all the difficulties and the need to ensure the protection of women and girls in armed conflict and to prosecute their attackers, there is still the hope that combating such violence will succeed thanks to the commitment and efforts of the international community. We wish to commend the efforts of UN-Women, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and many international and non-governmental organizations to that end. However, their advocacy must include a plea for the universalization of the Arms Trade Treaty, because its implementation by all States, particularly those where weapons are manufactured, could make a big contribution to ending the sale and illegal trafficking of arms in countries in conflict. Such weapons fuel conflict and violence, particularly against women and girls.

  • Country

    Russia
  • Extracts

    The diverse nature of violence in armed conflict requires us to pay particular attention to all of its manifestations. We should base our consideration of the issue of women, peace and security on a comprehensive approach, as stipulated in resolution 1325 (2000). Sexual violence is one such manifestation of cause, warranting firm condemnation and harsh punishment. Painstaking investigations of all cases and punishment for the perpetrators are the keys to success in combating that heinous practice.

  • Country

    Russia
  • Extracts

    We believe that attempts to expand the interpretation of the relevant scope pertaining to armed conflict and post-conflict situations that has been agreed in intergovernmental processes and laid down in resolutions of the Security Council are unjustified. We consider that such an approach could have a negative impact not only on the work of the Security Council and the United Nations as a whole, but also and more practically on the effectiveness of combating sexual violence.

  • Country

    Russia
  • Extracts

    It is important for all structures involved in the matter to avoid excessive bureaucracy, which replaces the real fight against sexual violence in armed conflict. We consider that it is not possible to combat sexual violence in armed conflict without the active involvement of national authorities in the process. The work of the representatives of the United Nations system on the ground and cooperation between United Nations missions and country teams and non-State armed groups should be carried out with the consent of and in close cooperation with the Governments of the affected States. They should also be consulted on providing assistance or services.

  • Country

    Russia
  • Extracts

    It is important that the primary responsibility in protecting civilians in their territory be borne by Governments. Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States is a fundamental and indivisible principle of the United Nations work. These principles will be vigorously upheld when they can foster the development of effective international cooperation in combating sexual violence.

  • Country

    Sudan
  • Extracts

    My delegation would like to state that the situation of women in areas of conflict in the Sudan has witnessed considerable progress compared to previous periods, thanks to the efforts of my Government, embodied in the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement with some armed rebel movements, including the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). It should be recalled that there are a number of rebel movements still outside the peace process. They still violate human rights in areas of conflict, including acts of violence and sexual violence against women and girls. The Council should therefore send a strong signal to those movements to compel them to sit at the negotiation table and to desist from perpetrating grave violations of human rights, particularly against women and children.

  • Country

    Sudan
  • Extracts

    National programmes on rehabilitation, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration have devoted special priority to the situation of women, in close cooperation with the relevant United Nations agencies, including UN–Women. My country has had a national strategy on combating gender-based violence since 2005, and has established a unit under the Ministry of Justice to combat violence against women and children. In order to safeguard our borders, prevent the smuggling of weapons and stem the subversive activities undertaken by rebel movements, which violate human rights, particularly the rights of women and girls, we will continue to enforce the border agreement with Chad, as well as the tripartite agreement with Chad and the Central African Republic, in addition to extending the security cooperation protocol with Libya. At the justice level, the Office of the Prosecutor General in Darfur continues to look into reports submitted by victims.

  • Speaker

    Holy See
  • Extracts

    Within that framework, the Holy See appreciates the Security Council's commitment to enhancing international awareness of — and the resolve to address — the victimization of women and girls, as well as men and boys, by the heinous acts of sexual violence so often found in situations of armed conflict. A just response to sexual violence must be motivated not by revenge, which would simply perpetuate a chain of hatred, but must rather seek to build the common good. That responsibility demands that perpetrators be held accountable for their actions in order to deter future violence, while at the same time repairing the damage done to victims and the community as a whole by providing the necessary reparations, support and care, in recognition of their human dignity and worth.

  • Speaker

    Holy See
  • Extracts

    Secondly, respect for the rights of victims and offenders requires that penal processes be guided by a meticulous search for truth and conducted in a timely manner. Those accused must be able to defend themselves, and judges given the independence necessary to enable them to avoid ruling for reasons other than justice itself. Public pronouncements of guilt by the media or political groups, at the national or international level, before tribunals reach their decisions, can seriously hamper our collective efforts to combat the scourge of sexual violence.

  • Speaker

    Holy See
  • Extracts

    That obligation does not fall on States alone; international organizations such as the United Nations must also adhere to it. This is particularly important in the area of peacekeeping operations, so that those sent to protect people from violence do not become a source of it themselves. In that regard, my delegation welcomes the measures outlined by the Secretary-General in his report on “Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse” (A/65/742).

  • Country

    Spain
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence in conflict is a phenomenon that should receive more and urgent attention, and Spain welcomes every effort of the international community to continue working to combat this scourge more effectively. We also welcome the Council's adoption this morning of resolution 2106 (2013), of which Spain was a sponsor. It is particularly pertinent in that it specifically addresses the issue of impunity as one of the key components in the fight against sexual violence in conflict. Combating impunity must be addressed with a comprehensive approach that promotes an education system that promotes the dignity and equality of men and women, a social system that condemns sexual violence and a legal mechanism aimed at ensuring the protection of victims and the punishment of perpetrators.

  • Country

    Spain
  • Extracts

    The most recent reform of Spain's military code of conduct includes the obligation to provide specific protection to women and children against rape, enforced prostitution, humiliating and degrading treatment or any other form of exploitation or sexual assault within the context of armed conflict.

  • Country

    Spain
  • Extracts

    Regarding training, we must realize that in a post- conflict scenario, where legal systems are broken, it is essential that the reconstruction of national capacities includes specific training on cultures of impunity. Spain has therefore given support to specific programmes in that area through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/Spain Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund. To cite but two examples, in South Sudan efforts have been focused primarily on educating and raising awareness in indigenous communities on gender equality, while in Colombia the programme has involved training women in human rights and violence prevention so that they can later replicate such teaching in their communities.

Peacekeeping
  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Those four actions consist of, first, strengthening protection on the ground. Women's protection advisers play a key role. France wishes to see their deployment in peacekeeping and political missions extended beyond the missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Mali, and, above all, that they be provided with appropriate resources to carry out their work.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    Clear guidance on how to operationalize the protection of civilians mandate, including the protection of women and girls from sexual violence, is also needed for peacekeeping missions. We have the opportunity to use United Nations expertise, including such human rights mechanisms as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women. All Member States should ensure that the training of peacekeepers includes training on resolution 1325 (2000).

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    The Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) considers the prevention and mitigation of sexual violence against women and girls as a key imperative across all its deployments. The RDF gender desk devises training programmes to raise awareness of sexual and gender- based violence. Those programmes have been fully incorporated into the core curriculums of Rwanda's military academies and training institutions. That is considered integral to the preparation of all RDF battalions bound for peacekeeping missions abroad. Moreover, Rwanda is among the leading contributors of female police and correctional officers to United Nations peace-support and peacekeeping missions, where they combat and raise awareness about violence against women and serve as advisers on gender-based violence, sharing best practices with officers and local authorities.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    For those reasons, we support the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and resolution 1960 (2010), which emphasize that all peacekeeping mandates incorporate provisions that specifically identify steps to address sexual violence, and that should include the clear identification of women's protection advisers alongside gender advisers and human rights protection units.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    In that connection, Chile's national plan provides expanded training in peacekeeping operations for soldiers and for members of the forces of law and order and security in the pre- and post-deployment stages. It also places greater emphasis on the distribution of information on the international instruments concerning gender, security and peace, and we are promoting gender mainstreaming in the institutions performing these roles. We believe that such a policy should be the general norm for all peacekeeping missions in which the United Nations participates.

  • Country

    Jordan
  • Extracts

    The United Nations is required to set an example before our publics as an Organization that will without question pay special attention to the most vulnerable and defenceless protected persons in war, with, first, a guaranteed protection provided by ourselves, from ourselves and then from others. My intention here is not to cast doubt on or belittle the outstanding service and contributions of United Nations peacekeepers. As a former peacekeeper myself, I would never do that; I would never disgrace their efforts. I know only too well and first-hand what they do and can endure. But I also know that we have long treated those individuals who dare commit sexual abuses too lightly. Indeed, while it is they who in the end disgrace United Nations peacekeeping, we on occasion also contribute to it by our clear indifference. I hope that this debate will restart this discussion.

  • Country

    Jordan
  • Extracts

    So what must we do regarding United Nations peacekeeping? We must adopt the convention on criminal accountability as soon as possible; we must make the United Nations a co-examiner of the facts, even when the allegations involve United Nations military personnel. We must be more transparent regarding the severity and nature of the crimes being committed by United Nations peacekeepers. We must do better on matters relating to paternity. In situ court- martials for military offenders must be the rule and not the exception for sexual offences, and we must consider again the proposal that all United Nations personnel destined for field service submit a sample of their DNA to the United Nations before they embark, both to serve as a deterrent to the commission of crimes and also for the sake of possible subsequent investigations, including establishing paternity. And, lastly, we, the Member States, need to report to the UN clearly and at the earliest possible time, what judicial steps were undertaken by our authorities with respect to the alleged crimes.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    We should start to work towards the effectiveness of our fight against sexual violence by making full use of the existing tools — for instance, by ensuring the deployment in relevant peacekeeping operations of women's protection advisers, who will strengthen the prevention and the response to sexual violence. Many challenges have delayed the deployment of those advisers, even when specifically requested by the Council. That should not be acceptable. Constraints in the establishment of peacekeeping missions should not be at the expense of women's protection advisers, especially if sexual violence has been identified as a major concern in a conflict or post-conflict situation.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    Involving women in conflict prevention and mediation and deploying women's protection advisers to United Nations peacekeeping and special political missions is crucial to building and reinforcing peace. We believe that women should play a greater role as legitimate partners in international and national efforts to maintain peace and security, which is fundamental for more effective performance on the ground. Recruiting women in the civil, military and police components of peacekeeping missions can encourage local women to report incidents of sexual violence and contribute to establishing better communication with local communities. We spare no effort in advancing this issue and, as result of our commitment the relevant authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina have adopted a policy that one-third of candidates nominated for peacekeeping missions must be women.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    As reports made to the Security Council since resolution 1325 (2000) was adopted show, we have not made enough progress on implementing its recommendations. Take, for example, the peacekeeping operations mandated by the Security Council. As one of the major contributors to United Nations peacekeeping operations for over six decades, India and its peacekeepers serving under the blue flag have also had to deal with this pernicious problem under challenging circumstances. Based on our experience on the ground, we are of the view that the Security Council must make available the resources required to implement the expanded scope of peacekeeping mandates. Specifically, we require greater commitment to the deployment of women's protection advisers in peacekeeping operations.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    In resolution 1325 (2000), the Security Council called for greater participation by women in the field- based operations of the United Nations in terms of the deployment of police personnel. We are proud of the fact that India was the first State Member of the United Nations to successfully deploy an all-woman police force as part of the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Liberia, where sexual violence had been one of the hallmarks of the conflict. Apart from the effectiveness of the force, which has been acknowledged by many, we believe that the functioning of such an all- woman force has also sent a strong deterrent message to those who indulge in the egregious crime of sexual violence in conflict. By deploying women to deal with conflict situations, we have demonstrated that we can push forward the goal of empowering women to deal with the crime of sexual violence in conflict and play a major role in the post-conflict reconstruction of traumatized societies. We hope that this example will encourage others to follow suit.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    Malaysia believes that the equal, full and active participation of women is key to peacekeeping and peacebuilding. My delegation is of the view that women should not just be seen as victims, but as central to all efforts to end this global phenomenon. It is crucial to bring women into peace processes. They must be active participants in all efforts to combat this horrific phenomenon.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    This shows the importance of taking into account sexual violence in the context of preventive diplomacy, particularly when ceasefire agreements are reached between warring parties. In that connection, I support the recommendations made by the Secretary-General to establish monitoring mechanisms for the commitments entered into by parties during the good offices process, in line with resolution 1960 (2010). That also applies to peacekeeping missions and to special political missions, which should have a sufficient number of women's protection advisers.

  • Country

    Southern Africa
  • Extracts

    While scenario-based training for peacekeepers is essential to enhancing operational readiness and prevention, it can never be a panacea for eliminating sexual violence in conflict. The reach of the national Government throughout its territories and its ability to exercise control over those territories through its national security apparatus, including law enforcement and military capabilities, will always remain integral to preventing and arresting sexual violence.

Displacement and Humanitarian Response
  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence is linked to the illicit extraction of natural resources and leads to the displacement of civilian populations. Armed groups use forced marriages, rape and sexual slavery as tactics during detentions or interrogation. The plight of children born of wartime rape, about which there is little or no information available and therefore no meaningful programmatic intervention, is a matter of our deepest concern.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    It is sad that today, even as we speak, many people in various countries of the world are being subjected to acts of sexual violence. In those countries, ongoing conflict has led to the displacement of populations and to increased security risks faced by refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), including the risk of sexual violence. It is clear that our Arab region is not immune to the dangers posed by armed conflict and its devastating effects on civilians, irrespective of their social group or whether they are men, women or children.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    In that context, women constitute the majority of Syrian IDPs and refugees. The regime's officials, security apparatus, loyalists and thugs subject them to discrimination, physical and sexual assault, violations of their right to privacy, arbitrary arrest and detention as a means of forcing their male relatives to turn themselves in. Such acts amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity and their perpetrators must be held accountable. The Secretary-General stresses in his report that in Syria, such acts constitute the main reasons why women and girls have fled conflict- affected cities, including the high level of insecurity and access constraints.

  • Country

    Pakistan
  • Extracts

    Other forms of violence — sexual slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced pregnancies and enforced sterilization — are rampant. Such violence assaults human dignity, ruins the lives of survivors and their families, and subjects communities and societies to torture and trauma. Sexual violence in armed conflicts is used to force the displacement of populations, illegally acquire natural resources, eliminate political opponents and punish ethnic and religious groups.

Human Rights
  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We need to home in on lack of accountability as one of the root causes of rape and sexual violence in conflict, but at the same time not forget that women's political, social and economic empowerment across all societies is essential and that our goal must be the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    The draft resolution emphasizes the need for comprehensive and multidimensional strategies for us to meet our obligations to the survivors of sexual violence — the critical health, psychosocial, legal and other interventions that they must have to rebuild their lives.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    I would like to recall here the principles of the United Nations initiative to combat sexual violence against women in conflict situations. Rape is not an inevitable consequence of war. Gender violence, including sexual violence, is a violation of women's dignity and fundamental human rights. Attempts to halt and respond to sexual violence must address gender inequalities and contribute to women's empowerment. Women are often leaders in the process of eliminating sexual violence and ensuring peace; the constructive participation of men and boys in it is vital to the prevention of sexual violence in conflict situations. Best practices against sexual violence must be strengthened. Sexual violence in conflict situations and impunity for those who commit such crimes have been met with a deafening silence. We all have a duty to act.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    We know that during the course of history the definition of human rights and recognition of their universality did not evolve at the same time. Only a little more than 20 years ago, and at several world summits, was a definition developed — not without resistance and friction — of women's rights as human rights. Only recently, in 1993, was the legal existence of women as subjects of law recognized.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    It was at the World Conference on Human Rights, held in Vienna in 1993, that it was recognized that the rights of women and the girl child are an inalienable part of universal human rights. It was stated there that the situation of women in the world must be analysed from the gender perspective in order to ensure that the universality of human rights shall encompass the specific situations that prevent us, as women, from fully exercising our human rights.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    Based on that significant progress, violence against women is now recognized as a human rights violation in that it flouts a series of rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to life; the right not to be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; the right to equality before the law; the right to equality in the family; and the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, inter alia.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    Part of the process of recognizing that violence against women is a violation of human rights involves stepping back from views that hold that violence against women represents a kind of cultural expression or is the unquestionable prerogative of specific groups or individuals in the context of the exercise of power.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    As we move along the road to equality, a key milestone has been the entry into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. There, for the first time, it was recognized in the framework of international humanitarian law that rape and other forms of sexual and gender violence are crimes as serious as genocide, torture, cruel treatment, mutilation and slavery.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    However, just as human rights cannot be degraded to be used as a Trojan horse for foreign interventionism in the domestic affairs of a country, neither can sovereignty be invoked to cast a veil over serious human rights violations or to protect from impunity in a particular location. Argentina thus voted in favour of the resolution, in the belief that it respects the sovereignty of States and protects human rights, particularly those of women. As our dear friend Zainab Bangura has said, eradicating sexual violence in armed conflict is not a mission impossible.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    In Mali, the President of the Republic has underscored that the French intervention was in fact also based on the need to defend the rights of female victims of violence. The deployment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, the political process currently under way and the elections to come will, we hope, assist in re-establishing peace and stability in the country. However, the sexual violence committed by armed groups in the north in 2012 has traumatized Malian society. Justice must be pursued for all victims of sexual violence. They must be provided with psychological and legal assistance. The Malian authorities, with the support of the United Nations and the ICC, cannot avoid that issue.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Secondly, there is a need to ensure victims' access to services, particularly sexual and reproductive health services. Young girls, adolescents and women victims of sexual violence can suffer, above and beyond psychological trauma, serious physical harm from violence. Adolescents and women are exposed to early, unwanted pregnancies. We must therefore fully consider all aspects of that reality.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Why do the sexual and reproductive rights of the victims of sexual violence continue to be contested? Restricting access to sexual and reproductive health care is an infringement of a woman's right to control her own body. Substantial progress was made in the recent session of the Commission on the Status of Women, in forging consensus to affirm those rights at the global level. We must consolidate those achievements and ensure that victims of sexual violence have access to effective sexual and reproductive health care.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Sixthly, and lastly, comprehensive strategies are needed. While we are thoroughly committed to bringing to justice the perpetrators of sexual violence, we must give equal priority to the health, safety and the dignity of survivors. National and international programmes for post-conflict reconstruction must ensure that the needs of victims are met and their voices heard. All forms of reparation and redress must follow a victim- centred approach.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    Rape, sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence in conflict are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law and can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and constitutive acts of genocide. Ensuring accountability for those responsible is crucial to eradicating conflict-related sexual violence. However, it is a disturbing historical fact that, in many cases, national and international justice systems have failed to bring perpetrators of such sexual violence to justice. Against that backdrop, my delegation would like to commend the leadership of the United Kingdom in addressing the issue.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    We welcome the declaration of the Group of Eight (G-8) on preventing sexual violence in conflict, adopted in April under the United Kingdom presidency of the G-8. As the declaration recognizes, sexual violence represents one of the most serious forms of violation or abuse of international humanitarian law and human rights law, and there should be no safe haven for perpetrators of such crimes.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    Women are often victims of armed conflict, but they can also play a central role in preventing and resolving violent conf licts, as actors in conf lict resolution and peacebuilding. The continued high incidence of horrific sexual violence against women and girls in conflicts demands the international community's attention as a human rights matter and as a question of ensuring respect for international humanitarian law. It is an issue that bears directly on peace and security. The Council's landmark resolution, 1325 (2000), is still not being fully implemented.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence is a violation of fundamental human rights, and of the human rights and dignity of women in particular. Efforts to use international humanitarian law and international criminal law to protect women from sexual violence must be redoubled.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    We all know that regardless of cultures and backgrounds, cases of sexual violence are not always reported, either because the survivors fear being ostracized or because they fear for their lives or those of their relatives, or for both reasons at once. We must therefore make every effort to ensure protection for victims. It is also important to protect the human rights advocates who struggle daily to make the survivors heard. A crime that is not denounced and documented is a crime that can never be prosecuted and will never be the subject of reparations.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    In a recent trip to our region, the Secretary- General was joined by the President of the World Bank to launch a centre of excellence for the fight against violence against women and children. This is a best- practice one-stop centre and a place where all the relevant Government and non-Government support services — health, justice and police, counselling and welfare — converge to provide support for victims of sexual and gender-based violence. Such centres offer a non-threatening environment that allows victims to take full advantage of their legal rights, as well as to begin the process of healing. As noted by the Secretary- General during his visit, “Rwanda's strong political commitment to prevent and combat violence against women and children” is reflected in all spheres of the Government.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Canada, which is a proud member and Chair of the Group of Friends against Sexual Violence in Conflict, recognizes that women's social, political and economic empowerment, their equality with men and the active participation of men and boys in combating all forms of violence against women are central to long-term prevention efforts. Preventing sexual violence requires promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls. Prevention also requires supporting survivors on their path to recovery from such crimes, assisting their access to justice and holding perpetrators to account.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Canada welcomes the engagement of the Security Council on the issue of preventing sexual violence. We urge the Council to ensure the inclusion of prevention and response to sexual violence in its mandates and resolutions and to ensure that those elements are implemented. The Council should take concrete measures to support women's opportunities for equal participation and decision-making in all conflict- prevention and -resolution processes. It must ensure the health, safety, human rights and dignity of survivors and should hold perpetrators to full account.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    Although that action concerns the national sphere, we also attach great importance to the enhancement of the international humanitarian response capacity and to the role of international cooperation in achieving those goals, particularly in the context of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. In accordance with the principle of gender equality, Chile has included a female military contingent in the Mission and supports the zero tolerance policy of the United Nations towards cases of sexual abuse and improper conduct in which some members of its contingent have been involved.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    Secondly, we should give specific attention to the importance of providing effective support and protection to women-led organizations and defenders of women's human rights, particularly given the threats such defenders face and their lack of resources. Thirdly, there is a need for a comprehensive multisectoral response for survivors, including medical care, in accordance with international humanitarian law, and access to emergency contraception, safe abortion and HIV treatment, as well as access to justice and psychosocial health care services for women and girls. Lastly, and equally important, is strengthening the gender components of security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, not least through ratification and full compliance with the Arms Trade Treaty, which gives substantive attention to gender dimensions.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, women can be powerful actors for peace, security, and prosperity. When they participate in peace processes and other formal decision-making processes, they can play an important role in initiating and inspiring progress on human rights, justice, national reconciliation and economic revitalization. They can also build coalitions across ethnic and sectarian lines and speak up for marginalized and minority groups. Investing in women's leadership is therefore smart security as well as smart development.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    I conclude this intervention with a word for the victims and the survivors of sexual violence. There is a need for recognition and reparation. There is a crucial need to extend affordable and accessible health services to survivors. Our aim is, certainly, to bring the perpetrators of sexual violence to justice; but also to bring justice and adequate care to the survivors and victims of such hideous crimes.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    In that context, I reiterate the importance of ensuring access to health care, social support services and justice for victims of sexual violence in conflict-affected areas. I also note the importance of strengthening cooperation among humanitarian actors, exchanging experiences and lessons learned, as well as initiatives to prevent sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    We are deeply concerned by acts of violence that include kidnapping, rape and sexual violence in the context of armed conflict. Women bear the brunt of such acts, which constitute human rights violations. In our Arab region, as one of the most prominent examples of this phenomenon is that women in the sisterly country of Syria, who have not been spared by the brutal onslaught being waged against the Syrian people by their own regime, which has adopted a repressive military solution in addressing the demands of the people.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    Violence against women is certainly the most brutal manifestation of discrimination, and we are fully committed to addressing all forms of violence against women and girls, including sexual violence in conflict. The protection of women in conflict situations and ending impunity remain our utmost priorities. Sexual violence in armed conflict represents one of the most serious forms of the violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Furthermore, impunity for sexual violence in conflict is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. Therefore, we advocate recognition of the importance of women's access to justice in conflict and post-conflict settings. We also believe that more has to be done to address these ongoing crimes, including by permanent opposition to the traditional account that sexual violence in armed conflict is a cultural phenomenon, an unavoidable consequence of war or a less important crime.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    We are aware of the fact that national Governments bear the primary legal and moral responsibility for the protection of civilian populations. In this regard, and with the aim of improving the overall situation of women who are victims of rape, we are undertaking efforts to finalize the drafting of a document entitled “Programme for victims of rape, sexual abuse and torture in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the period 2013-2016”, which will seek to improve the position of all victims. One of the goals of the programme emphasizes the obligation of the State to provide access to reparations programmes for victims of war and the need to provide legal and psychological support to victims and/or witnesses in court proceedings and after them.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence, wherever it is committed, is a crime against humanity. When committed in conflict situations, it is more than a double-edged sword for the victim. As highlighted in the concept note, this not only affects a large number of women and girls, but also men and boys. Without downplaying the impact of sexual violence on men and boys, women and girls are often more disproportionately affected because the impact of such acts and the consequences with which they have to live are often much more severe than for men and boys. However, no human being should be subjected to such a heinous and disgraceful crime. It is a pure manifestation of evil that cannot be justified or tolerated in the twenty-first century.

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    First, conflict-related sexual violence can amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. Such violations of international law are imprescriptible and perpetrators incur heavy penalties. During Minister Hague's visit to the Great Lakes region, he saw for himself how the lives of women and children continue to be destroyed every day by such crimes. We remain convinced that national courts must remain the locus of prosecution of perpetrators of serious international crimes, such as sexual violence. In that context, it is important to strengthen the judicial systems of those countries in order to allow trials to take place in the best possible conditions. The Special Representative has announced the important signing by the Congolese authorities of an agreement in principle to fight against sexual violence. In the light of recent human rights violations in the region, we nevertheless believe that the implementation of the agreement must be constantly monitored.

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    Fourthly, Belgium would also like to recall that any sexual violence is a serious violation of human rights. In that context, everything must be done to ensure that victims have access to all necessary services from multiple sectors.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    It is no surprise that such acts have been unanimously condemned and opposed by the international community. China strongly condemns all violence against civilians in armed conflict, and is resolutely opposed to using sexual violence as a means of war, as well as to any acts of sexual violence or sexual enslavement against women. We call for the full implementation of the Council's relevant resolutions and urge all parties to conflict to abide by international law and international humanitarian law, and to cease all acts of violence against women immediately. I would like to emphasize the following three points.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, attention must be paid to the issues underlying the protection of women's security and curbing sexual violence in armed conflict. It is important to address issues of women's rights at a deeper level, in order to promote women's full development and eliminate the root causes of conflict. Attention should also be given to improving the economic and social development of the countries concerned, in order to enhance women's status and fully empower them. The international community must increase its attention to the development of women in those countries and scale up its aid in that area. It should support capacity- building for the Governments concerned and ensure that assistance to women's development is increased in their countries so as to effectively enhance women's status and protect their rights.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    Estonia calls on States to take further political steps to fulfil the promise of Security Council resolutions on ending sexual violence as a tactic of war, and also calls on everyone to adhere to those tenets of international humanitarian law that prohibit rape and other forms of sexual violence. As to the United Nations, the next important step would be the further implementation of monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence. We would also urge the further deployment of women's protection advisers to the Security Council-mandated missions.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    With regard to ensuring the prosecution of crimes of sexual violence and punishing perpetrators of crimes against women and girls under national and international law, we emphasize the significant advancement in international law made by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which includes sexual violence in the definition of crimes, in particular as a crime against humanity, and note that the ICC, as well as the non-permanent International Criminal Tribunals, continue to be important mechanisms in combating sexual violence in conflict. We furthermore acknowledge the national efforts to implement the Rome Statute. The crimes of sexual violence must be excluded from amnesty provisions in conflict-resolution processes. We support the continued application of targeted and graduated measures by the relevant Security Council Sanctions Committees aimed at perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict, as well as other measures at its disposal including referrals to the ICC and steps towards the systematic monitoring of commitments by parties to conflict under resolution 1960 (2010).

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    There is a need to ensure the availability of reparations as a form of transitional gender justice, as well as accessible services, including health, education, psychosocial, legal and economic support.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    Secondly, when sexual violence constitutes a crime against humanity, a war crime or even genocide, it has to be subject to punishment and has to be excluded from amnesty provisions. Whenever States are not willing or capable to fulfil their responsibility to prosecute perpetrators accordingly, the international community must react in order to prevent a culture of impunity, as was recently stressed at the Group of Eight meeting in the United Kingdom. Regional justice mechanisms and the International Criminal Court (ICC) can also play an important role. We also welcome the work of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict in Special Representative of the Secretary- General Bangura's Office in this regard.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, appropriate medical and psychosocial support for survivors of sexual violence, including access to sexual reproductive health services, as well as access to justice and reparations, are fundamental prerequisites for the effective reintegration of women into their respective societies. Germany has, for example, funded several medical counseling centres in Congo, where women can receive medical and psychological support, as well as emergency HIV post- exposure prophylaxis. We also support transitional justice mechanisms, such as truth and reconciliation committees, and dialogue between these and women's rights organizations.

  • Country

    Israel
  • Extracts

    We cannot hope to tackle the issue of sexual violence in conflict while even in times of peace women are victims of gender bias and discrimination. The first step is to address the significant gaps that exist in many countries' legal systems. Violence against women takes root in cultures of discrimination that relegate women to second-class citizens and deny them the political, legal and economic rights that men enjoy.

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    Colombia also joins in the repeated condemnations by the Security Council of violations of international humanitarian law committed against women and girls, and the need to bring to justice those who are responsible for such crimes, in particular the perpetrators of sexual violence against women. We also underscore the importance of enhancing the role of women in peacebuilding and in providing assistance to victims, in particular the victims of sexual violence. It is clear that in order to ensure that those cases are managed properly, information has to be gathered by United Nations agencies on the ground in a timely, precise, reliable and objective way. In that way, the United Nations entities can address each case individually, conduct related criminal investigations, and ensure due process and follow-up, as required.

  • Country

    Japan
  • Extracts

    Secondly, we also recognize the importance of providing relief to the victims of sexual violence. Japan is committed to ensuring that multi-sectoral assistance and services are provided to victims. In this connection, we would like to mention that, in April of this year, Mr. Motoo Noguchi, a former judge in the Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia, was elected Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims.

  • Country

    Azerbaijan
  • Extracts

    It is imperative that all parties to armed conflict strictly abide by their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. Azerbaijan reiterates its strong condemnation of all acts of sexual violence in conflict. There can be no tolerance for such acts, and all the necessary measures must be taken to end impunity. Governments bear the primary responsibility for the protection of civilians, and national courts are the principal venues for holding individuals accountable for crimes of sexual violence. At the same time, inadequate national capacity and expertise for investigating and prosecuting acts of sexual violence remains one of the main impediments to ensuring accountability. In that regard, we note the efforts of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, established pursuant to resolution 1888 (2009), to strengthen the capacity of national rule-of-law and justice actors. However, when national authorities fail to take action, the international community should play a more proactive role in ensuring an appropriate response.

  • Country

    Azerbaijan
  • Extracts

    It is essential to establish the truth with respect to gross violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including sexual violence in conflict, and to provide adequate and effective reparations. It is also important to ensure that such reparations are established through judicial or administrative mechanisms and made available to victims. Furthermore, past wrongs that have been left unpunished or unrecognized may impede progress in achieving long-awaited peace and reconciliation, and can also play a key role in the eruption of new conflicts and the commission of new crimes. It is also essential to address sexual violence in conflict through all available means, including by mandating international commissions of inquiry and fact-finding missions, as well as by supporting the implementation of their recommendations.

  • Country

    Togo
  • Extracts

    Women and girls continue to be the victims of violence of all kinds during and after armed conflict, despite all the efforts being made to prevent it. The emergence of new armed groups in old conflicts, such as those in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, and the emergence of new conflicts, such as those in Mali and Syria, have undoubtedly increased the number of women and girl victims of sexual violence. These armed groups, with their generally undisciplined fighters, engage in countless acts of violence that constitute crimes under international law. We cannot exonerate national armed forces from such human rights violations, since they too harbour so-called rogue elements who commit the same abuses as those committed by armed rebel groups, particularly rape, which has now become a tactic common to all belligerents.

  • Country

    Togo
  • Extracts

    There can be no doubt that atrocities against women and girls will continue to be committed if their authors have no fear of being caught and if aggressors are not prosecuted and punshed. We believe that verbal condemnations and promises to act are no longer enough. We must go further by seeking to further educate not only military and Government leaders, but also rebel movements. Raising awareness among the commanders of these forces on the protection of civilians, respect for international legal instruments, humanitarian law and human rights law, as well as the effective implementation of relevant agreements, should be favored and supported.

  • Country

    Sudan
  • Extracts

    National programmes on rehabilitation, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration have devoted special priority to the situation of women, in close cooperation with the relevant United Nations agencies, including UN–Women. My country has had a national strategy on combating gender-based violence since 2005, and has established a unit under the Ministry of Justice to combat violence against women and children. In order to safeguard our borders, prevent the smuggling of weapons and stem the subversive activities undertaken by rebel movements, which violate human rights, particularly the rights of women and girls, we will continue to enforce the border agreement with Chad, as well as the tripartite agreement with Chad and the Central African Republic, in addition to extending the security cooperation protocol with Libya. At the justice level, the Office of the Prosecutor General in Darfur continues to look into reports submitted by victims.

Justice, Rule of Law and Security Sector Reform
  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    In conflicts in nearly every corner of the globe, rape is used systematically and ruthlessly in the almost certain knowledge that there will be no consequences for the perpetrators. If the international community does not address this culture of impunity, millions more women, children and men could well be subjected to the same appalling treatment, now and in the conflicts of the future. The lead we set and the action we take therefore has the potential to save lives and change the course of events around the world; nothing less than that should be our ambition

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    I am appalled that the vast majority of survivors never receive justice, support or recognition despite years and even decades of waiting, and that it is the victims, not the perpetrators, who still bear the shame and stigma.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We have seen the world over that unresolved grievances fuel further cycles of violence and conflict. Where there is no justice or dignity, the seeds of future violence are sown. A new consciousness of this issue and strong action to protect women and children must run throughout all the Security Council's peacebuilding efforts.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    For example, the United Kingdom is now taking the lead in developing a new international protocol on the investigation and documentation of rape and sexual violence in conflict, working with experts from all over the world. Its aim is to increase the number of successful prosecutions by setting out practical standards for the investigation and documentation of such crimes, so that the strongest possible evidence is collected and survivors are cared for sensitively.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    Resolution 2106 (2013), which we have just adopted today, sends a powerful signal to the world of leadership from the Security Council. It recognizes the commitments made in the G-8 declaration, which will add to the international momentum that has begun to gather but which must now become unstoppable. It recognizes the responsibility of national Governments to uphold human rights and the rule of law in their countries, and it will expand the tools available to Ms. Bangura to work with them, notably the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia, which have shown great courage in signing joint communiqués with the United Nations.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    The resolution also recognizes that effective investigation and documentation of sexual violence in armed conflict is vital to bringing perpetrators to justice and ensuring recourse to justice for survivors, and I hope that the new international protocol will be able to make a difference in that area.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We need to home in on lack of accountability as one of the root causes of rape and sexual violence in conflict, but at the same time not forget that women's political, social and economic empowerment across all societies is essential and that our goal must be the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the guns may have fallen silent 20 years ago, but for the survivors of sexual violence the war has not ended. Their battle continues as they struggle with physical and psychological injuries, stigma and isolation, poverty and destitution. That is what I have witnessed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in many other countries devastated by war. Conflict- related sexual violence, when left unaddressed by justice and reparations, can have a profound impact on the sustainability of peace and the prospects for developments.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    Since taking office, in September 2012, I have placed particular emphasis on engaging national stakeholders in order to foster national ownership, leadership and responsibility. My experience to date reinforces my belief that it is at the country level that will and resolve are most urgently required to implement national legislation, strengthen institutions for the prosecution of crimes of sexual violence and to enhance capacity to care for survivors

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    That is why the theme of today's debate — combating impunity for sexual violence — is of the utmost relevance and urgency. By focusing on impunity, we make a more concerted effort to put the spotlight on the perpetrators, that is, on those who commit, or command, or condone sexual violence in conflicts. In so doing, we begin to re-direct the stigma and the consequences of sexual violence from the survivors to the perpetrators.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    The draft resolution emphasizes that sexual violence must be specifically reflected in other critical peace and security processes and arrangements, such as security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes. That includes ensuring that those who commit, command or condone sexual violence be vetted and excluded from positions of influence and power.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    To the contrary, the resolutions of the Security Council affirm that this crime, when committed systematically and used as a tool of war, is a fundamental threat to the maintenance of international peace and security, and as such requires an operational, security and justice response. That paradigm shift requires a new approach to attack the scourge of war-time rape. Among other things, it compels us to expand the circle of stakeholders beyond the traditional gender experts, to also engage uniformed peacekeepers, mediators, ceasefire monitors, war-crime prosecutors and the full range of civilian-protection and justice-sector actors.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    Twenty years ago, the United Nations provided irrefutable evidence that the widespread and systematic rape of women, girls and men was being perpetrated in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. That led to unprecedented advances in international jurisprudence — the recognition of rape as a war crime and crime against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunals established for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    Two weeks ago, I visited Bosnia and Herzegovina, where an estimated 50,000 women were targeted with rape and other forms of sexual violence during four years of conflict. But 20 years after peace was re-established, impunity for those crimes still reigns. There have been only a handful of prosecutions. While the perpetrators have enjoyed the fruits of peace and have been free to rebuild their lives, their victims continue to work in the shadows and in shame, unable to lay the past to rest and to move forward.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    Six years later, the focus on the human rights approach and the gender perspective was to imbue the most important instrument of international criminal law: the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    Based on that significant progress, violence against women is now recognized as a human rights violation in that it flouts a series of rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to life; the right not to be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; the right to equality before the law; the right to equality in the family; and the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, inter alia.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    We know that violence against women is woven into the social fabric and pervades not only judicial systems but also the way in which we see the world and relationships between human beings in time of peace and in time of armed conflict.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    Such vulnerability is particularly acute in the field of criminal procedural law, where a perverse cycle of victimization of women occurs. In cases of sexual violence, victims are routinely interrogated about their participation in the crime; they are exposed to unacceptable standards of proof; their lives are investigated and assessed; their testimony is minimized or rejected; and their claims are silenced. Today, gender discrimination has reached the level of juris et de jure presumptions of law, with real and discriminatory effects.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    We all know that one of the elements used to legitimize such acts has been the concept of the sexual honour of women as being the basis of male honour. Hence sexual violence against women, sexual slavery and forced pregnancy become acts that are justifiable in time of armed conflict, on the basis of the argument that they meet the needs of men. Faced with this horrifying reality, we as women are throughout the world turning our sorrow into strength to demand that our human rights be respected and that an end be put to impunity.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    As we move along the road to equality, a key milestone has been the entry into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. There, for the first time, it was recognized in the framework of international humanitarian law that rape and other forms of sexual and gender violence are crimes as serious as genocide, torture, cruel treatment, mutilation and slavery.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    That was also a turning point in the context of impunity — against impunity in law, which has its origins in norms such as amnesties, and impunity in act, which runs the gamut from complicity on the part of public power, to the passivity of investigators, to selectivity or corruption on the part of the judiciary.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    Those important advances are without a doubt the result of the jurisprudence of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the statements condemning sexual violence against women made at Beijing and Vienna, and the active participation of the women's movement.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    There has also been judicial progress. The ad hoc tribunals established by the Council and the International Criminal Court (ICC) have gradually included sexual violence as crimes under their jurisdiction. The recognition of sexual violence, in particular rape, as a war crime, crime against humanity or possibly genocide represents a major step forward; it is an effective tool in the fight against impunity and a deterrent, which is exactly what we are seeking.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    We should like to see United Nations reports, particularly that of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as the information conveyed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which contains tangible information on the crimes I have just described, to militate for a swift referral to the International Criminal Court. The perpetrators of those crimes must understand that they will be punished in a manner commensurate with their savagery. France also supports the principle of women's participation in terms of the Geneva II discussions on Syria.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    In Mali, the President of the Republic has underscored that the French intervention was in fact also based on the need to defend the rights of female victims of violence. The deployment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, the political process currently under way and the elections to come will, we hope, assist in re-establishing peace and stability in the country. However, the sexual violence committed by armed groups in the north in 2012 has traumatized Malian society. Justice must be pursued for all victims of sexual violence. They must be provided with psychological and legal assistance. The Malian authorities, with the support of the United Nations and the ICC, cannot avoid that issue.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    In my opinion, and in conclusion, four actions must be continued in the fight against sexual violence. These four actions seek four goals, the so-called “four Ps” rule: preventing violence, protecting victims, prosecuting perpetrators, and women's participation in the peace and reconstruction process.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, we must take to the fight against impunity with earnest; stigma and shame must switch sides so that the victims are no longer those who suffer the consequences of the crimes. That task falls above all to Governments, which have the responsibility to prosecute and punish. However, as has been said, if the State is unable to so act, the International Criminal Court, which is universal, must and should play its role

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    It is commendable that the Council continues to focus on how best to achieve effective justice for crimes of sexual violence in conflict in order to end impunity, formally investigate and prosecute persons responsible for such crimes and grave violations, prevent their recurrence and seek justice and peace.

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    In that context, Armenia also attaches the utmost importance to the promotion of justice and the rule of law, as those values are indispensable for the maintenance of international and regional security and the protection of human rights. A consensus has emerged that the rule of law should be promoted at both the national and the international levels and should be based on the Charter of the United Nations, the norms of international law and the principle of good governance. We therefore share the views expressed by Council members and other speakers calling for more systematic attention to impunity and justice. We also agree that increased efforts to fight impunity at the national and international levels are essential.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Domestic efforts must be complemented by effective international prosecutions; United Nations interventions empowered to engage militias and other perpetrators of these crimes; effective protection mechanisms for civilians, including those targeting sexual violence; cooperative regional bodies; and, above all, compliance by the United Nations and Member States with their collective resolutions and recommendations on security, women, peace and the prevention of and response to acts of sexual violence.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    However, there are also challenges at the national level when attempting to prosecute conflict-related crimes, including sexual violence. These can include lack of jurisdiction for the prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity, perhaps a lack of familiarity of the judiciary with the provisions relating to sexual violence, ongoing myths regarding sexualized violence and, sometimes, one-sided prosecutions depending on the outcome of the conflict. There can also be challenges related to the practice and administration of justice, and in Uganda, this has meant a lack of court reporters, professional interpreters and the management of transcripts.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    In the past decade of our work, the Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice has worked with thousands of victims/survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and monitored accountability for such crimes in several conflict or post-conflict countries. With more than 6,000 grass-roots members and partners within armed conflict situations, we are aware of the demand from local communities for a reduction in impunity and more frequent domestic trials for perpetrators responsible for committing sexual violence and other grave crimes. Drawing on all of this work, there are three observations I would like to offer today regarding accountability for sexual violence in armed conflicts.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Let me again draw on our experience in Uganda. In 2011, the International Crimes Division within Uganda became operational, with the jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in compliance with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The creation of that domestic war crimes court was welcomed by large sections of the community, in particular women's rights and peace advocates, who described the court as comforting for victims and a milestone in raising hopes and expectations for the realization of justice and meaningful peace

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Since then, the Ugandan court has adopted some of the procedures practiced by the ICC, including the use of redacted statements to support witness safety in proceedings and in the practices regarding the disclosure of evidence. These processes are new under the Ugandan rules of procedure and are helping to strengthen the understanding that successful witness and victim protection is at the core of any efficient investigation and prosecution.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Some of these issues are resource and capacity- related, which leads me to my third observation, which is that the scale of sexual violence crimes committed during armed conflict is beyond the capacity of any national judicial system to address on its own.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    The first is that it is well documented that the commission of rape and other forms of sexual violence intensify and increase during times of civil war and armed conflicts, and yet too often impunity for these crimes continues to be guaranteed through amnesty laws. Let me provide an example from Uganda.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    The paucity of domestic prosecutions for crimes of sexual violence, the limited volume of international prosecutions for these crimes and the scale worldwide of crimes of sexualized violence, particularly in situations of armed conflict, continue to leave an impunity gap so distinct that in recent years it has become the focus of several Security Council resolutions. The attention given by the Council to sexual violence is necessary and urgent, and with developments such as the United Kingdom's Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, the United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict and the work of the International Criminal Court, attention to this issue is becoming increasingly strategic.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    The second observation we would like to make is that leadership on accountability for conflict-related crimes, including sexual violence, must be provided at the national level, with priority given to resourcing, adequate legislation prohibiting acts of sexual violence and capacity-building for police, investigators, lawyers and judges regarding the adjudication of these crimes. The inclusion of credible national prosecutions for conflict-related crimes, including acts of sexual violence, within the basket of accountability and reconciliation initiatives is crucial for locating justice in proximity to victims. Just as crucial is that domestic courts prosecuting these international crimes do so in compliance with the established international standards.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Under the Ugandan Amnesty Act of 2000, complete amnesty was extended to members of the LRA on the condition that they report to a designated area, surrender their weapons and make a declaration renouncing and abandoning involvement in the war or armed rebellion. Unfortunately, there were no conditions regarding truth-telling; individuals were not required to make a full declaration of the acts they had committed or the incidents they might have witnessed; and no crimes, including sexual violence, were excluded from qualification under the amnesty regime. Victims did not even receive an apology through this process. The granting of amnesty guaranteed impunity and therefore did not shift the stigma of shame away from the survivors to the perpetrators of these crimes. The pardoning facility under the Amnesty Act was dissolved last year, but while in existence, it provided blanket immunity from prosecution for sexual violence and other crimes for the entire period of the Ugandan LRA conflict.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    We appreciate the focus of this debate on impunity for crimes of sexual violence. Impunity makes those responsible for crimes confident enough to use sexual violence as a tactic of war. Impunity takes away any hope for justice from victims and survivors. Impunity is a stumbling block in rebuilding peaceful societies after conflicts. In order to make a full contribution to our discussion, I will focus on six specific points.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, sexual violence should be addressed in peace agreements. Sexual violence should be included in the definition of acts prohibited by ceasefires. The principle of no amnesty for the perpetrators for crimes of sexual violence should always be respected. The participation of women in peace negotiations and ceasefires are the best way to ensure that these issues are not traded off for other agendas.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Fourthly, national authorities should be supported in their efforts to fight against impunity. Governments have the primary responsibility to protect their populations from sexual violence and to ensure that justice is done. The international community must stand ready to provide technical assistance and capacity- building, and to help strengthen the rule of law. The United Nations has a key role to play, as proven by the work done by the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict. Peacekeepers shouldd be trained and tasked with investigating crimes of sexual violence. Cooperation with civil society organizations, particularly those led by women, is also essential.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Fifthly, cooperation should be enhanced between the Security Council and the International Criminal Court (ICC), in particular when dealing with cases of sexual violence. The perpetrators of large-scale sexual violence should never benefit from differences of opinion within the Council on a specific situation. Well-documented crimes should act as a clear basis for fast-track referrals by the Council to the ICC.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    To conclude, today we must all send a strong message to the perpetrators of sexual violence. They must know that sexual violence is not cost-free. The more seriously we endeavour to make this message a reality, the closer we will come to finally relegating rape in war to history books.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    Rape, sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence in conflict are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law and can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and constitutive acts of genocide. Ensuring accountability for those responsible is crucial to eradicating conflict-related sexual violence. However, it is a disturbing historical fact that, in many cases, national and international justice systems have failed to bring perpetrators of such sexual violence to justice. Against that backdrop, my delegation would like to commend the leadership of the United Kingdom in addressing the issue.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    We believe that political will is crucial. The lack of adequate national capacity to investigate and prosecute sexual violence may also be one of the main challenges to ensuring accountability for crimes of conflict-related sexual violence. We welcome the fact that the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict has been focusing its efforts on strengthening the capacity of national rule of law and justice actors.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    Secondly, we would like to stress the significance of the international justice mechanism. When national justice systems are unwilling or unable to fulfil their responsibilities, international mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court (ICC), as well as the ad hoc and mixed tribunals, should play the role of ensuring accountability. The fact that charges of sexual violence are included in nearly every case of investigation and prosecution indicates both the prevalence of conflict-related sexual violence and the significant role of the ICC in holding perpetrators of those crimes accountable.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    The Security Council should play its role by referring serious sexual violence to the ICC and by adopting targeted and graduated measures of relevant sanctions committees. Furthermore, the Security Council needs to systematically ref lect sexual violence in conf lict in all relevant country resolutions and ensure the inclusion of specific language on addressing conflict- related sexual violence, including the accelerated and extended deployment of women's protection advisers in all peacekeeping and political mission mandates.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, fighting impunity and ensuring accountability should be given critical importance in ceasefire and post-conflict reconstruction processes. Ending impunity is crucial if a society recovering from conflict is to come to terms with the past and to prevent future abuses. Sexual violence should be included in the definition of acts prohibited by ceasefires and in provisions for ceasefire monitoring. Furthermore, crimes of sexual violence need to be excluded from amnesty provisions in the context of conflict resolution processes.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    In that context, my delegation would like to stress that delivering justice for victims of sexual violence is not just about holding perpetrators accountable, but also ensures reparative justice. We fully support the recommendation in the report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/149) that reparations awarded through judicial or administrative mechanisms be established and made available to victims of sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    In that regard, I wish to state categorically that impunity for sexual violence, including by armed groups, is unacceptable and can never be tolerated. To that end, my delegation wishes to underscore the importance of ending impunity for such acts as part of a comprehensive approach to seeking sustainable peace, justice and security. Regrettably, a lack of accountability tends to reinforce the social normalization of, and tolerance for, sexual violence. We therefore recognize the need for enhanced political will and commitment to prevent these crimes by promoting and protecting the rights of women and children.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    While we remain convinced that more needs be done to address such ongoing atrocities, my delegation also wishes to emphasise the responsibility of States to comply with their relevant obligations to end impunity, and to effectively use all available means to enforce accountability by prosecuting all perpetrators of such crimes. Botswana recognises the important role of the United Nations system in addressing violence against women and children at the global, regional and national levels, and in assisting States in their efforts to eliminate and prevent all forms of violence against women and children.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    Botswana believes that efforts to end sexual violence must also promote women's active and equal participation in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, transitional justice and security sector reform processes. In that regard, we strongly support the involvement of women in peace negotiations, peacebuilding and conflict prevention.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    With regard to women's access to justice, we call on States to take practical steps to address obstacles in women's access to justice, including by creating an enabling environment where women can easily report incidents of violence without fear or intimidation. Furthermore, we urge all States to strengthen the capacity of national criminal justice systems to serve victims with dignity.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    The latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/149) paints a grim picture. Women and girls suffer from sexual violence in armed conflict. Victims are often left alone and unprotected when pursuing legal action, or are otherwise effectively denied access to justice. Perpetrators benefit from a climate of impunity. It is essential that we address the problem comprehensively. In my own country, in the heart of Europe, rape was used as a method of intimidation and terror during the aggression to which we were exposed at the beginning of the 1990s. Today, Croatia's strong commitment to gender equality, domestically and internationally, is well established. Our work on the agenda of women and peace and security is a key priority, and we are ready to contribute.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    A special effort is required to tackle the culture of impunity head-on. We can no longer tolerate impunity for the worst acts of violence against women and girls, as set forth in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. I wish to pay special tribute to all women and girl victims of the brutal violence in Syria. We must all join forces to end impunity for such crimes. The Statute of the International Criminal Court explicitly states that rape and other forms of sexual violence can be prosecuted as war crimes or crimes against humanity. Amnesties should not extend to crimes of sexual violence.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    Croatia welcomes the emphasis on the urgency of ensuring that sexual violence considerations are explicitly and consistently reflected in peace processes, ceasefires and peace agreements, and in all security sector reform and other processes in which the United Nations is involved. In that regard, we commend the adoption of resolution 2106 (2013), which we are proud to have co-sponsored.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    All States are responsible not only for ending such violence but also for ending impunity for war crimes, including those related to sexual violence. In Ecuador, the Constitution recognizes the right of people to live free from all forms of violence. Our Constitution also designates the armed forces as an institution to protect the rights, freedoms and guarantees of citizens, and that members of the armed forces may be judged only by the legal system, which is why the Military Justice Court was abolished in 2008. This reflects the determination of the State to ensure the impartiality of judges and to prevent impunity.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    In keeping with these constitutional foundations, reforms to the penal code were introduced in 2010, and a chapter was included on crimes against people and goods protected by international humanitarian law, incorporating the crimes covered by the Rome Statute and providing for the severe punishment with extended prison sentences of 16 to 25 years for any military personnel who commit acts of a sexual or reproductive nature, including rape, against protected persons during an armed conflict.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    We believe that if each State establishes a national framework, international ones will be strengthened. No one should be beyond the reach of national or international justice in cases of gender violence, particularly sexual violence in situations of conflict. Hence Ecuador, as a State party, supports the International Criminal Court and calls on those States that have not yet done so, particularly those involved in conflict of any sort, to accede to the Rome Statute.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    Finally, Ecuador stresses that combating impunity is vital in order to deal with the issue of sexual violence in conflict. But even more important is to address the causes of conflict, that is, the arms economy and violence committed by the powerful. Our commitment is to build a true culture of peace and new ways of coexistence.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    Allow me to thank you, Sir, for having organized this important open debate on sexual violence in armed conflict. Its focus on the fight against impunity and on the crucial need to ensure justice for survivors is, in our opinion, particularly appropriate.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    Both restorative and punitive, justice can play a prevention role in terms of future conflict by deterring potential perpetrators from committing crimes. By the same token, justice must enable victims to gain recognition for wrongs they have experienced, and thereby facilitate the process of remembrance and reparation, eventually leading to reconciliation and peacebuilding. As the representative of a victims organization in Guinea once said, “before turning the page, we must read the page”. Unfortunately, at present the vast majority of victims are deprived of this basic right and the vast majority of the perpetrators of these crimes do not answer for their actions. That is inacceptable.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    We all know that regardless of cultures and backgrounds, cases of sexual violence are not always reported, either because the survivors fear being ostracized or because they fear for their lives or those of their relatives, or for both reasons at once. We must therefore make every effort to ensure protection for victims. It is also important to protect the human rights advocates who struggle daily to make the survivors heard. A crime that is not denounced and documented is a crime that can never be prosecuted and will never be the subject of reparations.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    National courts are primarily responsible for prosecuting and trying the perpetrators of sexual violence associated with armed conflict. States must likewise assume their responsibilities by taking the steps necessary to incorporate into their national legislation provisions criminalizing sexual violence and excluding amnesty laws for the most serious crimes, including sexual violence. The international community, for its part, must continue to support national authorities in their efforts to fight impunity. At the United Nations, the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict can play a particularly useful supporting role in this regard.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    But we must be clear — whatever the reason, many countries in post-conflict situations do not have and will not have in the medium term a legal system capable of judging, with all the guarantees of fair justice, the perpetrators of these crimes. In such circumstances, under the principle of complementarity, international criminal justice must fulfill its supplementary role.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    My delegation applauds the efforts made in this regard by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The actions and proceedings before the ICC have clearly helped to strengthen the fight against impunity. I recall in this context that the issue of a second arrest warrant against General Bosco Ntaganda includes counts of crimes against humanity, rape and sexual slavery. Bosco Ntaganda is now in The Hague being tried for his crimes, thanks to the cooperation of Member States that have contributed to his transfer to the ICC. This is critical matter, and I reiterate the call on States to cooperate with the Court in accordance with their respective obligations.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    Finally, in the fight against impunity and to end sexual violence related to conflict, it is important for the Council to continue to discharge its responsibilities, provide concrete follow-up to its decisions, adopt, if necessary, targeted measures to increase the pressure on perpetrators, and systematically inscribe the alleged perpetrators of sexual violence on sanctions committee lists, taking into account the information provided by the Special Representative in this regard. Resolution 2106 (2013), which we have just adopted, is important in that respect, and Luxembourg is proud to be a sponsor.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Today we have a legal and moral responsibility to act collectively in order to prevent the recurrence of such crimes, to strengthen the repressive measures against perpetrators of these horrific acts and to ensure that they do not remain unpunished. My delegation would like to make the following five points.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    It is crucial that the United Nations system and the international community continue to support and assist Member States, while fully respecting their sovereignty, in the elaboration of relevant national legislation, action plans and codes of conduct, as well as in the strengthening of their institutions and the rule of law.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, the fight against impunity should be a priority. We need to break the existing cycle of violence and prevent the recurrence of such acts in armed conflict by ensuring that those responsible of committing crimes against women and children are brought to justice.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    During the 1994 genocide perpetrated against Tutsis, women and girls were forced to endure inhuman and degrading atrocities. That memory and history inspire Rwanda in our unyielding and heartfelt commitment to eradicate sexual violence as a weapon of war and genocide. Tens of thousands of Rwandan women and young girls were raped and left for dead during the months of April to July 1994. Among those who survived, many were infected with incurable diseases, some were made pregnant, and many suffered the humiliation of having been abused in front of their families. It is deeply regrettable that many of those who committed those atrocities in Rwanda continue such practices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo today, with total impunity.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    Rwanda has been able to achieve meaningful reconciliation within our borders only by insisting on justice and fighting impunity. Rwandans have come to understand first-hand the importance of strengthening internal justice mechanisms and building institutions that enhance accessibility to justice. Fighting against impunity must be the primary responsibility of States. The international community, including the United Nations, should support national jurisdictions, by helping to build capacity where gaps exist and by providing guidance and direction drawn from a rich well of best practices in the field, including those gleaned from post-conflict societies such as Rwanda's.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    For Rwanda's part, we have adopted a range of policies to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. One of the foremost priorities is to protect and rehabilitate the dignity of victims. That figures prominently in our national action plan on the implementation of the resolution 1325 (2000). To that end, sexual and gender-based violence centres were established at the community level throughout the country, and a 2009 law on the prevention and punishment of gender-based violence includes penalties and substantive mechanisms to empower police to deal with such crimes

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    In a recent trip to our region, the Secretary- General was joined by the President of the World Bank to launch a centre of excellence for the fight against violence against women and children. This is a best- practice one-stop centre and a place where all the relevant Government and non-Government support services — health, justice and police, counselling and welfare — converge to provide support for victims of sexual and gender-based violence. Such centres offer a non-threatening environment that allows victims to take full advantage of their legal rights, as well as to begin the process of healing. As noted by the Secretary- General during his visit, “Rwanda's strong political commitment to prevent and combat violence against women and children” is reflected in all spheres of the Government.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    The Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) considers the prevention and mitigation of sexual violence against women and girls as a key imperative across all its deployments. The RDF gender desk devises training programmes to raise awareness of sexual and gender- based violence. Those programmes have been fully incorporated into the core curriculums of Rwanda's military academies and training institutions. That is considered integral to the preparation of all RDF battalions bound for peacekeeping missions abroad. Moreover, Rwanda is among the leading contributors of female police and correctional officers to United Nations peace-support and peacekeeping missions, where they combat and raise awareness about violence against women and serve as advisers on gender-based violence, sharing best practices with officers and local authorities.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    Let me conclude by once again thanking non-governmental organizations, civil society and other non-State actors for their support to the cause of women and girls and for their contribution to justice against perpetrators of sexual and gender- based violence. We hope and trust that their actions, combined with a genuine commitment by States as well as by the international community, will hasten the day when women, girls and children are no longer brutally targeted in conflicts that they did not at all create.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence is probably one of the most shameful facets of armed conflict. Despite the progress achieved since the adoption of resolution 1820 (2008), the deliberate use of sexual violence as a tactic of war is still widespread. Effectively addressing the remaining challenges requires combining prevention, justice and support to victims.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    Brazil is seeking to do its part. Our Ministry of Defence has signed a letter of intent with UN-Women to deepen our cooperation regarding the training of peacekeepers on gender issues and the promotion of South-South cooperation on this subject. In Haiti, we have been helping to build local capacity to deal with victims of gender-based violence in areas such as health, justice and security. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, more than 400 victims of sexual violence have benefited from the Brazilian contribution to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Canada, which is a proud member and Chair of the Group of Friends against Sexual Violence in Conflict, recognizes that women's social, political and economic empowerment, their equality with men and the active participation of men and boys in combating all forms of violence against women are central to long-term prevention efforts. Preventing sexual violence requires promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls. Prevention also requires supporting survivors on their path to recovery from such crimes, assisting their access to justice and holding perpetrators to account.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    The primary responsibility for the prevention of sexual violence in conflict lies with national Governments as well as with the leadership of non-State armed groups. Where those leaders fail to respond to sexual violence or are party to the crimes, they must be held to account. Often, however, Governments lack the capacity to respond adequately.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Conflict significantly weakens national justice systems, resulting in a limited number of perpetrators facing justice. In such cases, Member States could request the assistance of trained experts for investigations and prosecutions and to strengthen the capacity of local law enforcement.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Canada welcomes the engagement of the Security Council on the issue of preventing sexual violence. We urge the Council to ensure the inclusion of prevention and response to sexual violence in its mandates and resolutions and to ensure that those elements are implemented. The Council should take concrete measures to support women's opportunities for equal participation and decision-making in all conflict- prevention and -resolution processes. It must ensure the health, safety, human rights and dignity of survivors and should hold perpetrators to full account.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    In that regard, Canada calls on the Council to ensure that Sanctions Committees add criteria pertaining to acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence to their existing criteria. Further action at the international level is imperative to end sexual violence in conflict, to tackle the lack of accountability that exists for those crimes and to provide comprehensive support services to survivors. For its part, Canada is active in the prevention and response to sexual violence in conflict. For example, Canada is contributing $18.5 million to the United Nations Development Programme to support the fight against sexual violence in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition, at the London launch of the Group of Eight declaration on preventing sexual violence in conflict, Canada announced an additional $5 million contribution to international efforts to be programmed this year.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    We agree with the Secretary-General's March report on sexual violence in conflict (S/2013/149) that national courts remain primarily responsible for investigating and judging crimes of sexual violence in conflicts, and we value the important complementary role played by the international tribunals in combating crimes of that kind. We attach the greatest importance to the contribution made by resolution 1960 (2010) in that regard, which represented great progress in establishing a political commitment to the prevention and handling of the atrocities of rape in wartime and in establishing the basis for ensuring the accountability of perpetrators.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    We also wish to highlight the work of the International Criminal Court. Its Rome Statute includes within the category of war crimes and crimes against humanity crimes involving acts of sexual violence against women and children. We emphasize the contribution made in that connection by the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, with their valuable rulings on the subject.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    The subject of women and peace and security and sexual violence poses many challenges and covers a number of areas. I refer in particular to the existence of and access to compensation and justice mechanisms for women and girls, especially in situations of armed conflict; the operation and supervision of compensation systems; and combating impunity for those responsible for crimes.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    Chile attaches great importance to the prevention of sexual violence in conflicts and to the care, protection and compensation of victims of sexual violence in conflict. On earlier occasions we have drawn attention, inter alia, to the progress made by our national legislation on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). We particularly support the role being played by the women serving as protection advisers for their work with survivors of acts of sexual violence in places affected by conflicts, and we attach the greatest importance to ending the culture of impunity for sexual violence in conflicts in all its manifestations

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    We wish to express concern, however, about the fact that in several areas it is still difficult to investigate and judge crimes of sexual violence committed against women and children because the national courts lack skills and expertise. That continues to make it difficult to bring perpetrators of such crimes to trial. For that reason, we emphasize the support needed from the United Nations as regards capacity-building in that area.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    Fourthly, I should say that in my professional life I have always been concerned with the grave problem of violence against women in general and on the impact it has on every aspect of economic and social development. This type of violence, which is particularly associated with the impunity that results from weak rule of law institutions, will surely form part, among other things, of the post-2015 development agenda that we will be debating in the General Assembly. Finally, I can state that President Otto Pérez Molina views combating violence against women as an absolute priority of his Government. If we do not eradicate gender violence we will not have security and peace in Guatemala or anywhere else in the world.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    One promising approach lies in insisting more firmly that States make an ongoing priority of rule of law reform and strengthening their national institutions, including the civil and military justice systems, in order to address sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations, and to combat impunity for those that commit this type of crime. For that we unquestionably need political will, as we have heard, but we also need effective institutions. It is equally crucial to act on current situations where most of the victims of such crimes face a wall of impunity. We must act so that the truth comes out regarding the suffering of women and so that the perpetrators are held accountable for their acts. Acknowledging the truth and undertaking efforts aimed at achieving justice and promoting reconciliation are the minimum we should do to restore and re-establish the dignity of the victims.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    Guatemala's own internal conflict was resolved over 15 years ago, but there still are hundreds of victims of sexual violence committed by various armed perpetrators. Happily, and as I have already indicated, preventing violence against women is a priority of the Guatemalan State today. We recently enacted a law against murder and other forms of violence against women, and one prohibiting sexual violence, exploitation and human trafficking, which has enabled us to reform the codification of various crimes in the Guatemalan penal code. Furthermore, in a measure designed to improve the access of female victims of violence to justice, various programmes have been established in the executive and judicial branches to help eliminate impunity as it affects women. In that regard, our Ministry of the Interior, the Office of the Prosecutor and the courts, with technical and financial support from various United Nations agencies, have strengthened their capacity for prosecuting crimes related to violence against women.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    As has been done in Guatemala, the issue of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations should be reflected in concrete decisions included in peace accords, especially in matters related to security and transitional justice. We support the Council's promotion of peace and reconciliation processes and agreements ending conflicts that address the issue explicitly and thus promote respect for the dignity of victims.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    Finally, Guatemala strongly supports the elimination of obstacles to women's access to justice in conflict and post-conflict situations. That was one of the subjects of presidential statement S/PRST/2012/23, issued under Guatemala's presidency of the Security Council in October. As part of the fight against impunity regarding sexual violence, that statement also included a firm condemnation of all acts against women and girls that violate international law on armed-conflict and post-conflict situations.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    Despite the broad range of activities and efforts under way, the scourge of sexual violence remains pervasive in many conflict and post-conflict situations. How does impunity for those crimes persist? What explains the reluctance to take decisive action to address that impunity — to send a definitive signal that sexual violence will no longer be tolerated?

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    The Secretary-General and Special Representative Bangura have long emphasized that a radical challenge to impunity can only be delivered at the national level. The real imperative in that regard is the assumption by national political leaders of ownership of this agenda.

  • Country

    Jordan
  • Extracts

    The United Nations, in our opinion, requires a single vehicle for the delivery of judicial and legal advice. My delegation has been saying this for many years now. So crucial is a functioning, credible judiciary to every State's existence, it is remarkable that, 68 years after the founding of the United Nations, while we have single-purpose departments and agencies for almost everything, we do not have one for this: only a hodge-podge of rule-of-law offices, representatives, units and experts scattered throughout the Secretariat and specialized agencies.

  • Country

    Jordan
  • Extracts

    The United Nations needs a service, a full-fledged department that, on request, can advise Member States that seek to upgrade or reform their judiciary or prosecution services or wish to improve their penal codes. United Nations missions of every variety would also require its services. If we are to be serious about ending impunity for sexual crimes in the context of war, that is what we need. Teams of experts are a good start where the action of the Security Council is concerned but fall woefully short of what is required, and I myself have seen this in United Nations field operations.

  • Country

    Jordan
  • Extracts

    Secondly, we must support all and every effort aimed at the creation of an international repository for evidence — a complicated business, we know, owing to concerns relating to contamination and admissibility. Nevertheless, we must try to set it up. We would then be in a position to better assist national jurisdictions that are incapable of or unwilling to prosecute during conflict, but would in some cases be better able to do so post-conflict. Such a facility could also be of service to the International Criminal Court.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    The Netherlands considers sexual violence in conflict as a sign of a failure to implement all the elements of the agenda for women and peace and security. In today's debate, therefore, we would like to stress four points. First is the importance of taking urgent action in key areas, especially those of women's participation and equality and of prevention, response and accountability. Another important area is national and regional efforts to end impunity, including through referrals to the International Criminal Court, and by emphasizing the importance of reparations.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    Secondly, we should give specific attention to the importance of providing effective support and protection to women-led organizations and defenders of women's human rights, particularly given the threats such defenders face and their lack of resources. Thirdly, there is a need for a comprehensive multisectoral response for survivors, including medical care, in accordance with international humanitarian law, and access to emergency contraception, safe abortion and HIV treatment, as well as access to justice and psychosocial health care services for women and girls. Lastly, and equally important, is strengthening the gender components of security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, not least through ratification and full compliance with the Arms Trade Treaty, which gives substantive attention to gender dimensions.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, women can be powerful actors for peace, security, and prosperity. When they participate in peace processes and other formal decision-making processes, they can play an important role in initiating and inspiring progress on human rights, justice, national reconciliation and economic revitalization. They can also build coalitions across ethnic and sectarian lines and speak up for marginalized and minority groups. Investing in women's leadership is therefore smart security as well as smart development.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    In recent years, Security Council resolutions have recognized sexual violence as a tactic of war and its potential to undermine peace and security. We need to recognize that much has been accomplished since 2010. Monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements have been established in a number of conflict or post-conflict situations to collect more consistent information on conflict related sexual violence. A list of parties to conflicts that are credibly suspected of committing sexual violence on a repeated basis has been set up. A dialogue with those parties has been established by the Special Representative of the Secretary- General to obtain protection commitments and the United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict has been formed to assist national authorities to reinforce judicial systems. Last but not least, the Council has adopted sanctions against perpetrators that have been identified or that are credibly suspected of having committed sexual violence in situations of armed conflict on its agenda.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    Portugal recognizes that, while the Council has been quite successful in discharging its responsibilities, much more can be done to reinforce the effectiveness of our common fight against sexual violence. We strongly support, in that regard, the five-point priority agenda carried out by Special Representative Zainab Bangura: ending impunity, empowering women, mobilizing political leadership, increasing recognition of rape as a tactic and consequence of conflict and ensuring a more coherent response from the United Nations system. Those five elements represent fundamental goals that are complementary and mutually reinforcing.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    Anther promising tool at the disposal of Member States that could be further engaged is the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict. The lack of capacity at the national level to investigate and prosecute sexual violence remains the main obstacle to ensuring accountability, and leads to the prevalence of impunity. It is, therefore, extremely encouraging that a number of countries have already requested technical cooperation from the Team to respond promptly and effectively to conflict-related sexual violence and to strengthen the capacity of their national rule of law and justice actors. Portugal commends the three United Nations entities — the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Development Programme — for their work in providing assistance in preventing and addressing that form of violence.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    In past years, some notable actions have been taken to combat impunity at national and international levels. Governments have prosecuted senior officers of their armed forces for crimes of sexual violence, and leaders of parties to armed conflict have been arrested and transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Subsequent verdicts of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the ICC constitute important landmarks of international justice and demonstrate that accountability for sexual violence is possible. They send a clear signal to many parties to armed conflict throughout the world that impunity is unacceptable. But they also send a powerful signal to the victims of sexual violence that no political or military leader is above the law. That fundamental political message needs to be constantly emphasized by the United Nations, and by the Security Council, in particular.

  • Country

    Portugal
  • Extracts

    I conclude this intervention with a word for the victims and the survivors of sexual violence. There is a need for recognition and reparation. There is a crucial need to extend affordable and accessible health services to survivors. Our aim is, certainly, to bring the perpetrators of sexual violence to justice; but also to bring justice and adequate care to the survivors and victims of such hideous crimes.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    The latest report of the Secretary-General, entitled “Sexual violence in conflict” (S/2013/149), contains many recommendations and significant information. In the report, he stresses that the lack of adequate national capacity and expertise to investigate and prosecute acts of sexual violence has remained one of the main impediments to ensuring accountability for related crimes. He also indicates that Member States bear the primary legal and moral responsibility for preventing and addressing conflict-related sexual violence, and reiterates the need for national ownership, leadership and responsibility in that context.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    We cannot consider the issue of women, peace and security without addressing the root causes of their suffering and insecurity. Consequently, improving women's protection is not merely a humanitarian task, but one that requires focused efforts in several areas — first and foremost, the enforcement of the laws necessary to protect them in armed conflict, without discrimination or selectivity, and calling upon all parties to the conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence during the conflict.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    In that context, women constitute the majority of Syrian IDPs and refugees. The regime's officials, security apparatus, loyalists and thugs subject them to discrimination, physical and sexual assault, violations of their right to privacy, arbitrary arrest and detention as a means of forcing their male relatives to turn themselves in. Such acts amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity and their perpetrators must be held accountable. The Secretary-General stresses in his report that in Syria, such acts constitute the main reasons why women and girls have fled conflict- affected cities, including the high level of insecurity and access constraints.

  • Country

    Qatar
  • Extracts

    I reiterate the State of Qatar's support for all efforts aimed at strengthening the rule of law and preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict situations. I also stress the importance of continuing to fight the impunity that hampers access by victims of such crimes to justice, security and safety. To be sure, the prosecution and trial of the perpetrators of sexual violence are key steps contributing to strengthened efforts to prevent sexual violence and protect women and girls.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    Violence against women is certainly the most brutal manifestation of discrimination, and we are fully committed to addressing all forms of violence against women and girls, including sexual violence in conflict. The protection of women in conflict situations and ending impunity remain our utmost priorities. Sexual violence in armed conflict represents one of the most serious forms of the violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Furthermore, impunity for sexual violence in conflict is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. Therefore, we advocate recognition of the importance of women's access to justice in conflict and post-conflict settings. We also believe that more has to be done to address these ongoing crimes, including by permanent opposition to the traditional account that sexual violence in armed conflict is a cultural phenomenon, an unavoidable consequence of war or a less important crime.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    The Security Council's recognition of this matter as a serious concern for international peace and security is of great importance for building a solid framework for preventing and addressing this gruesome tactic of war. Therefore, the Council has a significant role to play, in accordance with the relevant resolutions, particularly in emphasizing the importance of national and international authorities strengthening the rule of law response. All appropriate mechanisms and procedures for monitoring commitments by parties in conflict should be supported by the Council. Also, United Nations officials should be more engaged in dialogue with States and other stakeholders who may exert influence to elicit such commitments.

  • Country

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Extracts

    We recognize the positive steps in holding perpetrators to account at all levels. However, we believe that greater efforts need to be undertaken in this regard, including through the work of the International Criminal Court, the ad hoc tribunals and the national tribunals.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    In recent years, we have witnessed an alarming increase in the documented use of sexual violence in armed conflict, often as a method of warfare to achieve military goals. Much remains to be done in terms of an effective response. Ending impunity is clearly a central element in this respect. Unfortunately, however, we must acknowledge that, in practice, the fight to end impunity has barely begun. Effective justice for victims of sexual violence in conflict continues to be a great exception to the rule.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    The necessary work to that end is closely linked to broader efforts to strengthen justice and the rule of law. An effective judicial response requires States themselves to strengthen domestic justice systems in all their aspects, where appropriate, with the assistance of international donors and agencies. Particular emphasis should be placed on procedures that allow victims and witnesses to come forward while minimizing the risk of reprisals and that take into account the severe trauma that may have been inflicted on them.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    The International Criminal Court (ICC) also has an important role to play, and we were therefore somewhat surprised not to see the ICC mentioned explicitly in the concept paper. The work of the Court can serve in particular as an incentive for Governments to deliver accountability at the domestic level. The Court can also assist such work by providing information and evidence for use in domestic proceedings, and it is well known that the ICC Prosecutor has made the fight against sexual violence a focus of her work.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    There seems to be a major design flaw in our current national and international efforts to bring about justice for crimes of sexual violence — the voices of victims are rarely heard. This is lamentable and counterproductive, because a greater role for victims in this discourse could have a strong impact on the willingness of the relevant actors to bring about change.

  • Country

    Liechtenstein
  • Extracts

    The Security Council should more often call on Governments to prioritize the strengthening of domestic justice systems, but it should also be more assertive where national systems fail, through the establishment of fact-finding commissions, commissions of inquiry and referrals to the ICC. Where domestic justice systems have broken down completely, such measures may often be the only way of creating deterrence and enabling longer-term justice. Evidence needs to be professionally collected at the earliest possible stages, a process that may be assisted inter alia by the Justice Rapid Response initiative.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    The international justice mechanism should support the restoration or establishment of justice and accountability at the national level. The empowerment of women and girls, as well as the education of boys about the rights of girls and women, are some of important elements that instil nurturing and responsible behavioural patterns. We welcome the call by the Group of Eight for urgent action to address impunity and to hold perpetrators of sexual violence in armed conflicts accountable. There can be no sympathy for any person or group of persons who commit sexual violence anywhere. My delegation acknowledges the important role that the Council plays by encouraging the development of joint Government-United Nations comprehensive strategies on combating sexual violence.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    We encourage the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict to work with Governments and armed groups to seek their commitment to becoming accountable in the quest to prevent sexual violence. We also support the proposal to deploy women's protection advisers to United Missions missions, as well as to address sexual violence in the context of security sector reform. Furthermore, my delegation supports the establishment of a mechanism to monitor commitments by parties to a conflict, including issuing clear orders through the chains of command and enacting codes of conduct prohibiting sexual violence. Those who have been identified and proved beyond a reasonable doubt to have perpetrated or condoned acts of sexual violence should in future be excluded from any security institutions, or from holding positions of influence. Specific measures to impose targeted sanctions on those committing or condoning sexual violence should be taken against the perpetrators. When the use of legal mechanisms are insufficient to fight against sexual violence in the quest for justice, reforms in the administration of justice and the legislative process may become necessary.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    Today I want to focus on the current culture of impunity. Changing that to one of accountability is fundamental to deterrence and prevention. We have recognized that sexual violence can constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity; we have recognized that States have an obligation to investigate and prosecute such crimes; and we have recognized that ending impunity is a critical part of achieving lasting peace. But the fact remains that we have seen only a tiny number of perpetrators brought to justice. That sends the dangerous message that sexual violence is still tolerated. As Special Representative Bangura said this morning, “Today it is still largely cost-free to rape a woman, child or man in conflict”.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    States have the primary obligation to investigate and prosecute crimes of sexual violence. That requires that they criminalize each recognized crime — rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization and other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity. It is not sufficient to just have those crimes on the books. Female victims of sexual violence must be provided with equal access to justice, which requires substantive rights to be recognized and women and girls to be encouraged to exercise those rights. Measures must be adopted to encourage victims and witnesses to testify against perpetrators and to protect those who do so.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    National capacity must be developed to translate substantive laws into successful investigations and prosecutions. In that context, we commend the work being done by the United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, the United Kingdom's own team of experts, Justice Rapid Response and the Institute for International Criminal Investigations, among others. The Australian Civilian Corps is strengthening its own gender-based violence expertise to complement these efforts.

  • Country

    Australia
  • Extracts

    Obviously, even the most sophisticated criminal justice systems will be of little use if the political will to investigate and prosecute perpetrators is lacking. National authorities must fight stigmas that impede the reporting of incidents of sexual violence to law enforcement authorities. Investigators must be trained to look for evidence of crimes of sexual violence and to gather the evidence necessary to sustain prosecutions. Crimes of sexual violence, like other serious international crimes, must be excluded from amnesty provisions. States should also consider complementary processes, such as truth and reconciliation commissions, to supplement criminal accountability processes. Where national jurisdictions are unable or unwilling to prosecute crimes of sexual violence, the Council should consider International Criminal Court (ICC) referral, and ensure that the Council supports subsequent ICC activities. We commend the ICC on its leadership in seeking to ensure that crimes of sexual violence are not neglected in the fight against impunity.

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    First, conflict-related sexual violence can amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. Such violations of international law are imprescriptible and perpetrators incur heavy penalties. During Minister Hague's visit to the Great Lakes region, he saw for himself how the lives of women and children continue to be destroyed every day by such crimes. We remain convinced that national courts must remain the locus of prosecution of perpetrators of serious international crimes, such as sexual violence. In that context, it is important to strengthen the judicial systems of those countries in order to allow trials to take place in the best possible conditions. The Special Representative has announced the important signing by the Congolese authorities of an agreement in principle to fight against sexual violence. In the light of recent human rights violations in the region, we nevertheless believe that the implementation of the agreement must be constantly monitored.

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    Secondly, the International Criminal Court is complementary to national criminal courts. The broad definition of sexual violence in the Rome Statute should be applied in this context. We invite those countries that have not yet done so to ratify the Statute without further delay.

  • Country

    Belgium
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, I would also like to thank the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict for its determined and courageous actions. We also attach great importance to the activities of the intergovernmental organization Justice Rapid Response, which specializes in the deployment of the panels of experts where sexual violence has been committed. Belgium supports all efforts to build the capacities of national actors and all initiatives to aid the victims.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    Women are a major force for peace, stability and development in society. The promotion of gender equality and women's rights represents a true reflection of human civilization and progress, and is also closely related to peace and world development. In situations of armed conflict, however, sexual violence against women is employed by parties to conflict as a means of war more often than not. Vulnerable groups, including women, bear the brunt of conflict in many situations. Sexual violence against women and their sexual enslavement in armed conflict are not only grave violations of women's rights but also a flagrant challenge to the human conscience and social justice.

  • Country

    China
  • Extracts

    It is no surprise that such acts have been unanimously condemned and opposed by the international community. China strongly condemns all violence against civilians in armed conflict, and is resolutely opposed to using sexual violence as a means of war, as well as to any acts of sexual violence or sexual enslavement against women. We call for the full implementation of the Council's relevant resolutions and urge all parties to conflict to abide by international law and international humanitarian law, and to cease all acts of violence against women immediately. I would like to emphasize the following three points.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    Despite the increasing international focus on sexual violence in conflict, perpetrators of sexual violence are rarely held accountable. The vigorous investigation and prosecution of perpetrators are, however, necessary to deter and halt such violence. We share the assessment of Special Representative Bangura that national ownership, leadership and responsibility in addressing sexual violence are some of the most important aspects of the fight against sexual violence.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    In a similar vein, in his report of March 2013 on sexual violence in conflict (S/2013/149), the Secretary- General notes that national courts remain the principal venue for holding individuals accountable for crimes of sexual violence and that the national authorities should be supported in that regard. This is crucial, as the lack of adequate national capacity and expertise to investigate and prosecute acts of sexual violence remains one of the main impediments to ensuring accountability for gender crimes. To date, sexual violence in armed conflict has been prosecuted primarily at the international level through hybrid courts and international tribunals. These tribunals do indeed play an important complimentary role to national efforts.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    The International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda developed groundbreaking international jurisprudence outlawing rape and sexual violence during war. Investigating and prosecuting gender crimes has also been an integral part of the investigative and prosecutorial strategy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC), built upon the recognition of sexual violence as a serious international crime by the ad hoc tribunals and expanded the scope of sexual violence-based crimes in international law. The Rome Statute specifies a greater number of sexual violence crimes than the statutes of the ad hoc tribunals, and acknowledges that these crimes can be committed against men and women. It is important that the Rome Statute's gender sensitivity be translated into national prosecutions to make sure that national proceedings take into account the gender dimension of atrocity crimes to the same extent as the Rome Statute does.

  • Country

    Estonia
  • Extracts

    The ICC has also proven itself to be sensitive to gender crimes in practice. The Prosecutor gives priority to sexual and gender-based crimes from the outset of its preliminary investigations. Charges for gender-based crimes have so far been brought in cases arising from six of the eight situations. Estonia joins the Secretary- General in his call on the Council to employ all means at its disposal to address sexual violence in conflict, including through referrals to the ICC.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    With regard to ensuring the prosecution of crimes of sexual violence and punishing perpetrators of crimes against women and girls under national and international law, we emphasize the significant advancement in international law made by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which includes sexual violence in the definition of crimes, in particular as a crime against humanity, and note that the ICC, as well as the non-permanent International Criminal Tribunals, continue to be important mechanisms in combating sexual violence in conflict. We furthermore acknowledge the national efforts to implement the Rome Statute. The crimes of sexual violence must be excluded from amnesty provisions in conflict-resolution processes. We support the continued application of targeted and graduated measures by the relevant Security Council Sanctions Committees aimed at perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict, as well as other measures at its disposal including referrals to the ICC and steps towards the systematic monitoring of commitments by parties to conflict under resolution 1960 (2010).

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    With regard to ensuring women's leadership and the participation of women in peace processes and conflict resolution, those processes should also recognize explicitly the need to address crimes of sexual violence, as they lay the foundation for future institution-building and political and legal reforms.

  • Speaker

    European Union
  • Extracts

    The European Union continues to implement its dedicated policy on women and peace and security, as well as to support initiatives to strengthen international criminal justice and the rule of law. The EU now has gender advisers and/or human rights focal points in each of its crisis management missions and operations. The EU supports the swift deployment of human rights observers in Mali by the African Union and the United Nations and provides financial support for the deployment of observers. The EU training mission in Mali includes training on gender and human rights for the Malian armed forces.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    We welcome the focus of today's debate on addressing accountability and the fight against impunity. Let me be clear — our ultimate goal has to be, first and foremost, the prevention of sexual violence in conflict. In cases where acts of sexual violence have already occurred, it is indispensable that perpetrators be immediately brought to justice and survivors receive adequate support and redress. Only effective criminal prosecution during and after conflict will lead to an equally effective prevention system that can help to create long-term peace.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    Let me stress some important points and provide some practical examples. First, it cannot be stressed enough that part of any effective prevention of sexual violence is the equal involvement of women. Not only the consideration of their special needs, but also their participation in all stages of decision-making processes are essential. This also applies to programmes such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, security sector reform and transitional justice. In this regard, Germany has supported, inter alia, a regional project in the Horn of Africa to empower women by helping them to gain access to political and economical decision-making processes.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    Secondly, when sexual violence constitutes a crime against humanity, a war crime or even genocide, it has to be subject to punishment and has to be excluded from amnesty provisions. Whenever States are not willing or capable to fulfil their responsibility to prosecute perpetrators accordingly, the international community must react in order to prevent a culture of impunity, as was recently stressed at the Group of Eight meeting in the United Kingdom. Regional justice mechanisms and the International Criminal Court (ICC) can also play an important role. We also welcome the work of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict in Special Representative of the Secretary- General Bangura's Office in this regard.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    The German Centre for International Peace Operations offers special pre-deployment courses on establishing the rule of law, which emphasize the need to prosecute sexual violence and raise awareness for gender-based violence.

  • Country

    Germany
  • Extracts

    Let me end by stressing that the Security Council has a role to play in monitoring the commitments made by parties to conflicts. In this regard, it can and should do more to hold perpetrators accountable. Without having to create a new mechanism, it could already make use of the tools at hand, for example by reacting to cases of sexual violence in a certain country with Security Council press statements, by writing specific letters to concerned Governments or by referring specific cases more frequently to the Sanctions Committees and, as a last resort, to the ICC.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    In resolution 1325 (2000), the Security Council called for greater participation by women in the field- based operations of the United Nations in terms of the deployment of police personnel. We are proud of the fact that India was the first State Member of the United Nations to successfully deploy an all-woman police force as part of the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Liberia, where sexual violence had been one of the hallmarks of the conflict. Apart from the effectiveness of the force, which has been acknowledged by many, we believe that the functioning of such an all- woman force has also sent a strong deterrent message to those who indulge in the egregious crime of sexual violence in conflict. By deploying women to deal with conflict situations, we have demonstrated that we can push forward the goal of empowering women to deal with the crime of sexual violence in conflict and play a major role in the post-conflict reconstruction of traumatized societies. We hope that this example will encourage others to follow suit.

  • Country

    Israel
  • Extracts

    It is the legal and moral obligation of all States to protect women and girls from sexual violence. There must be a system of law and justice that leaves no doubt that sexual intimidation and violence aimed at women is inexcusable. In the Middle East, many legal systems do not meet basic international standards when it comes to protecting women. In some instances, marital rape is not regarded as a criminal offence, and there are no procedures in place to deal with cases of domestic sexual abuse.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    Without a doubt, ending impunity is critical in ending sexual violence, whether it is committed by individuals, groups or States. Nonetheless, Member States bear the primary legal and moral responsibility for the protection of their civilian populations. Malaysia therefore welcomes the continuous work of the United Nations and other stakeholders, including the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, which focuses its efforts on strengthening the capacity of national rule of law and justice actors. We feel that its engagement with relevant Governments will strengthen the latter's capacity to effectively address sexual violence against women and girls.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    In our effort to secure peace and security, we must move urgently to replace the prevailing culture of impunity with one of deterrence that promotes the need for the rule of law, justice and accountability. Malaysia views accountability as a duty of Member States under both domestic and international law. The national system in that regard should be steered towards meeting international standards in ensuring accountability and justice. The perpetrators of crimes of sexual violence should never go unpunished.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    In that context, we welcome today's adoption of resolution 2106 (2013) on the issue discussed. My delegation hopes that there will be sufficient impetus for the actual realization of the relevant resolutions, including the landmark resolution 1325 (2000), to increase women's participation in the area of peace and security. We should also seriously consider appointing more women to senior positions in United Nations missions, lest we be accused of ignoring experienced and potential women leaders in the security and defence sectors.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    As timely highlighted by the Secretary-General in his report (S/2013/149), the failure of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform efforts in many countries has led, as we know, to violations against women. In addition, there is a risk of reprisals against the victims of sexual violence.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    That leads me to welcome resolution 2106 (2013), which the Council has just adopted and which places victims at the heart of efforts to combat sexual violence and to improve conflict resolution. On that basis, efforts to combat this scourge should be based on adequate prevention as well as on accountability, which helps to dissuade people from committing these crimes once again. Prevention is first and foremost the responsibility of Governments, particularly of security forces, which have a duty to protect their own citizens. We need to support the countries affected in establishing the rule of law by enhancing the capacity of the security forces in a substantive way and by developing their legal capacities. The basic goal is to fill the gaps in terms of their protection and judicial mechanisms, particularly in the spheres of intelligence, investigations and prosecution of perpetrators. In that regard, we are happy to see the significant progress achieved by various countries thanks to the United Nations campaign on sexual violence in conflict, which includes “firewood patrols” in Darfur and an early-warning system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  • Country

    Senegal
  • Extracts

    Moreover, it is important to underscore the fact that the prevention effort is also a collective one, as it transcends borders and deals with a phenomenon that poses a serious threat to peace and security throughout the world. Worse yet, acts of sexual violence constitute crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of genocide, in line with the decision handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in the Jean-Paul Akayesu case.

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    Colombia endorses the repeated rejections by the Security Council of all acts of sexual violence and other forms violence against civilians in armed conflict, in particular against women and children. My country deplores the fact that these situations continue to arise in armed conflict in various parts of the world, and believes that the international community should adopt an attitude of strict condemnation and seek, through all means, to abolish violence, ensure the protection of and reparations for victims, and see to it that perpetrators are brought to justice.

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    Colombia also joins in the repeated condemnations by the Security Council of violations of international humanitarian law committed against women and girls, and the need to bring to justice those who are responsible for such crimes, in particular the perpetrators of sexual violence against women. We also underscore the importance of enhancing the role of women in peacebuilding and in providing assistance to victims, in particular the victims of sexual violence. It is clear that in order to ensure that those cases are managed properly, information has to be gathered by United Nations agencies on the ground in a timely, precise, reliable and objective way. In that way, the United Nations entities can address each case individually, conduct related criminal investigations, and ensure due process and follow-up, as required.

  • Country

    Japan
  • Extracts

    First, in order to prevent sexual violence, we need to raise the cost to perpetrators and end the culture of impunity. In this regard, it is essential that we support national Governments in meeting their own challenges in terms of justice and accountability, and that we strengthen international justice mechanisms. With regard to the former, Japan is helping national Governments to develop their legal systems and facilitate security sector reform. With regard to the latter, Japan attaches great importance to the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Japan, as a leading contributor to the ICC, believes that there is a need to further promote the Court's universality, and expects the dialogue and collaboration between the Security Council and the ICC to deepen.

  • Country

    Japan
  • Extracts

    Furthermore, the effective investigation and documentation of crimes of sexual violence are instrumental in bringing perpetrators to justice. To that end, developing the capacity of national Governments to investigate crimes and raising awareness of and sensitivity to sexual violence are both essential. In that regard, Japan believes that providing standard guidelines would be useful, and therefore supports the development of an international protocol on the investigation and documentation of sexual violence in conflict.

  • Country

    Lithuania
  • Extracts

    To tackle impunity, sustained comprehensive efforts are needed at the national level to guarantee the prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence and support for survivors. The Council could make a major difference by supporting the early establishment of national reparations programmes as well as developing a more robust monitoring and reporting system.

  • Country

    Lithuania
  • Extracts

    All pre-departure training for Lithuanian military and police personnel participating in international missions includes specific training on gender issues. Lithuania strongly supports the inclusion of gender- based violence and violence against women and children among the mandatory assessment criteria for arms exports in the international Arms Trade Treaty.

  • Country

    Lithuania
  • Extracts

    The disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform processes, including stringent vetting of personnel, provide an important window of opportunity for effective justice for victims of sexual violence in conflict. Security sector reforms must include provisions on the personal accountability of the police and the military, all the way up to the leadership.

  • Country

    Lithuania
  • Extracts

    Establishing effective oversight, transparency, and human rights and gender training for security sector personnel is instrumental in countering the culture of impunity. My delegation welcomes the Secretary General's recommendation that blanket amnesties should not be applied where conflict-related sexual violence is in question. My delegation strongly supports the implementation of the zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct in the United Nations peacekeeping ranks, including the relevant provisions in all peacekeeping mandates. We call on the Security Council to use the tools at its disposal in a more systematic way, including the setting-up of commissions of inquiry, individual targeted sanctions and referrals to the International Criminal Court.

  • Country

    Lithuania
  • Extracts

    We must show iron-clad determination and political will to stamp out impunity for sexual crimes as a tool of war. Statesmen, political and religious leaders, women's groups, community elders and human rights defenders must join forces to generate global consensus on the need to end impunity and pursue accountability at all levels. By doing so, we shall give restore the voices of the victims of sexual violence in conflict and create a powerful deterrent for all those who may be tempted to resort to sexual crimes as a tactic of war.

  • Country

    Mexico
  • Extracts

    I thank the delegation of the United Kingdom for bringing this important matter to the attention of the Security Council. Also allow me to express our gratitude to the Secretary-General and to his Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Zainab Bangura, for their briefings. My country welcomes the adoption today of resolution 2106 (2013), which sends a resounding message concerning the fight against impunity and the need to focus our efforts on the prosecution of that crime as a fundamental aspect of prevention.

  • Country

    Mexico
  • Extracts

    Mexico commends the efforts and actions of the United Nations, its agencies and the Governments of States in conflict. However, much remains to be done in order to ensure full access for victims to systems of justice and reparation and to ensure that the perpetrators of the acts are brought before the corresponding tribunals. To that end, it is fundamental that States provide the necessary training and skills for armed and security forces in order to combat the perpetration of those crimes. Of equal importance is the training of magistrates and other agents of justice in order to ensure effective, independent and impartial judicial systems that are well versed in that area.

  • Country

    Mexico
  • Extracts

    The Security Council must continue to use all resources at its disposal in targeting the perpetrators of acts of sexual violence through the adoption of selective and phased measures through its sanctions committees, the ad hoc and mixed tribunals, and the special chambers of national tribunals.

  • Country

    Mexico
  • Extracts

    Mexico emphasizes the relevance and usefulness of the International Criminal Court and its complementary competency in order to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of international crimes, including the war crime of sexual violence. We encourage those States that have not yet done so to accede to the Rome Statute as soon as possible in order to achieve the universalization of that important instrument. We encourage States to cooperate so that the Court is able to effectively fulfil the mandate for which it was established.

  • Country

    Mexico
  • Extracts

    Allow me to conclude by reiterating that Mexico is convinced that there can be no lasting peace without justice and that there is no room for amnesty for international crimes, such as that of sexual violence in conflicts

  • Country

    Nepal
  • Extracts

    The Government of Nepal has never reneged on its commitment to prosecute cases involving grave violations of human rights and to end impunity through the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms. We are fully conscious of fulfilling our international obligations and national commitments, and we are enacting laws to establish transitional justice mechanisms. Our 2013 ordinance on the investigation of disappeared persons and on the truth and reconciliation commission is currently being examined by the Supreme Court, and is therefore sub judice.

  • Country

    Slovenia
  • Extracts

    It is therefore of paramount importance to look beyond prevention. The investigation of cases of sexual violence in conflict and the holding of perpetrators of sexual violence in armed conflict accountable are also of great importance. Ending impunity is pivotal in addressing sexual violence in conflict. Only that can serve as a strong deterrent for such actions. In that regard, we would like to commend the work of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, as well as Justice Rapid Response, an intergovernmental standby facility of active-duty criminal justice and related professionals.

  • Country

    Slovenia
  • Extracts

    The International Criminal Court is the only international tribunal whose statute explicitly refers to sexual and gender violence as crimes against humanity. The use of the Court in such cases should be an important aspect of establishing peace and security and the rule of law, whereby special attention should be given to the principle of complementarity and to the issue of closing the legal gaps regarding accountability for the most serious international crimes. However, the most important area of focus must remain the victims.

  • Country

    Slovenia
  • Extracts

    Let us recall that Slovenia, together with Netherlands and Belgium, presented an initiative aimed at improving the international framework for mutual legal assistance and extradition in cases involving the investigation and prosecution of the most serious crimes of international concern, including sexual and gender violence as crimes against humanity. As suspects, evidence, witnesses and assets related to those crimes are usually not restricted to the territory of any one State, strengthening mutual legal assistance between States is indispensable for States, if they are to be truly effective in the national prosecution and investigation of those crimes.

  • Country

    Southern Africa
  • Extracts

    In closing, every effort must be made to end impunity by perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict. Making parties live up to their commitments in peace agreements, which include the prohibition of sexual violence in such agreements, is certainly one of the tools that must be utilized with fervour. The Security Council must also include measures that bring pressure to bear on perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict, especially on individuals and parties, through targeted and graduated measures, as well as for the Security Council to immediately and unambiguously pronounce on those acts as and when perpetrated.

  • Country

    Southern Africa
  • Extracts

    We concur with the five-point priority agenda of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, but we believe that priority must be given to fostering national ownership, leadership and responsibility in addressing sexual violence in conflict, thereby ensuring its sustainability. The role of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict becomes crucial in enhancing the capacity-building of civilian and military justice systems to address sexual violence in conflict afflicted communities.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    The United States welcomes this opportunity to reaffirm the indispensable role of women in bringing peace and security to countries embroiled in conflict or emerging from it. Women's active, indeed integral, involvement in peace processes and transitional justice mechanisms, including to address sexual violence, is critical to laying the foundation for lasting peace. The resolution that we have adopted today reinforces our collective efforts to prevent conflict-related sexual violence, hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes and provide support and justice to survivors. It also recognizes that national Governments have the primary responsibility for addressing the issue.The United States welcomes this opportunity to reaffirm the indispensable role of women in bringing peace and security to countries embroiled in conflict or emerging from it. Women's active, indeed integral, involvement in peace processes and transitional justice mechanisms, including to address sexual violence, is critical to laying the foundation for lasting peace. The resolution that we have adopted today reinforces our collective efforts to prevent conflict-related sexual violence, hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes and provide support and justice to survivors. It also recognizes that national Governments have the primary responsibility for addressing the issue.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    We see signs of progress as some national Governments are making justice systems more responsive and accessible to survivors of sexual violence. For example, Sierra Leon's new sexual offence law gives stiff minimum sentences to perpetrators. Sri Lanka's women's protection units provide female staff at police stations, and privacy for women to report crimes. In May, Somalia committed to ensuring the the protection of victims, witnesses, journalists and others who report on sexual violence — a necessity for strengthening legal cases and bringing those issues into the public sphere.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    We applaud and appreciate the critical role that civil society, especially local women's groups, plays in assisting survivors by providing them with medical care, counselling and a political voice, and by facilitating their access to justice. The United States is proud to support Congolese organizations that provide free legal aid for survivors, as well as training for provincial lawyers and mobile courts — courts that heard almost 3,000 cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year. The efforts of local civil society remain vital and deserve even greater support from national authorities and the international community.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    We also commend international initiatives that bolster national capacity on the issue. The United Kingdom, and Foreign Secretary Hague in particular, deserves praise for leading the development by the Group of Eight of an international protocol on the investigation and documentation of rape and other forms of sexual violence in conflict. Through efforts such as Justice Rapid Response, UN-Women and other entities have provided valuable technical support for promoting accountability by helping to document evidence for judicial processes. And the Security Council has adopted targeted sanctions against those who commit, command or condone sexual violence in places such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We strongly encourage United Nations Sanctions Committees to expand their use of that tool to fight impunity.

  • Country

    United States of America
  • Extracts

    We have indeed made strides in addressing sexual violence in conflict, but there is still a long way to go. More countries should criminalize conflict-related sexual violence. Provisions that prohibit amnesty for perpetrators must be put into ceasefire and mediation agreements. And it is imperative that the international community and senior United Nations officials, at Headquarters and in the field, support the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

  • Country

    Azerbaijan
  • Extracts

    It is imperative that all parties to armed conflict strictly abide by their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. Azerbaijan reiterates its strong condemnation of all acts of sexual violence in conflict. There can be no tolerance for such acts, and all the necessary measures must be taken to end impunity. Governments bear the primary responsibility for the protection of civilians, and national courts are the principal venues for holding individuals accountable for crimes of sexual violence. At the same time, inadequate national capacity and expertise for investigating and prosecuting acts of sexual violence remains one of the main impediments to ensuring accountability. In that regard, we note the efforts of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, established pursuant to resolution 1888 (2009), to strengthen the capacity of national rule-of-law and justice actors. However, when national authorities fail to take action, the international community should play a more proactive role in ensuring an appropriate response.

  • Country

    Azerbaijan
  • Extracts

    Unfortunately, not all grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including acts of sexual violence, receive sufficient attention and response at the international and regional levels. More resolute and targeted measures are therefore required to bring the perpetrators of such acts to justice; such measures and appropriate protection efforts must obviously be free of selectivity and politically motivated approaches and preferences.

  • Country

    New Zealand
  • Extracts

    Next, accountability for sexual violence does not lend itself to a one-size-fits-all approach. The Council must be agile, inclusive and open to considering alternative courses of action. Presidential and public statements from the Council give voice to the international community's abhorrence for sexual violence and send a very strong signal that it will not be tolerated. But words alone are not enough, and, in appropriate circumstances, where national authorities are unwilling or unable to act, the Council should consider referrals to the International Criminal Court. Similarly, the Council should also consider the use of mixed tribunals and truth and reconciliation processes, and any judicial measures should be clearly victim- focused.

  • Country

    Pakistan
  • Extracts

    Resolution 2106 (21303), adopted today, will have an impact on implementation as it translates the Secretary-General's recommendations into concrete decisions. The Security Council, by today's resolution, calls for targeted sanctions against perpetrators. It equips different bodies and entities with tools to oppose impunity, empowers women to seek redress, strengthens international political response and fosters national ownership. The Council's call for the immediate cessation of acts of sexual violence and implementation of time-bound commitments should be heeded by all parties to armed conflicts. Those calls are not abstract. They should resonate to real life situations in the Syria Arab Republic, Guinea-Bissau, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and other armed conflicts.

  • Country

    Pakistan
  • Extracts

    To conclude, I emphasize that we should also devote energies to addressing the root causes of conflicts. While the Council takes punitive measures against perpetrators, its efforts are strengthened by the voice of the global citizens who help us nurture a culture of zero tolerance of unconscionable acts of sexual violence. In this context, the perspective of Ms. Jane Adong Anywar of NGO Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice is important and directly relevant to our work.

  • Country

    Solomon Is.
  • Extracts

    The Solomon Islands agrees that sexual violence is widespread in conflicts and is often used as a tool to deliberately humiliate opponents. A number of Council resolutions speak to that, particularly resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010), as well as resolution 1325 (2000). It is also correct to say that the vast majority of victims and survivors of sexual violence do not see justice come their way.

  • Country

    Togo
  • Extracts

    There can be no doubt that atrocities against women and girls will continue to be committed if their authors have no fear of being caught and if aggressors are not prosecuted and punshed. We believe that verbal condemnations and promises to act are no longer enough. We must go further by seeking to further educate not only military and Government leaders, but also rebel movements. Raising awareness among the commanders of these forces on the protection of civilians, respect for international legal instruments, humanitarian law and human rights law, as well as the effective implementation of relevant agreements, should be favored and supported.

  • Country

    Togo
  • Extracts

    We must address the issue of impunity through the adoption of strict provisions. In this regard, the United Nations should assist States in developing or establishing mechanisms of cooperation through bilateral or regional agreements for the arrest and extradition of alleged perpetrators of violence against women and girls. and by strengthening the capacity of national courts, whose weaknesses with respect to this issue tend to perpetuate the violence.

  • Country

    Togo
  • Extracts

    Despite all the difficulties and the need to ensure the protection of women and girls in armed conflict and to prosecute their attackers, there is still the hope that combating such violence will succeed thanks to the commitment and efforts of the international community. We wish to commend the efforts of UN-Women, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and many international and non-governmental organizations to that end. However, their advocacy must include a plea for the universalization of the Arms Trade Treaty, because its implementation by all States, particularly those where weapons are manufactured, could make a big contribution to ending the sale and illegal trafficking of arms in countries in conflict. Such weapons fuel conflict and violence, particularly against women and girls.

  • Country

    Russia
  • Extracts

    The diverse nature of violence in armed conflict requires us to pay particular attention to all of its manifestations. We should base our consideration of the issue of women, peace and security on a comprehensive approach, as stipulated in resolution 1325 (2000). Sexual violence is one such manifestation of cause, warranting firm condemnation and harsh punishment. Painstaking investigations of all cases and punishment for the perpetrators are the keys to success in combating that heinous practice.

  • Country

    Sudan
  • Extracts

    National programmes on rehabilitation, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration have devoted special priority to the situation of women, in close cooperation with the relevant United Nations agencies, including UN–Women. My country has had a national strategy on combating gender-based violence since 2005, and has established a unit under the Ministry of Justice to combat violence against women and children. In order to safeguard our borders, prevent the smuggling of weapons and stem the subversive activities undertaken by rebel movements, which violate human rights, particularly the rights of women and girls, we will continue to enforce the border agreement with Chad, as well as the tripartite agreement with Chad and the Central African Republic, in addition to extending the security cooperation protocol with Libya. At the justice level, the Office of the Prosecutor General in Darfur continues to look into reports submitted by victims.

  • Speaker

    Holy See
  • Extracts

    Within that framework, the Holy See appreciates the Security Council's commitment to enhancing international awareness of — and the resolve to address — the victimization of women and girls, as well as men and boys, by the heinous acts of sexual violence so often found in situations of armed conflict. A just response to sexual violence must be motivated not by revenge, which would simply perpetuate a chain of hatred, but must rather seek to build the common good. That responsibility demands that perpetrators be held accountable for their actions in order to deter future violence, while at the same time repairing the damage done to victims and the community as a whole by providing the necessary reparations, support and care, in recognition of their human dignity and worth.

  • Country

    Spain
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence in conflict is a phenomenon that should receive more and urgent attention, and Spain welcomes every effort of the international community to continue working to combat this scourge more effectively. We also welcome the Council's adoption this morning of resolution 2106 (2013), of which Spain was a sponsor. It is particularly pertinent in that it specifically addresses the issue of impunity as one of the key components in the fight against sexual violence in conflict. Combating impunity must be addressed with a comprehensive approach that promotes an education system that promotes the dignity and equality of men and women, a social system that condemns sexual violence and a legal mechanism aimed at ensuring the protection of victims and the punishment of perpetrators.

Reconstruction and Peacebuilding
  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    Peacebuilding needs the involvement of women. The role played by women in peacebuilding in many countries over the past decade has highlighted the importance of their full participation. Women need to be present at the table to discuss issues such as genocide, impunity and security, if a just and enduring peace is to be built.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, fighting impunity and ensuring accountability should be given critical importance in ceasefire and post-conflict reconstruction processes. Ending impunity is crucial if a society recovering from conflict is to come to terms with the past and to prevent future abuses. Sexual violence should be included in the definition of acts prohibited by ceasefires and in provisions for ceasefire monitoring. Furthermore, crimes of sexual violence need to be excluded from amnesty provisions in the context of conflict resolution processes.

  • Country

    Ireland
  • Extracts

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region, which might be considered the cockpit of conflict-related sexual violence, is a case in point. On 4 June, the Permanent Mission of Ireland convened a high-level panel discussion on women and peacebuilding in the Great Lakes region. A report on the event is available on our website. At the event, Special Envoy Mary Robinson explored the opportunities provided by the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region. In particular, she highlighted the importance of bringing together women civil society leaders as part of a regional platform for peace. At the panel discussion, Special Representative Bangura described the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework as a new opportunity to tap into the vast potential that is African women. Lina Zedriga, a civil society leader for Uganda, offered powerful personal testimony and called for women to be given the opportunity to speak for themselves, saying “We are not victims; we are stakeholders”.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    Sexual and gender-based violence can be seen from two perspectives. On the one hand, we see women as victims of such violence, from the perspective of violence against women. On the other hand, however, we often tend to underestimate the role that women can play in finding solutions through conflict prevention, resolution and transformation — in fact, by using the reverse perspective, of women against violence. That capacity is underutilized, decreasing the effectiveness and likelihood of success of any peace and reconstruction process. The Netherlands recognizes that women play active roles as peacebuilders, politicians, activists and quite often also as combatants. We should listen, therefore, to the priorities that women define, and we should understand the barriers that women perceive. Their participation in finding solutions to conflicts and in reconstruction processes is indispensable.

  • Country

    Netherlands
  • Extracts

    In conclusion, women can be powerful actors for peace, security, and prosperity. When they participate in peace processes and other formal decision-making processes, they can play an important role in initiating and inspiring progress on human rights, justice, national reconciliation and economic revitalization. They can also build coalitions across ethnic and sectarian lines and speak up for marginalized and minority groups. Investing in women's leadership is therefore smart security as well as smart development.

  • Country

    Namibia
  • Extracts

    While this debate is mainly addressing issues of sexual violence, we must also focus our attention beyond the realm of conflict periods. However, we are concerned about the continued low representation of women in all structures and phases of the peacebuilding processes. In spite of the disproportionate impact of conflict on women, they continue to hold their families and communities together, often undertaking initiatives between warring factions under extremely difficult conditions. When included in formal peace processes, they bring their experiences to bear on the parties. It is therefore imperative that they be included at all peacebuilding levels.

  • Country

    India
  • Extracts

    The resolution of conflict situations requires the adoption of a sustainable and holistic approach to conflict resolution and the overall reconstruction of impacted societies. In our view, gender equality and women's empowerment are integral to the pursuit of this objective. The participation of women in peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction efforts is imperative for laying the foundation for durable peace. Economic recovery, social cohesion and political legitimacy cannot be achieved without the active engagement of women.

  • Country

    Malaysia
  • Extracts

    Malaysia believes that the equal, full and active participation of women is key to peacekeeping and peacebuilding. My delegation is of the view that women should not just be seen as victims, but as central to all efforts to end this global phenomenon. It is crucial to bring women into peace processes. They must be active participants in all efforts to combat this horrific phenomenon.

  • Country

    Colombia
  • Extracts

    Colombia also joins in the repeated condemnations by the Security Council of violations of international humanitarian law committed against women and girls, and the need to bring to justice those who are responsible for such crimes, in particular the perpetrators of sexual violence against women. We also underscore the importance of enhancing the role of women in peacebuilding and in providing assistance to victims, in particular the victims of sexual violence. It is clear that in order to ensure that those cases are managed properly, information has to be gathered by United Nations agencies on the ground in a timely, precise, reliable and objective way. In that way, the United Nations entities can address each case individually, conduct related criminal investigations, and ensure due process and follow-up, as required.

  • Country

    Southern Africa
  • Extracts

    We support the recommendations of the Secretary- General as contained in his recent report. We believe, however, that the effective implementation of resolution 1960 (2010) will require greater involvement of women in conflict resolution, mediation and peacebuilding processes. While there is value in the Security Council's developing monitoring mechanisms to ensure the implementation of the provisions of resolution 1960 (2010), the greater involvement of women in negotiation and peacemaking processes brings with it a greater infusion of gender concerns and interests in the resolution process.

Implementation
  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    For example, the United Kingdom is now taking the lead in developing a new international protocol on the investigation and documentation of rape and sexual violence in conflict, working with experts from all over the world. Its aim is to increase the number of successful prosecutions by setting out practical standards for the investigation and documentation of such crimes, so that the strongest possible evidence is collected and survivors are cared for sensitively.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We have also set up a team of over 70 United Kingdom experts, including doctors, forensic scientists, police and gender experts, which can be deployed to reinforce United Nations and national efforts. It has already been deployed in Bosnia, to the Syrian border, and to Libya, Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo this year. Later this year we will carry out further deployments to support Syrian survivors, and we will return to Bosnia, Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    Resolution 2106 (2013), which we have just adopted today, sends a powerful signal to the world of leadership from the Security Council. It recognizes the commitments made in the G-8 declaration, which will add to the international momentum that has begun to gather but which must now become unstoppable. It recognizes the responsibility of national Governments to uphold human rights and the rule of law in their countries, and it will expand the tools available to Ms. Bangura to work with them, notably the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia, which have shown great courage in signing joint communiqués with the United Nations.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    These and other steps listed in the resolution, if fully implemented, will represent vital new advances. But it is only a beginning. We need action on all fronts, from the Security Council and the United Nations as a whole, and from Governments in conflict-affected countries. We need to begin to demolish impunity, create a new culture of deterrence, and at the same time focus on long-term care and support for survivors.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We need the Security Council to keep showing the determined leadership that we have called for, and at the same time must listen to, involve and support local organizations. Indeed, I strongly support the development of a network of regional champions to support their efforts.

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    Of course, all countries must do more to address violence against women in all its forms, and not just in conflict situations

  • Country

    United Kingdom
  • Extracts

    We can and must do all those things but must never lose sight of our overriding objective: to consign the use of rape as a weapon of war to the pages of history. I believe that has to begin, above all, with a focus on ending impunity and by bringing to bear the weight, authority and leadership of the Security Council.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    The women's protection advisers are a new cadre of specialists combining political and security expertise, human rights monitoring and gender analysis. Their principal role is to catalyse the implementation of the key operational aspects of the Council's resolutions on sexual violence in conflict.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    Crucially, the draft resolution calls on all parties to a conflict to make specific commitments to prevent sexual violence, and challenges the United Nations to engage with parties to illicit such commitments. Such an engagement-based approach has already begun to yield results, with several formal agreements between the United Nations and affected countries to address conflict-related sexual violence.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    I cannot overemphasize that the commitment of the United Nations system, however great it may be, can never substitute for the political will and action of national actors. The United Nations, through the United Nations Action Network of 13 entities, stands ready to support local efforts. But national actors must lead from the front, and the international community must support their efforts with adequate resources and technical assistance.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    Over the course of five years, we have seen significant progress at the political level, advances led largely by the Security Council. Its engagement has shattered an enduring myth that has paralysed action for too long, namely, that sexual violence is culturally or socially unspeakable, that it is an inevitable by-product of war for which little can be done, or that it does not merit such singular focus because in the hierarchy of human rights violations sexual violence is a lesser evil.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    The draft resolution to be adopted by the Council today consolidates that approach. It reinforces the robust conceptual framework, the infrastructure and the elements of the compliance regime established by resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010) — a compliance regime based on reliable and timely information and analysis, and the political, strategic and tactical-level actions that must be taken on the basis of such information. In its scope, operational detail and clarity, the draft resolution encapsulates the evolution of our understanding of conflict-related sexual violence and what it takes to prevent it. As such it, outlines a comprehensive operational approach to tackle the problem.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    The United Nations Team of Experts plays an important role in that regard, serving as a ready resource for national authorities in their efforts to strengthen the rule-of-law response to sexual violence. That is proving to be an innovative and valuable tool for Governments, and should be further reinforced. In the coming months, we also hope to accelerate the deployment of women's protection advisers to the relevant United Nations peacekeeping and special political missions.

  • Speaker

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Extracts

    To the contrary, the resolutions of the Security Council affirm that this crime, when committed systematically and used as a tool of war, is a fundamental threat to the maintenance of international peace and security, and as such requires an operational, security and justice response. That paradigm shift requires a new approach to attack the scourge of war-time rape. Among other things, it compels us to expand the circle of stakeholders beyond the traditional gender experts, to also engage uniformed peacekeepers, mediators, ceasefire monitors, war-crime prosecutors and the full range of civilian-protection and justice-sector actors.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    I would like to recall here the principles of the United Nations initiative to combat sexual violence against women in conflict situations. Rape is not an inevitable consequence of war. Gender violence, including sexual violence, is a violation of women's dignity and fundamental human rights. Attempts to halt and respond to sexual violence must address gender inequalities and contribute to women's empowerment. Women are often leaders in the process of eliminating sexual violence and ensuring peace; the constructive participation of men and boys in it is vital to the prevention of sexual violence in conflict situations. Best practices against sexual violence must be strengthened. Sexual violence in conflict situations and impunity for those who commit such crimes have been met with a deafening silence. We all have a duty to act.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    We also recently signed the Arms Trade Treaty, after having worked together with many present here, fighting hard to ensure that for the first time the link between the international arms trade and gender violence could be recognized. The President of my country has signed a decree regarding the implementation of our national plan of action on resolution 1325 (2000) and complementary measures. Men and women participating in peacekeeping missions are given training on gender perspectives and human rights. The strengthening of gender focal points in Blue Helmets is also a priority.

  • Country

    Argentina
  • Extracts

    In the negotiations leading to the adoption today of resolution 2106 (2013), we held intensive discussions on the tensions that may occur between the protection of human rights and the principle of State sovereignty, both fundamental pillars of the system of international relations arising from the Charter of our Organization.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    We live in a world today where rape is used as a weapon of physical, psychological and social destruction, a world where in some places where women's bodies have become a real battleground. Such sexual violence committed in conflict should in no way be forgotten or go unpunished, and that is what we have come here to say today. The international community, of course, has been dealing with this question for some 10 years now, through the Council's adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) and succeeding resolutions, and that has led to commendable progress — condemning such violence unanimously, calling for the intensification of efforts aimed at better protecting women and, of course, at combating impunity, but also by establishing an important principle that I would like to recall here, that of women's equal participation in the reconciliation and reconstruction process. We must not forget that the best way of protecting those women is by making them stakeholders, rather than only subjects.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Significant progress has been made since then, above all political progress, due in particular to the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary- General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. I would like once again to commend her commitment, as it has strengthened international awareness on the subject. I also thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the zero-tolerance policy that has been set forth here against all forms of exploitation or sexual abuse attributed to United Nations staff, in particular forces deployed on the ground. That policy must continue with the same determination and firmness, because the United Nations must be nothing more than exemplary in that context.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    In Mali, the President of the Republic has underscored that the French intervention was in fact also based on the need to defend the rights of female victims of violence. The deployment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, the political process currently under way and the elections to come will, we hope, assist in re-establishing peace and stability in the country. However, the sexual violence committed by armed groups in the north in 2012 has traumatized Malian society. Justice must be pursued for all victims of sexual violence. They must be provided with psychological and legal assistance. The Malian authorities, with the support of the United Nations and the ICC, cannot avoid that issue.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Those four actions consist of, first, strengthening protection on the ground. Women's protection advisers play a key role. France wishes to see their deployment in peacekeeping and political missions extended beyond the missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Mali, and, above all, that they be provided with appropriate resources to carry out their work.

  • Country

    France
  • Extracts

    Thirdly, we must take to the fight against impunity with earnest; stigma and shame must switch sides so that the victims are no longer those who suffer the consequences of the crimes. That task falls above all to Governments, which have the responsibility to prosecute and punish. However, as has been said, if the State is unable to so act, the International Criminal Court, which is universal, must and should play its role

  • Country

    Armenia
  • Extracts

    Armenia expresses its readiness to work closely with the Council, other United Nations bodies, interested institutions and concerned non-governmental organizations to expand and implement the women and peace and security agenda and better the situation of women around the world, including those affected by armed conflict.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Domestic efforts must be complemented by effective international prosecutions; United Nations interventions empowered to engage militias and other perpetrators of these crimes; effective protection mechanisms for civilians, including those targeting sexual violence; cooperative regional bodies; and, above all, compliance by the United Nations and Member States with their collective resolutions and recommendations on security, women, peace and the prevention of and response to acts of sexual violence.

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    Let me again draw on our experience in Uganda. In 2011, the International Crimes Division within Uganda became operational, with the jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in compliance with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The creation of that domestic war crimes court was welcomed by large sections of the community, in particular women's rights and peace advocates, who described the court as comforting for victims and a milestone in raising hopes and expectations for the realization of justice and meaningful peace

  • Speaker

    Civil Society Speaker
  • Extracts

    The paucity of domestic prosecutions for crimes of sexual violence, the limited volume of international prosecutions for these crimes and the scale worldwide of crimes of sexualized violence, particularly in situations of armed conflict, continue to leave an impunity gap so distinct that in recent years it has become the focus of several Security Council resolutions. The attention given by the Council to sexual violence is necessary and urgent, and with developments such as the United Kingdom's Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, the United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict and the work of the International Criminal Court, attention to this issue is becoming increasingly strategic.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    First, it is important that the Council be provided with timely and accurate information. Regular briefings to the Security Council by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and by UN-Women; enhancing the United Nations monitoring, analysis and reporting mechanism; and the systematic inclusion of women's protection advisers on peacekeeping and political missions could strengthen the capacity of the Council to effectively respond to impunity.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Secondly, there must be strict implementation of zero-tolerance policies towards sexual misconduct by peacekeeping, political and peacebuilding personnel. Those actors are the face of the United Nations for the people who are plagued by conflict. They must ensure the highest standards of respect for human rights and humanitarian law and be accountable for their violation.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Fourthly, national authorities should be supported in their efforts to fight against impunity. Governments have the primary responsibility to protect their populations from sexual violence and to ensure that justice is done. The international community must stand ready to provide technical assistance and capacity- building, and to help strengthen the rule of law. The United Nations has a key role to play, as proven by the work done by the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict. Peacekeepers shouldd be trained and tasked with investigating crimes of sexual violence. Cooperation with civil society organizations, particularly those led by women, is also essential.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Fifthly, cooperation should be enhanced between the Security Council and the International Criminal Court (ICC), in particular when dealing with cases of sexual violence. The perpetrators of large-scale sexual violence should never benefit from differences of opinion within the Council on a specific situation. Well-documented crimes should act as a clear basis for fast-track referrals by the Council to the ICC.

  • Country

    Italy
  • Extracts

    Finally, Italy will enhance its support for the United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women, which is the global grant- making mechanism dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls in all of its forms, including sexual violence.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    I would like to underline the following three points. First, we underscore the importance of accountability at the national level. States bear the primary responsibility to protect women and girls from conflict-related sexual violence and bring those responsible to justice. In that regard, my delegation welcomes the stress placed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on national ownership, leadership and responsibility in combating sexual violence as one of her priorities. All States should include the full range of acts of sexual violence in national penal legislation and ensure the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for violations through proper legal and policy frameworks.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    We believe that political will is crucial. The lack of adequate national capacity to investigate and prosecute sexual violence may also be one of the main challenges to ensuring accountability for crimes of conflict-related sexual violence. We welcome the fact that the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict has been focusing its efforts on strengthening the capacity of national rule of law and justice actors.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    The long-term prevention of sexual violence is equally important. We also commend UN-Women for its increasing contribution to the promotion of gender equality and women's political, social and economic empowerment, as well as their participation in every sector of society.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    The Security Council should play its role by referring serious sexual violence to the ICC and by adopting targeted and graduated measures of relevant sanctions committees. Furthermore, the Security Council needs to systematically ref lect sexual violence in conf lict in all relevant country resolutions and ensure the inclusion of specific language on addressing conflict- related sexual violence, including the accelerated and extended deployment of women's protection advisers in all peacekeeping and political mission mandates.

  • Country

    S. Korea
  • Extracts

    Before closing, my delegation would like to commend the excellent work of Special Representative Bangura and extend its full support to her in fulfilling her mandate. The Republic of Korea will remain committed to fighting conflict-related sexual violence, in cooperation with the international community.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    While we remain convinced that more needs be done to address such ongoing atrocities, my delegation also wishes to emphasise the responsibility of States to comply with their relevant obligations to end impunity, and to effectively use all available means to enforce accountability by prosecuting all perpetrators of such crimes. Botswana recognises the important role of the United Nations system in addressing violence against women and children at the global, regional and national levels, and in assisting States in their efforts to eliminate and prevent all forms of violence against women and children.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    To that end, I wish to express the support of my delegation for the work of UN-Women, as well as the mandates of the Secretary-General's Special Representatives on Sexual Violence in Conflict and on Children and Armed Conflict. While also recognizing the existing normative framework established under various Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1261 (1999), 1325 (2000) and other subsequent resolutions on women and peace and security and on children and armed conflict, Botswana shares the belief that efforts to address sexual violence in conflict should be consistent with, and complementary to, wider United Nations efforts. In that regard, we also wish to underline that greater coordination and collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders is essential to strengthening global efforts to address sexual violence.

  • Country

    Botswana
  • Extracts

    With regard to women's access to justice, we call on States to take practical steps to address obstacles in women's access to justice, including by creating an enabling environment where women can easily report incidents of violence without fear or intimidation. Furthermore, we urge all States to strengthen the capacity of national criminal justice systems to serve victims with dignity.

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    We also underline the importance that all relevant peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations properly address the impact of conflict on women and girls, and that the increased participation of women be encouraged. It is an approach that is reflected domestically through our National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, which we launched in 2011. The plan is Croatia's blueprint for practical implementation of our obligations under resolution 1325 (2000).

  • Country

    Croatia
  • Extracts

    Clear guidance on how to operationalize the protection of civilians mandate, including the protection of women and girls from sexual violence, is also needed for peacekeeping missions. We have the opportunity to use United Nations expertise, including such human rights mechanisms as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women. All Member States should ensure that the training of peacekeepers includes training on resolution 1325 (2000).

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    All States are responsible not only for ending such violence but also for ending impunity for war crimes, including those related to sexual violence. In Ecuador, the Constitution recognizes the right of people to live free from all forms of violence. Our Constitution also designates the armed forces as an institution to protect the rights, freedoms and guarantees of citizens, and that members of the armed forces may be judged only by the legal system, which is why the Military Justice Court was abolished in 2008. This reflects the determination of the State to ensure the impartiality of judges and to prevent impunity.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    It is crucial to bear in mind that the participation of women on an equal footing with men is indispensible for achieving peace. The State of Ecuador has incorporated the gender perspective into its National Plan for Good Living, but also has a national plan for the eradication of gender-based violence, which was established as State policy in 2007. The Ministry of National Defence promotes the concept of defence as a public good, and a gender approach is therefore incorporated into defence policy. Human rights are seen as an area for action in policy implementation, including through the promotion of policies of gender equality, coexistence and respect for cultural identity and the effective implementation of resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1889 (2009).

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    In March this year, we established the Ecuadorian Armed Forces Gender Policy, based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination, especially non-discrimination against women. The Policy emphasizes the strategic political importance of the participation of women in the military sphere, with equal rights and opportunities. The Gender Policy promotes change in the cultural patterns that lead to gender-based violence, is incorporated into the education of military personnel, and promotes educational programmes on preventing sexual violence, in particular in training troops.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    To measure the impact of the Gender Policy with indicators, the Ministry of Defence has a computerized system for monitoring human rights, gender equality and intercultural matters. This system allows us to link cases of suspected human rights violations and gender-based violence, serving as a useful tool for building respect for human rights and gender equality in the armed forces and for eradicating violence against individuals, communities, ethnic groups and nationalities.

  • Country

    Ecuador
  • Extracts

    We believe that if each State establishes a national framework, international ones will be strengthened. No one should be beyond the reach of national or international justice in cases of gender violence, particularly sexual violence in situations of conflict. Hence Ecuador, as a State party, supports the International Criminal Court and calls on those States that have not yet done so, particularly those involved in conflict of any sort, to accede to the Rome Statute.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    National courts are primarily responsible for prosecuting and trying the perpetrators of sexual violence associated with armed conflict. States must likewise assume their responsibilities by taking the steps necessary to incorporate into their national legislation provisions criminalizing sexual violence and excluding amnesty laws for the most serious crimes, including sexual violence. The international community, for its part, must continue to support national authorities in their efforts to fight impunity. At the United Nations, the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict can play a particularly useful supporting role in this regard.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    Finally, in the fight against impunity and to end sexual violence related to conflict, it is important for the Council to continue to discharge its responsibilities, provide concrete follow-up to its decisions, adopt, if necessary, targeted measures to increase the pressure on perpetrators, and systematically inscribe the alleged perpetrators of sexual violence on sanctions committee lists, taking into account the information provided by the Special Representative in this regard. Resolution 2106 (2013), which we have just adopted, is important in that respect, and Luxembourg is proud to be a sponsor.

  • Country

    Luxembourg
  • Extracts

    It sends a clear signal to all parties who commit sexual violence that the Security Council will not relax its attention to these acts. Impunity will not prevail.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Over the years, a number of tools and mechanisms have been developed to ensure that action is taken against the scourge of sexual violence in armed conflicts. The Security Council, through its growing focus on women and peace and security, has played an important role in establishing a solid framework to prevent and address conflict-related sexual violence. In that regard, civil society has also contributed to this noble goal and shed much-needed light on one of history's greatest silences. Yet more needs to be done.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    First, the commitment of the national Governments concerned in the fight against sexual violence in armed conflict and their ownership of the process are crucial to preventing and putting an end to this phenomenon. That requires an innovative approach on our collective part, one that builds upon the gains achieved so far, enhances national ownership in the process and tackles the root causes of conflicts, namely, weak institutions, poverty, marginalization, social discrimination and exclusion, while ensuring adequate technical assistance and financial support to help States meet their commitments.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    In that regard, Morocco recognizes the important role played by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and her team in increasing the international visibility of this important issue, and for the valuable support she brings to concerned countries and subregional and regional organizations.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    It is crucial that the United Nations system and the international community continue to support and assist Member States, while fully respecting their sovereignty, in the elaboration of relevant national legislation, action plans and codes of conduct, as well as in the strengthening of their institutions and the rule of law.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Secondly, it is important to adopt a comprehensive approach in dealing with sexual violence in armed conflict. Success will be achieved only if the countries concerned are also able to address the root causes of this scourge. To that end, a coordinated approach is needed, not only at the national level but also at that of the United Nations, notably through strengthening national institutions in order to prevent conflicts. In that regard, we highly value the goals of the United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict and recognize the need for its implementation.

  • Country

    Morocco
  • Extracts

    Lastly, the involvement of public authorities, national institutions for human rights, civil society and non-governmental organizations, including local women's associations, in raising awareness to enhance the protection of women in conflict situations, as well as the involvement of the donor community, should be encouraged, as they make a positive contribution to our common endeavour.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    For those reasons, we support the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and resolution 1960 (2010), which emphasize that all peacekeeping mandates incorporate provisions that specifically identify steps to address sexual violence, and that should include the clear identification of women's protection advisers alongside gender advisers and human rights protection units.

  • Country

    Rwanda
  • Extracts

    Let me conclude by once again thanking non-governmental organizations, civil society and other non-State actors for their support to the cause of women and girls and for their contribution to justice against perpetrators of sexual and gender- based violence. We hope and trust that their actions, combined with a genuine commitment by States as well as by the international community, will hasten the day when women, girls and children are no longer brutally targeted in conflicts that they did not at all create.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    The effective prevention of sexual violence in armed conflict also requires the strengthening of national institutions and capabilities so that States can lead in designing and implementing comprehensive domestic strategies in this domain. The international community's duty is to provide adequate support to local authorities, when requested, and cooperate with national efforts in areas such as awareness-raising, education campaigns, reconciliation and early-warning systems.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    Furthermore, through peacekeeping operations and special political missions, the United Nations can play an important preventive role. To that end, Member States must ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to activities in this area in the United Nations budget. We must also adequately train our peacekeepers in women, peace and security issues. The Secretariat and missions throughout the world must continue to improve prevention tools. In this regard, Brazil is pleased at the progress made on the monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    The consistent prosecution of sexual crimes is a strong deterrent to future incidents. The United Nations is in a unique position to cooperate with national authorities, as appropriate, in strengthening national justice systems. Brazil welcomes the work of Ms. Bangura's office in this area, as well as the valuable role that the United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict can play.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    National Governments should also focus on seeking to improve services for victims. Authorities and societies must be ready to provide the critical health, psychosocial, legal and other support needed by women and girls who have been subject to the horrors of sexual violence in conflict situations.

  • Country

    Brazil
  • Extracts

    Brazil is seeking to do its part. Our Ministry of Defence has signed a letter of intent with UN-Women to deepen our cooperation regarding the training of peacekeepers on gender issues and the promotion of South-South cooperation on this subject. In Haiti, we have been helping to build local capacity to deal with victims of gender-based violence in areas such as health, justice and security. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, more than 400 victims of sexual violence have benefited from the Brazilian contribution to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    The Security Council and the United Nations system should act systematically and comprehensively to address gaps and challenges in its work on women, peace and security, as well as to monitor the commitments by parties to conflict to prevent and address conflict-related sexual violence.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    The primary responsibility for the prevention of sexual violence in conflict lies with national Governments as well as with the leadership of non-State armed groups. Where those leaders fail to respond to sexual violence or are party to the crimes, they must be held to account. Often, however, Governments lack the capacity to respond adequately.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    In that regard, Canada calls on the Council to ensure that Sanctions Committees add criteria pertaining to acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence to their existing criteria. Further action at the international level is imperative to end sexual violence in conflict, to tackle the lack of accountability that exists for those crimes and to provide comprehensive support services to survivors. For its part, Canada is active in the prevention and response to sexual violence in conflict. For example, Canada is contributing $18.5 million to the United Nations Development Programme to support the fight against sexual violence in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition, at the London launch of the Group of Eight declaration on preventing sexual violence in conflict, Canada announced an additional $5 million contribution to international efforts to be programmed this year.

  • Country

    Canada
  • Extracts

    Canada urges all Member States to join the international effort and we look forward to working together to stop sexual violence.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    We agree with the Secretary-General's March report on sexual violence in conflict (S/2013/149) that national courts remain primarily responsible for investigating and judging crimes of sexual violence in conflicts, and we value the important complementary role played by the international tribunals in combating crimes of that kind. We attach the greatest importance to the contribution made by resolution 1960 (2010) in that regard, which represented great progress in establishing a political commitment to the prevention and handling of the atrocities of rape in wartime and in establishing the basis for ensuring the accountability of perpetrators.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    In recent years, efforts have been made to modernize Chilean institutions to conform to the human rights and gender focus of resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent resolutions on the subject in a forward-looking approach reflecting our national and regional reality. This year we will be launching our national plan based on that resolution, updated for the period 2014-2018, with specific indicators for effectively measuring various types of activity. That, in turn, will be the basis for the next national plan for the period 2019-2022. The indicators represent five specific goals: prevention, participation, protection, help and recovery. They will be implemented globally and jointly, with the aim of creating a strong foundation for combating sexual violence committed in pre-conflict and post-conflict situations.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    Although that action concerns the national sphere, we also attach great importance to the enhancement of the international humanitarian response capacity and to the role of international cooperation in achieving those goals, particularly in the context of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. In accordance with the principle of gender equality, Chile has included a female military contingent in the Mission and supports the zero tolerance policy of the United Nations towards cases of sexual abuse and improper conduct in which some members of its contingent have been involved.

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    Chile attaches great importance to the prevention of sexual violence in conflicts and to the care, protection and compensation of victims of sexual violence in conflict. On earlier occasions we have drawn attention, inter alia, to the progress made by our national legislation on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). We particularly support the role being played by the women serving as protection advisers for their work with survivors of acts of sexual violence in places affected by conflicts, and we attach the greatest importance to ending the culture of impunity for sexual violence in conflicts in all its manifestations

  • Country

    Chile
  • Extracts

    We wish to express concern, however, about the fact that in several areas it is still difficult to investigate and judge crimes of sexual violence committed against women and children because the national courts lack skills and expertise. That continues to make it difficult to bring perpetrators of such crimes to trial. For that reason, we emphasize the support needed from the United Nations as regards capacity-building in that area.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    Fourthly, I should say that in my professional life I have always been concerned with the grave problem of violence against women in general and on the impact it has on every aspect of economic and social development. This type of violence, which is particularly associated with the impunity that results from weak rule of law institutions, will surely form part, among other things, of the post-2015 development agenda that we will be debating in the General Assembly. Finally, I can state that President Otto Pérez Molina views combating violence against women as an absolute priority of his Government. If we do not eradicate gender violence we will not have security and peace in Guatemala or anywhere else in the world.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    Sexual violence in situations of armed conflict is an unacceptable phenomenon, a crime against humanity, and an insult to the world's conscience, as expressed through the actions of the Security Council and every organ of the United Nations. It has been the subject of numerous debates, presidential statements and resolutions of the Council in this very Chamber. Its development is built on the basic premise of resolution 1325 (2000), which is that without security for women, lasting peace is impossible. That was followed by resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010), and has culminated today in the adoption of resolution 2106 (2013), aimed at expanding the conceptual framework of the struggle against this scourge. At the same time, we have established concrete policies, including the creation of the post presently occupied by Ms. Bangura and the assignment of experts to many peacekeeping operations, among others.

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    However, the phenomenon persists, as we have sadly seen in situations such as those in Syria, Mali, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In other words, the Council is acting, but, without denying the value of our proactive stance, we must recognize that our concrete impact on the ground continues to be relatively modest. The question we must ask, then, is what more can we do so that our decisions are translated into concrete action?

  • Country

    Guatemala
  • Extracts

    One promising approach lies in insisting more firmly that States make an ongoing priority of rule of law reform and strengthening their national institutions, including the civil and military justice systems, in order to address sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations, and to combat impunity for those that commit this type of crime. For that we unquestionably need political will, as we have heard, but we also need effective institutions. It is equally crucial to act on current situations where most of the victims of such crimes face a wall of impunity. We must act so that the truth comes out regarding the suffering of women and so that the perpetrators are held accountable for their acts. Acknowledging the truth and undertaking efforts aimed at achieving just