Open debate on conflict related sexual violence [fr]

OPEN DEBATE ON CONFLICT RELATED SEXUAL VIOLENCE

STATEMENT BY MR NICOLAS DE RIVIERE
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS

AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL

New York, 17 July 2020

Minister, Excellencies,

I would like to thank our speakers of the day and pay tribute to all the actors, in particular from civil society, for their work in the field. I also welcome the leadership of Germany and the Dominican Republic, chairs of the Informal Expert Group (IEG) on women, peace and security.

We share the concerns expressed in the Secretary-General’s report. Access to justice and basic healthcare for victims, including sexual and reproductive health services, are major challenges, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We regret the politicization of these issues to the detriment of women and girls.

We strongly condemn the use of sexual violence as a tactic of war and terror, with the aim of permanently traumatizing populations and thus undermining all efforts to find a sustainable solution to crises.

The fight against impunity is the best deterrent. Those responsible for sexual violence must be systematically prosecuted and sentenced. This must be a priority at the national level. International justice also has a role to play in cases of mass atrocities. We therefore support the work of the International Criminal Court.

Preventing sexual violence requires tackling gender inequalities. Sexual violence remains exacerbated by discrimination, prejudice and stereotypes. The rise of overtly sexist, misogynistic or homophobic political discourse reinforces sexual and gender-based violence. This Council has clearly identified the solutions to combat this scourge: when the participation of women at all levels of the decision-making process is ensured and real attention is paid to their economic and social emancipation, societies emerge reinforced from crises, more just and equal.

Caring for survivors of sexual violence, including when court proceedings are inaccessible or blocked, is essential. This is why France has decided to grant 6.2 million euros to the Mukwege / Murad Global Fund. Survivor support must be comprehensive. To this end, France funded 5 million euros to a project that empowers women by improving access to sexual and reproductive health services and tackles sexual violence in the Wadi Fira region in Chad.

Madam Special Representative, your role in whistleblowing and documentation is crucial. We will continue to support the inclusion of conflict-related sexual violence in country-specific resolutions and to advocate for adequate resources for the teams on the ground.

We do urgently need to transform commitments in compliance. France will do its part, including in the context of the Equality Generation Forum, which we will organize in partnership with Mexico, UN Women and civil society.

Thank you Mr President.

Dernière modification : 17/07/2020

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