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United Nations Security Council Resolution on Sexual Violence in Conflict: Inadequate Progress Made

The Scelles Foundation, on the same footing as French diplomatic policy, has been calling to step up efforts to tackle sexual violence against women in armed conflict zones. The United Nations Security Council’s adoption of Resolution 2467 marks a key step forward, particularly in its focus on the survivors of sexual violence. But it still fails to do enough to help women victims access their rights. As a result, those who perpetrate this violence are still betting on impunity.  

 

 

The Resolution for all parties of armed conflict to put a “total and immediate” end to all act of sexual violence was adopted by 13 votes in favour and 2 abstentions. But references to victims gaining enjoyment of their sexual and reproductive rights, and references to setting up a system to support the prosecution of the perpetrators of violence, were removed from the final text, due to pressure from several permanent members.

 
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call to “replace impunity with justice, indifference with action”, and the testimonies of Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad were heard. But the Scelles Foundation regrets, on the same footing as the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Areas, Pramila Patten, that roadblocks have hampered “the implementation of these resolutions, these policies, agreements and commitments”, and impeded significant improvements on the ground. Yves Charpenel, President of the Scelles Foundation, argues that “deadly impunity for sexual violence is unacceptable anywhere, at all times and regardless of the sex of the victim, let alone during times of conflict. We must be intransigent with the perpetrators of sexual violence as a tactic that disproportionately targets women and girls in the pursuit of military, economic and ideological objectives”.

 

French Ambassador François Delattre has voiced France’s support for the draft resolution proposed by Germany. He has expressed strong concern, stressing how unacceptable it is that “access to sexual and reproductive health has not been explicitly recognised as a right for the victims of sexual violence, given that they are often the target of atrocities and brutal mutilations”, adding that “this is an unacceptable failing and undermines the dignity of women”.    

 

The international community must not only deliver justice to victims, but prevent and put an end to these heinous crimes that are a threat to international security, because they will continue to co-occur with conflict all across the world if we don’t react”, Yves Charpenel argues.

 

The situation on the ground can only change in any meaningful and lasting way if we promote and recognise the rights of women and girls. Falling victim to sexual violence as a weapon of war is closely related to gender inequality and discrimination.

 

In its fight for justice, human rights and peace, the Scelles Foundation will continue to push for equal rights for all and work to ensure real access to these rights, especially for the most vulnerable.



 

The Scelles Foundation in the press

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