Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Gennady Kuzmin at Arria formula meeting of the Security Council “Accountability for conflict-related sexual violence”

Madame Minister,

The organizers kindly asked to comply with the time limit of three minutes, so I will be brief. Besides, as recently as in October there was an event dedicated to a similar topic. Here are the highlights of our position.

We support the activity of Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict; we appreciate her efforts, including efforts to prevent stigmatization of victims of sexual violence.

It is obvious, that sexual violence can be prevented, above all, if armed conflicts are stopped and their underlying causes are eradicated. Violence thrives where there is the lack of order and state enforcement mechanism does not work. Hence, priority should be given to restoring national authorities and their institutions.

Rape and other acts of sexual abuse are crimes under legislation of all countries. To enhance penalties is an option. However, it is equally important to inculcate in the society the culture of rejection of such deeds. These cases should be perceived as something ignoble and immoral. Sex and violence are incompatible.

Now I will be turning to the question of justice. Specifics of investigating and bringing to justice for sex-related crimes require efficient and robust law enforcement, free from politicizing. To our regret, International Courts have already managed to discredit themselves. Their authority will come to naught if justice is administered solely on the basis of all sorts of NGO reports or massive Internet campaigns.

Then, it should be kept in mind that sexual violence is only one type of crime. Are mass murders or extraction of human organs less atrocious? However, Special Court in the Hague operating under sponsorship of our European partners that should investigate crimes of Kosovar Albanians against Serbs, including illicit trafficking in human organs, over 8 years after the publication of Dick Marty’s report, has not filed a single charge. This is to the subject of international justice.

Lastly, there is a general comment, that does not specifically pertain to today’s meeting, but which has to do with a really important and pressing issue.

We start to get a little disappointed with the excessive enthusiasm in holding Arria formula meetings that has led to a drop in the efficiency of this format. Arria formula used to be a special, exclusive form of work that we turned to when there was no opportunity to discuss a topic directly in the Council. Now it becomes just an ordinary side-event. This is unfortunate.