Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Representative Gennady Kuzmin at the Security Council Arria-Formula Meeting “Closing the Protection Gap for Widows in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings”

Mr. President,

Many thanks to co-sponsors and briefers. 

Couple remarks.

Becoming a widow leads to major changes in a womans life. Armed conflicts exacerbate widows' vulnerability, particularly when they are internally displaced or become refugees. Abandoned, without adult males to protect them, mostly devoid of pensions or other social security, these females are vulnerable to many diverse forms of discrimination, exploitation and abuse, including sexual violence. The responsibility to care children makes the issue of widowhood even more complex, being often associated with their childrens right to survive.

In these circumstances, the protection of motherhood and childhood should remain one of the top priorities for governments and communities. They are supposed to provide all necessary support to families and ensure that all family members enjoy their rights and social protections they deserve and need. 

We see the pivotal role of a State in prevention and investigation of cases of violence against women and children, as well as ensuring effective follow-up measures for the rehabilitation and reintegration of victims. 


By tradition, we have heard many correct words about empowerment of women and widows, their integration to political life and involvement in decision-making processes in context of conflict and post-conflict situations. All these aspects are important. But one absolutely vital element, in our view, should be addressed first: social and economic protection of family and innocent victims of war.

Thank you.