Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the UN Security Council meeting on sexual violence in conflict
Let me thank the German Presidency for convening this session and express our deep appreciation to the invited speakers and reporters for the information on various aspects of countering conflict-related sexual violence.
This year marks the 10th anniversary since the Security Council established the position of Special Representative of the Secretary General on this issue. Over these years, the Special Representative and her office have done a lot in order to eradicate this type of crime. Vast expertise of interaction with governments and other parties to armed conflicts has been accumulated, an effective toolkit on countering this sort of crime has been devised.
Russia is committed to international cooperation on countering conflict-related sexual violence. This is abhorrent war crime. We have steadily supported activities by Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ms.Patten. We appreciate her personal contribution and efforts to maintain and develop dialogue with parties to armed conflicts in order to find solutions to this problem, provide assistance to victims, help them with rehabilitation, draw public attention to the problems caused by such crimes.
We are grateful to the Secretary-General for today’s briefing as well as for the report on sexual violence that ensures fruitful and comprehensive discussion during this debate.
It was with interest that we studied the recommendations that are part of the report and that highlight ways of further interaction on countering conflict-related sexual violence. Many of the proposals are worth a thorough and careful consideration. We are convinced that today’s debate presents a good opportunity for an open exchange of opinions on that matter.
We believe the key to successful combatting of sexual violence in conflict is the development of effective measures to eradicate violence against civilians during armed conflicts. However, it is only about one particular type of crimes in armed conflicts. In our opinion, we can put an end to all types of violence against civil population only when we settle armed conflicts peacefully and eliminate their underlying causes. In order to achieve this goal we need coordinated work at national and international levels. In this regard, we repeatedly emphasize how important it is to stick to the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict that was established in accordance with a SC resolution. This work should focus on situations related to armed conflicts, where sexual violence is of mass character. Every conflict situation has its own specifics that we should take into account.
We should not diminish the role of preserving unified approaches to the scope of the SC mandate on countering conflict-related sexual violence. The scope of the mandate should not be understood as something that requires to be extended. The Council should remain in the framework of its competence to maintain peace and security. We should clearly distinguish between sexual violence as a war crime and sexual violence as a criminal wrongdoing.
We should remember that the efficiency of the Security Council action on eradication of conflict-related sexual violence is directly dependent on how we overcome contradictions, enhance our constructive cooperation and avoid politicizing of this topic.
We call upon everyone to join the efforts on countering this appalling criminal phenomenon in the interests of sustaining peace, helping the victims and for the sake of building a just society that has no place for any violence whatsoever.