NEW YORK, April 24 (KUNA) -- Kuwait said it is significant for the international community in general, and the UN Security Council (UNSC) in particular, to remain united in tackling sexual violence in conflict, Kuwait's permanent representative at the UN said.
"Undoubtedly, our principles are one and the same in view of condemning all forms of sexual violence, particularly those committed during conflicts," Mansour Al-Otaibi said during a UN Security Council session on sexual violence in conflict.
He called on the international community to seek together to put an end to sexual violence during conflicts and ensure justice to victims in a way that should observe the social and cultural considerations of all member states.
He regretted that although the UNSC had adopted 10 years ago its Resolution 1820 stating that sexual violence in conflicts poses a threat to international peace and security and requires a serious international response, sexual violence cases have been growing.
Such crimes are mostly used as intimidation tools and war tactics to target specific communities on the basis of their ethnical, religious or political orientations with a view to forcing them to leave their homes and seizing their properties, he lamented.
The Kuwaiti diplomat cited the forced displacement of Rohingya minority as a resonant paradigm in this regard, saying that forced displacement exposes victims, mainly women and girls, to sexual violence and human trafficking.
Sexual violence crimes, in some flashpoints, are used by extremist groups, including the so-called Islamic State, as elements of political and terrorist economy, he pointed out.
He emphasized that sexual violence in conflicts could be curtailed by means of bringing all those involved to accountability in line with local and international laws.
He added that the UN Security Council has its own tools to fight sexual violence during conflicts, suggesting that it should reinforce peacekeeping and political missions targeting women empowerment during and following conflicts.
Bringing the criminals to justice is an integral part of sustainable peace since sexual violence affects the psychological and physical situations of victims, together with the whole society, Al-Otaibi noted.
He added that it is the responsibility of the States to provide protection to civilians during conflicts and to bring those involved in sexual violence to accountability.
The UN Security Council has called upon warring parties around the globe to implement concrete commitments to fight what many speakers described as the heinous, barbaric and all-too-often silent phenomenon of sexual violence during conflict.
Adopting resolution 2467 (2019) by a vote of 13 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (China, Russian Federation), during a wide-ranging debate on the prevention and implications of sexual violence, the Council reiterated its demand for the complete cessation of all acts of sexual violence by all parties to armed conflict.
The Council reiterated its deep concern that - despite its repeated condemnation of violence against women and children in situations of armed conflict, including sexual violence - the phenomenon continues to occur, often with impunity, and in some situations has become systematic and widespread, or reached appalling levels of brutality. (end)