Виступ делегації України на засіданні РБ ООН на тему "Жінки, мир і безпека: протидія сексуальному насильству в умовах конфліктів"

Виступ делегації України на засіданні РБ ООН на тему "Жінки, мир і безпека: протидія сексуальному насильству в умовах конфліктів"

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Mr. President,

Ukraine appreciates Uruguay’s initiative to hold this debate and would like to thank Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed for her introduction. We are equally grateful to other two briefers for their valuable insights.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to congratulate Pramila Patten on her appointment as Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict. We wish you every success.

Ukraine also reiterates its full support of this important mandate, as well as for the work of the UN Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Ukraine reaffirms its strongest backing of the zero tolerance of any forms of sexual violence, and stands in solidarity with the victims and survivors of this crime.

Mr. President,

While my delegation aligns with the statement of the EU to be delivered later today, I would like to make a number of national points.

In conflicts around the world, women and girls, men and boys are subjected to horrendous acts of sexual violence. These acts – rape, sexual slavery, forced marriage, and sexual torture – constitute abhorrent violations of human rights and human dignity.

Yet, as the Secretary-General's recent thematic report states, it´s scope remains at alarming levels.

A pervasive nature of this horrible phenomenon makes it imperative for us, the international community, to double down on this scourge. Designing prevention policies, ensuring accountability for perpetrators and providing adequate support and rehabilitation for victims has to be part and parcel of any conflict resolution endeavor.

In this light, Ukraine, as the country that pioneered the issue of prevention and initiated relevant process in the Human Rights Council, fully supports the Secretary-General´s approach that "the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence forms an integral part of wider conflict prevention."

We also strongly believe that accountability for sexual violence in conflict is needed not only to meet the demands for justice, but to help societies to break cycles of conflict. Perpetrators of sexual violence, without any regard for their affiliation and rank, must be brought to account.

In situations where the justice sector is ill-functioning, survivors, who have gone through the trauma of a sexual assault, too often face additional risks like: rejection by their families and communities, double victimization by state authorities, limited access to health services and so on.

The list, unfortunately, is too long.

We must not let them experience all this.

What is also badly needed is a fully integrated approach to address deeply rooted gender inequalities, as sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations is reflective of broader, unequal gender relations in the respective societies.

Mr. President,

In violent conflict, rape is frequently used to harm, humiliate and shame.

As already noted, sexual violence is unique in often stigmatizing the victim – as opposite to the perpetrator of this outrage.

Due to this and other factors, these crimes remain significantly underreported. It is known thanks to the UN that, for each rape reported in connection with conflict, ten to twenty cases are likely to go undocumented.

We should break with this shameful trend.

Social and economic reintegration support to the victims is imperative. Children born of rape need particular attention. We must also support men and boys who have suffered sexual violence and live with life-long traumas. Therefore, the needs of survivors should be addressed across the legal, psychological, social, medical, and other vital spheres.

Mr. President,

Unfortunately, Ukraine is also affected by conflict as a result of the Russian aggression. Among other serious consequences, we have seen an increase in cases of sexual violence.

This transpires, in particular, from the 37-page OHCHR thematic report on conflict-related sexual violence in Ukraine [here it is].

According to it, in the territory controlled by armed groups, supported by Russia, sexual violence is used to compel people in detention to hand over property. Performing sex acts is often an explicit condition of being let go free.

The report includes specific recommendations to the Government of Ukraine, illegal armed groups, the Russian Federation, as well as the international community to prevent sexual violence, improve response and ensure justice for survivors.

Ukrainian authorities are committed to act upon them. For one, we are ready to enhance cooperation in this area with relevant international organizations and mechanisms, first of all with the UN. We will also make full use of our National Human Rights Strategy and its Action Plan, as well as of the National Plan on “WPS”.

Adoption of all these documents was highly praised by the OHCHR.

I would also like to inform that we have invited and are looking forward to the visit to Ukraine next month of the UN Women delegation headed by its Executive Director Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Moreover, we reiterate our call to the SRSG for Sexual Violence in Conflict to follow the situation in Ukraine´s conflict-affected areas within mandated activities.

But what about Russia and the terrorists it controls and sponsors in my country?

The recent case of the sexual harassment of a female OSCE Special Monitoring Mission patrol member in the non-government controlled area of the Donetsk region, as reported by this Mission, is, unfortunately, an illustrative one.

We are appalled by the fact that there has been no reaction whatsoever to this disgusting incident from the militant’s leaders and sponsors. This reflects their approach to any abuse.

No reaction to shooting down OSCE SMM unmanned vehicles. No reaction to restrictions of OSCE freedom of movement. And now – sexual harassment of OSCE personnel.

The prevailing environment of impunity abets the violators and makes them feel free to do whatever they want.

We join the SMM and OSCE participating states in resolutely condemning this incident and demanding a swift and unequivocal response.

If things like this happen to international observers, one can only imagine the extent of lawlessness and abuse committed against ordinary residents of the territories under the control of illegal armed groups and their Russian sponsors.

Mr. President,

The road to eliminating sexual violence is long and thorny. Still we believe that the world has – and can – change the way in which this crime is perceived and understood, the manner in which we respond to it in our societies, as well as how we help and support survivors.

The UN, and this Council in particular, have to spearhead this endeavor.

I thank you.