I deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of Friends of R2P.
UN experts consistently find that wherever conflicts or crises occur, sexual and gender-based violence continues to shatter lives and communities. While it may amount to an atrocity crime itself, it can also contribute to an enabling environment that facilitates the commission of other atrocity crimes.
To uphold our responsibility to protect, we need to strengthen accountability, including through improving documentation, evidence gathering, data disaggregation and information sharing. Conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence disproportionately affects women and girls, and members of other populations in vulnerable situations. It is important systematically to use a gender-responsive approach when addressing it.
Greater efforts should also be made to address trauma and strengthen accountability in a way that is survivor-centred and avoids causing re-traumatisation. This includes providing access to comprehensive and human rights-based services for survivors, as well as ensuring access to effective remedies.
For each rape reported in connection with a conflict, many more go undocumented, making accountability and justice the rare exception. Therefore, it is imperative to increase efforts to seek accountability, so that the use of sexual and gender-based violence as a tactic of war cannot continue.
Special Rapporteur, the UN Secretary General’s report addresses the nexus between preventing atrocity crimes and development. How can the prevention of conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence be strengthened through development cooperation?