PRESS RELEASE: US Shamefully Weakens UN Resolution on Sexual Violence in Conflict April 23 2019
At a United Nations Security Council meeting today in New York focused on “Women, Peace and Security: Sexual Violence In Conflict” the United States appeared to side with Russia and China and forced current president of Germany to significantly water down its resolution to help provide better services for survivors of sexual violence in conflict. This failure by the US to recognize the sexual and reproductive health needs of survivors greatly undermines efforts to strengthen the UN’s work to end sexual violence in conflict and protect those victimized by it. It also follows the removal of other language relating to the formation of a UN monitoring body to report instances of sexual violence in conflict.
“There is simply no excuse for continuing to fail those who have already been victimized – as well as those who continue to be at risk of – devastating levels of sexual violence in conflict,” said Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, who spoke at today’s meeting of the UN Security Council, in a joint statement ahead of the meeting.
“It is unthinkable and bizarre to see the US lining up with Russia and China to block efforts to strengthen the UN’s ability to effectively address rape in conflict and to provide sexual violence survivors with sexual and reproductive health services. This resolution is about the Rohinga girls systematically raped in Myanmar, the Yezidi girls enslaved by ISIS, the Congolese girls who flock to Panzi Hospital seeking medical help and desperately needing comprehensive health services for the sexual violence they have endured.
It’s shocking that the United States turned its back on these girls and jeopardized this urgently-needed Security Council resolution. The United States played such a significant role in the creation of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Now it is lining up with Russia and China to weaken rather than strengthen this life-saving work,” said Jessica Neuwirth, director of The Sisterhood Is Global Institute and former Special Advisor on Sexual Violence to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2010.