Statement of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence Zainab Hawa Bangura
For immediate release
(New York, NY 24 July 2014) I welcome the recent launch by the Forces Républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire, under the leadership of Major-General Soumaïla Bakayoko, of the Committee of National Experts on Conflict Related Sexual Violence, whose aim is to help devise and implement measures to combat sexual violence in conflict in the country.
The establishment of this Committee on 21 July is a reflection of Côte d’Ivoire’s follow up to commitments made to the United Nations and at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict held in London in June 2014.
The experts who make up the Committee were trained through a joint program to support the efforts of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire with assistance from my Office, other UN entities and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).
The establishment of this Committee is an important step in the fight against sexual violence in conflict and I commend the leadership of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire for its dedication to delivering on the commitments it has made to prevent and respond to these attacks. I encourage the Government to use this opportunity to speed up measures to combat impunity for sexual violence crimes and build the capacity of its security forces to prevent conflict-related sexual violence.
My Office and other UN entities will continue to support the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to implement these measures, and the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law/Sexual Violence in Conflict is ready to assist in the implementation of the action plan, particularly in the area of capacity building for investigating and ending impunity for these abuses.
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