Press Release: For Immediate Release
New York, 07 December 2018: The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Pramila Patten, signed a Joint Communique between the Government of Myanmar and the United Nations to address conflict-related sexual violence in Myanmar.
The signing of the Joint Communique follows the visit of the Special Representative to Myanmar in December 2017. During that visit Ms. Patten met with the State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and senior Military and Government officials,expressing grave concern regarding allegations of widespread and systematic patterns of sexual violence allegedly committed by elements of Myanmar Security Forces, Border Guard Police and Rakhine Buddhist militias against Rohingya women and children.
The Joint Communique is adopted in the framework of United Nations Security Council resolution 2106 (2013), under which Myanmar authorities are required to implement specific time-bound commitments that include the issuance of clear orders through chains of command prohibiting sexual violence and accountability for breaching these orders, as well as timely investigation of alleged abuses. In addition to the implementation of such measures, the Joint Communique also focuses on supporting legal reforms; training and capacity building of justice and security sector actors; strengthening service delivery and access to survivors of sexual violence; ensuring that prevention of such crimes is reflected in specific provisions of any peace and/or repatriation agreements; and, ensuring that perpetrators of sexual violence crimes are excluded from amnesty.
The Special Representative will undertake a follow up mission to Myanmar in early 2019, in order to catalyze the development of an implementation plan in line with the priorities expressed in the Joint Communique.
“I am encouraged by the political will expressed by the Government of Myanmar to prevent and address conflict-related sexual violence as shown by this cooperation agreement”, said Special Representative Patten. “However, the true test of commitment will be the concrete actions taken to ensure accountability for sexual violence crimes and the practical implementation of the other critical measures that have been outlined”.
The Special Representative pledged the support of her Office and the United Nations system to assist the Myanmar authorities to implement the commitments and calls on the international community to provide the necessary assistance.
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Office of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict
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