New York, 29 April 2019: I commend the United Nations Security Council, under the Presidency of Germany, for adopting resolution 2467 (2019) on conflict-related sexual violence. The resolution represents a powerful new instrument in our fight to eradicate this heinous crime, significantly strengthening prevention through justice and accountability and affirming, for the first time, that a survivor-centred approach must guide every aspect of the response of affected countries and the international community.

If we are ever to prevent the use of sexual violence as a tactic of war and terrorism, we must confront the unacceptable reality that it is still largely ‘cost-free’ to rape a woman, child or man in armed conflicts around the world. To turn the tide, we must increase the cost and consequences for those who commit, command or condone sexual violence in conflict. We must convert a centuries-old culture of impunity into a culture of accountability. The new resolution affirms the commitment of the Security Council to do so through the use of all means at its disposal, including sanctions and other targeted measures against persistent perpetrators.

Crucially, resolution 2467 affirms that a survivor-centred approach is required to address conflict-related sexual violence in all United Nations peace-making, peace-keeping and peace-building initiatives, including in the context of security and justice sector reform efforts and in negotiations of peace agreements and ceasefire verification mechanisms.

Resolution 2467 emphasizes the responsibility that we bear to care for survivors of these heinous crimes. By expressing greater clarity than ever before regarding the multi-dimensional response required for survivors, it re-enforces and works in tandem with the previous resolutions of the Security Council, including resolution 2106 (2013) that calls for comprehensive health care, including the essential reproductive health services that are the right of the thousands of victims who are brutally raped by armed forces and groups in conflicts all around the world.

Resolution 2467 also calls for a more holistic understanding of justice and accountability which includes the provision of reparations for survivors as well as livelihood support to enable them to rebuild their lives and support their families, including the children born of sexual violence in conflict who are also stigmatized and suffer in silence and shame, often stateless, and acutely vulnerable to recruitment and radicalization by armed groups. It recognizes the necessity, in all our prevention and response efforts, support to a broad range of civil society actors who are on the frontlines of conflicts.

Even as our response initiatives become more operationally oriented in the security and justice spheres, resolution 2467 acknowledges structural gender inequality and discrimination that are the root causes of sexual violence, affirming the necessity of the participation and empowerment of women as the only viable route to sustainable peace and security.

The acute vulnerability of so many women, children and men to sexual violence in conflict situations around the world must crystalize our resolve into clear action to prevent these crimes. It is crucial that we translate promises into practice, and resolutions into solutions. The true litmus test of our collective resolve will be the implementation of resolution 2467 and all the other resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, in order to improve the situation on the ground in a sustained and meaningful way.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ms. Géraldine Boezio, Office of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict

Tel: +1 917 367 3306   Email: geraldine.boezio@un.org