UINTED NATIONS, Oct 31 (XINHUA/APP):UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Wednesday urged the international community to “work harder to put an end to sexual violence in conflict.”
In her remarks in the event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the mandate on sexual violence in conflict, Mohammed warned that sexual violence in conflict has been called history’s greatest silence: the least reported, the least condemned.
The creation of this mandate a decade ago sent a clear message that the sexual violence that happens during times of upheaval and conflict is not the inevitable collateral of war, but a horrific violation of human rights and international law, she added.
Mohammed said sexual violence has been a recurrent feature of recruitment by terrorist groups, who may promise marriage and sexual slaves to young men, treat women as the spoils of war, and in some contexts, use trafficking in sexual slavery as a form of revenue.
These young women and girls are often failed by the justice system, but equally by the lack of services, support and reintegration options, said Mohammed.
“It is clear that actions have fallen behind words, and that resolutions and laws are only as useful as the political and financial commitment to implement them,” she added.
Pointing out the victims of violence and abuse cannot be left behind, Mohammed said that the first step is to continue to place survivors at the center of efforts, adding that decision-making, programs and policies should be informed by those who know what is needed.
The UN deputy chief called for concrete action at all levels. “Let us mark the next decade of this mandate by implementing international norms on the ground, through tangible action that improve lives of all women.”
The UN Security Council in 2009 established a mandate dedicated to preventing and addressing the scourge of conflict-related sexual violence, which it recognized as a threat to security and an impediment to sustainable and inclusive peace.
According to Mohammed, in the past decade, the United Nations has responded to the demands of victims and survivors by creating a global, normative framework and a set of institutional arrangements, including Security Council resolutions, investigative mechanisms, reporting frameworks and the office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.