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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in the Middle East, Including the Palestinian Question

2024-03-11 18:30

Mr. President, 

I would like to thank Special Representative Pramila Patten for her briefing. 

Women are one of the most vulnerable groups, their rights and interests are the most easily violated, and thus are in most need of protection. China condemns all forms of sexual violence against women in armed conflicts, and advocates for investigating in a timely and comprehensive manner such acts that contravene international humanitarian law and human rights law, resolutely punishing the perpetrators according to law, and restoring justice and dignity for victims. For survivors, there should be tailored support to facilitate their early recovery from psychological trauma. 

Recently Madam Patten led a mission to Israel upon invitation, which also included a visit to the occupied West Bank. The mission’s report released after the visit stated that there are reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence occurred at several locations across the Gaza periphery during the October 7 attacks. With respect to the hostages, they found clear and convincing information that some have been subjected to various forms of conflict-related sexual violence. Meanwhile, the report found that detention of Palestinian men and women in the occupied West Bank has been compounded by alleged instances of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. The report paints a shocking picture, and we sympathize with the plight of the victims. The report also includes specific recommendations on follow-up actions. We hope that the relevant parties will attach importance to them and respond to them positively. 

Mr. President, 

We agree with the view of the SRSG that our end goal is not a war without rape, it is a world without war. The current conflict in Gaza has been going on for five months, which has led to unspeakable harms to women. Over 9000 mothers and daughters were killed, hundreds of thousands of women are displaced, lacking basic survival support and security guarantee. They are facing death, hunger, and diseases, which plunge them into the abyss of fear, despair, and anger. Today is already the first day of Ramadan, which is a holy month for the Muslim community. We call on the international community to act promptly and redouble efforts to promote an immediate ceasefire, so as to preserve for the people in Gaza their hope for survival. We also call for increased diplomatic efforts, so that all detainees could be released at an early date and reunited with their families. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

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