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Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict

2017-05-15 23:45

China thanks Uruguay for its initiative to convene today’s open debate and Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Cancela for presiding over the meeting.

China thanks Deputy Secretary-General Mohammed and Under-Secretary-General Dieng for their briefings. China also listened carefully to the statement made by the representative of civil society.

In recent years, with the common efforts of the international community, the Security Council has made positive progress in implementing its relevant resolutions on women and peace and security. On the other hand, the international security situation remains grim and terrorist activities are rampant. Women and children in conflict continue to be threatened with sexual violence. The international community should pay heightened attention to the issue of sexual violence in conflict, adopt effective measures and comprehensively enhance the protection of vulnerable groups, such as women in conflict.

We must first prevent and defuse armed conflicts through peaceful means and eliminate sexual violence in conflict at its roots. The international community should stick to the general direction of finding political solutions to hotspot issues and resolve conflict peacefully through negotiations, good offices and mediation. In all phases of the peace process, efforts are to be made to ensure women’s full right of participation and decision-making. Attention is also to be given to women’s unique advantages in effectively addressing their security concerns and making them a major force in concluding peace.

Secondly, we must enhance the capacity of countries concerned to combat sexual violence in conflict. The countries concerned bear the primary responsibility for preventing and combating sexual violence in conflict and protecting their women and children. The international community should respect the sovereignty and will of the countries concerned, respect the measures they adopt in the light of their own situations, actively provide constructive assistance to the countries concerned, enhance their capacity-building in the areas of security, economy and governance, and facilitate the implementation of the Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on women and peace and security.

Thirdly, we must increase efforts to combat terrorism and cross-border organized crime. The international community should pay close attention to the new phenomenon of sexual violence perpetrated by terrorist organizations, maintain unified standards, and strengthen cooperation to effectively fight international terrorism, especially terrorist activities, their financing, trafficking in persons and the spread of extremist ideologies with the aim of committing sexual crimes through the use of the Internet and social media. The relevant countries should strengthen border control and law enforcement cooperation, share counter-terrorism information and resources, and shut down the channels used by terrorists to travel.

Fourthly, we must ensure the synergy of United Nations institutions. The Security Council should assume its primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, and strengthen coordination with the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Peacebuilding Commission, UN-Women and other relevant agencies to coordinate the handling of issues related to the women and peace and security agenda.

United Nations peacekeeping operations should maintain the policy of zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse committed by peacekeepers. The troop- and police-contributing countries should continue to strengthen the relevant training of their peacekeepers so as to raise their awareness of issues related to the protection of women and children and increase women’s participation in peacekeeping operations.

China shall continue to work with the international community to jointly create a peaceful, secure and stable international environment, contribute to eliminating sexual violence in conflict at an early date, and continuously advance the cause of women around the world.

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