|Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict|
I welcome your chairing of today's meeting. And I thank SRSG Patten and the representatives of civil society for their briefings.
According to the SG’s report, sexual violence continues to be used as a tactic of war and terrorism, causing profound sufferings to vulnerable groups such as women and girls. China strongly condemns all sexual violence against women and girls, and calls on the international community to take comprehensive measures to tackle this problem. In this kind of connection, I would like to make the following observations.
First, building a solid foundation for peace by stepping up conflict prevention and political settlement. As the most vulnerable groups in conflict and turmoil, women and girls are the main victims of sexual violence. The most fundamental protection of them is the prevention and resolution of conflict, so as to eliminate the breeding ground for sexual violence. The Security Council should make good use of the toolkit entrusted by the UN Charter, increase investment in political settlement of hotspot issues, and make more efforts in peaceful means such as negotiation, good offices, and mediation. The UN political and peacekeeping missions should also, based on their mandates, play their due roles in early warning of conflict and the protection of vulnerable groups.
Second, combating terrorism so as to eliminate violence against women by terrorist and extremist forces. In recent years, terrorist groups’ kidnapping and human trafficking for the aim of sexual violence and exploitation have become increasingly rampant. Many alleged perpetrators of sexual violence in the SG’s report are terrorist groups listed by the 1267 Committee of the Security Council. The international community should closely integrate the elimination of sexual violence in conflicts with the fight against terrorism by adhering to unified standards, and jointly combating all terrorist and extremist forces, so as to end sexual violence against women and girls.
Third, amplifying the she-power, and actively supporting women's development and empowerment. Sexual violence in conflict is closely related to the root causes and deep-seated imbalances such as gender inequality and under-development. The international community should tackle the issue of conflict-related sexual violence in an integrated manner within the overall framework of women's empowerment and development, striving to eliminate gender discrimination and differential treatment, removing the development gap faced by women, and promoting synergy between women's endeavor and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is essential to continue to amplify women’s active position, participation and transformative power in the field of peace and security, and actively support women’s effective participation in peace processes, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
Fourth, upholding the leadership of countries concerned and supporting their efforts in pursuing accountability. The countries concerned have the primary responsibility for preventing and combating sexual violence in conflict and protecting women and children of their countries. Based on respecting the judicial sovereignty and the leadership of the countries concerned, the international community should provide targeted assistance in rule of law, security, and humanitarian fields, assist the countries concerned in providing timely protection and assistance to victims of sexual violence in conflict, and step up capacity-building of judicial organs, so as to bring perpetrators to justice and bring justice to victims.
Ms. Nadia Murad is a survivor of sexual violence by the Islamic State terrorist group. Her tragic experience is heartbreaking, while her tenacity and courage are inspiring. For over seven years, she has been advocating for Yazidi survivors like her. All she asks for are two things: accountability and justice.
In East Asia, there is also a group of victims of sexual violence in conflict, who have been living with nightmare memories, but have not been able to get justice even till their death. This group is the comfort women forcibly drafted by the Japanese army during the Second World War. During that period, hundreds of thousands of women and girls from China, the Korean Peninsula, Southeast Asia and other countries and regions were forcibly conscripted by Japanese militarists as comfort women, and became a prisoner in hell. They have experienced horrific sexual violence, both mentally and physically. However, for decades, some forces in Japan have stubbornly adhered to misconceptions, and attempted to deny and whitewash the history of aggression. As recent as last month, some of the textbooks approved by the Japanese Government once again blurred historical facts through word games, attempting to downplay and evade the historical guilt of forced recruitment of comfort women.
We solemnly urge Japan to face up to and reflect on its history of aggression, handle issues left over from history, such as the forced drafting of comfort women, in a responsible manner, bring justice to the victims and survivors, and be accountable to the people of the invaded countries, so as not to further lose trust from its Asian neighbors and the international community.
Thank you, Mr. President.