United Nations, April 15
India has called for strengthening the sanctions regimes of the UN Security Council to ensure blacklisting of individuals and entities involved in sexual violence against women in armed conflicts which it said is used as a weapon to subjugate the people.
Speaking at the Security Council open debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict on Wednesday, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti said it is vital for the member states to develop a comprehensive legal framework in line with international standards to ensure the effective prosecution of sexual violence as a self-standing crime.
“Sexual violence in armed conflicts, perpetrated by state and non-state actors, is a weapon used to subjugate the people. It fuels displacement, destabilises and traumatises communities, weakens governance and imperils the opportunities for post-conflict reconciliation and stability,” Tirumurti said.
“National governments have the primary responsibility for prosecuting and deterring such crimes in conflict situations on their territories, even if these are alleged to have been committed by non-state actors. Where required, the UN could assist member states in augmenting their capacities to deal with this issue,” he said.
With a view to preventing atrocities, ending the culture of impunity and rehabilitating and reintegrating the survivors, India also said that sanctions regimes and other targeted measures by the Council need to be strengthened to utilise their full potential to advance women's protection from sexual violence in situations of armed conflicts, “including by listing individuals and entities involved in sexual violence against women in armed conflicts”.
With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening to put women and girls in armed conflicts at even higher risk, Tirumurti called for nations to work together to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on sexual violence in armed conflicts and to “preserve our hard-won progress in this field”. PTI
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