October 13, 2015
On October 13, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention before the United Nation’s Security Council during an open debate on Resolution 1325 which links, for the first time, women, armed conflict, peace and security.
In his statement, Archbishop Auza said that women and children are impacted by armed conflict differently and more adversely than men. They are subjected to “rape, sexual assault, torture, human trafficking, forced marriages, [and] forced religious conversions; they are bought and sold or even given as gifts or trophies to terrorist fighters.” He said that the Holy See is “particularly appalled by acts of sexual violence as a war strategy designed to dehumanize and demoralize women, girls and their families.”
Archbishop Auza mentioned the work of the Catholic Church in areas of conflict to respond rapidly and effectively to the needs of women and girls who have suffered such violence, providing health and psychological care, fighting against stigmatization and helping to reintegrate them into families and communities. He emphasized that the Holy See “strongly objects to the suggestion that recovery and rehabilitation measures include abortion,” which he said is an approach that "neglects to address some of the real causes of violence while making the most defenseless pay the highest price.”
He also stressed the important role of women in preventive diplomacy, mediation efforts, peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts, urging the United Nations and its Member States to recruit more women for these critical tasks.
His statement can be read in full here.
October 13, 2015