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Women, Peace and Security: Sexual Violence in Conflict

On April 23, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the Security Council Open Debate on “Women, peace and security: Sexual Violence in Conflict.”

In his statement, Archbishop Auza condemned sexual violence as a weapon of war and said that silence and impunity with regard to these crimes must end and give way to accountability, justice and reparation. He urged that women and girls, especially those who have survived conflict-related sexual violence, be given a large role in accountability and peace mechanisms. Such violence occurs not only by terrorist organizations and criminal gangs but members of armed formed and even UN peacekeepers, he said, praising recent initiatives to prevent and combat sexual abuse in UN Peacekeeping operations.  He called special attention to the question of children conceived and born as a result of sexual violence in conflict and said that their human rights must be respected and guaranteed and that they should be welcomed, cherished, and given the means to flourish, rather than stigmatized or denied the right to life.

The statement can be found here.