UAE calls for combating impunity for sexual violence

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New York, April 18 (IANS/WAM) The UAE has urged the international community to intensify efforts to combat impunity for sexual violence during conflict and reaffirmed its commitment to the UN’s ongoing efforts in addressing these crimes.

Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, the United Arab Emirates’ Permanent Representative, spoke at the Security Council’s Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict, focusing her remarks on prevention through empowerment and gender equality.

Nusseibeh confirmed that the UAE stands with the UN Secretary-General’s annual report on conflict-related sexual violence, which affirms that women’s physical security is inextricably linked with their political, social and economic status and rights.

“The importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment cannot be understated in efforts to prevent and respond to these crimes,” stressed Nusseibeh.

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“Gender equality and women’s empowerment – fundamental principles of the UAE’s foreign policy – are core values, which, when woven throughout a society, can prevent violence against women,” she said.

She underscored that although the Council has adopted resolutions recognising that sexual violence is used as a tool of war and is a matter of international peace and security, there has been a failure in implementation. She called for strengthening the UN’s response to end these crimes and ensure accountability.

Nusseibeh also underlined how terrorist groups have utilised sexual violence to terrorise and displace victims and communities.

She also shed light on the alarming plight of the Rohingya population and called on the international community to ensure accountability for these victims – mainly women and girls, but also men and boys – who are unacceptably targeted for their religion or ethnicity.

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“The UAE believes that smart foreign policy is inclusive foreign policy – one that puts the rights of women front and centre and at the heart of our collective response,” said Nusseibeh. “The UAE will continue to do all that it can to address these crimes, and to continue to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment as a critical element of this agenda,” she concluded.

–IANS/WAM

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