China urges end to all sexual violence against women in conflict

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-4-26 10:35:20

A Chinese envoy to the United Nations on Friday called for an immediate end to all sexual violence against women in armed conflict.

Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the world body, made the remarks at an open debate of UN Security Council on women, peace and security.

"In many situations of armed conflict, vulnerable groups including women still bear the brunt of consequences of war. Sexual violence against women is employed by parties to conflict as a means of war more often than not," Wang told the 15-member Council. "Such a practice constitutes not only a grave violation of women's rights and dignity, but also a flagrant challenge to the peacebuilding efforts and human conscience."

Wang stressed that China condemns and opposes all violence against women in armed conflict, including sexual violence.

"We call for the full implementation of the Council's relevant resolutions, and urge all parties to conflict to abide by international law and international humanitarian law, and to cease all acts of sexual violence against women immediately," he said.

The Chinese envoy also underlined that combating sexual violence in conflict should rely primarily on national efforts.

"It is national governments, first and foremost, that should carry out the task of implementing the Council's resolutions and fighting sexual violence in conflict," Wang said. "In assisting the countries concerned, the international community, including the United Nations, must fully respect their sovereignty."

The Chinese diplomat also noted that the various organs of the United Nations must follow their own mandates and respect the division of labor in addressing the issue of sexual violence against women in armed conflict.

As the primary institution for maintaining international peace and security, the Council should focus on conflict prevention, peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction, thereby creating a legal, political and security environment conducive to addressing sexual violence in armed conflict and to protecting women's rights, Wang said.

He went on to say that attention must be paid to the root causes underlying sexual violence in armed conflict.

To eliminate the root causes, "the international community should attach great importance to improving the economic and social development of the countries concerned, in order to enhance women's status and fully empower them," Wang said. "The international community must increase its attention to the development of women in those countries and scale up its aid in that area."

Posted in: Diplomacy

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