SRSG Kubiš and SRSG Bangura commemorate the first International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

SRSG Kubiš and SRSG Bangura commemorate the first International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

 

Baghdad, 19 June 2016 – On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, jointly with the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura express their solidarity with the victims of conflict-related sexual violence and their families, who have been targeted by the so called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“While we acknowledge the devastating impact of terrorism on all Iraqis, we recognize, in particular, the tragic effect of conflict related sexual violence on individuals and communities,” Mr. Kubiš said.

“The Government of Iraq has the primary responsibility to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence against its citizens, but the United Nations stands ready to assist national authorities in the face of unprecedented challenges of such crimes being committed on a massive scale and with destructive intent.”

“Together, the United Nations and the Government of Iraq will ensure justice for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence through mechanisms that recognize the grave and serious threat it poses not only to the people of Iraq but to international peace and security,” SRSG Kubiš added.

“We must also acknowledge on this day the strength and resilience of survivors of sexual violence and urge the Government of Iraq to designate a National Day to end Sexual Violence in Conflict as recommended in the National Conference on  Empowering Women to address the Impact of Terrorism held in August 2015,” stated Mr. Kubiš.

Special Representative Bangura emphasized that, “as we celebrate the first International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we confront a new reality, where sexual violence is used not only as a tactic of war, but also as a tactic of terrorism. When we think of terrorism, we think of destruction of property, killing, bombing or hostage-taking. But we cannot deplore the public violence of terrorism, while ignoring the violence terrorists inflict on women and girls in private, behind closed doors.”

“The sexual violence committed by ISIL in Iraq not only inflicted terror,” she added, “but was pursued systematically, with the intent to destroy.”

“To the victims and perpetrators of these crimes alike, I would send a simple but unequivocal message on this Day: that justice may be delayed, but it will not be denied. The United Nations is steadfast and committed to live up to its sacred duty to prevent conflict-related sexual violence and provide care for the survivors”, said SRSG Bangura.

 

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Letitia Anderson; Office of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, New York. Tel:  +1 9173630910 orandersonl@un.org

 

Khalid Dahab; United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Baghdad.

Tel: +964-790 194 0146   or   dahab@un.org