Conflict-related sexual violence "as destructive as any bomb or bullet"

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Member States of the United Nations have been urged to work together to prevent human rights abuses, including sexual violence.

The call came from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who spoke in the Security Council on Friday during an open debate on sexual violence in conflict.

He said the Council has clearly and consistently stated that conflict-related sexual violence is a matter of international peace and security.

"Conflict-related sexual violence is an issue of pressing importance. This grave human rights abuse is as destructive as any bomb or bullet. It inflicts unimaginable suffering on women and men, girls and boys. It destroys families and communities and tears the social fabric of nations. By targeting society’s most vulnerable members, it contributes to enduring poverty and insecurity." (29")

The Secretary-General, who presented his report to the Security Council, said although grievous violations still occur too often, tangible progress is being made.

He cited as an example the deployment of Women Protection Advisers in political and peacekeeping missions.

Mr. Ban added that the UN Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict is working with a number of conflict-affected countries to strengthen their justice systems.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’26″

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