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Hold sexual crimes ‘accused’ accountable in conflict areas

Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Mansour Al- Otaibi

NEW YORK, April 17, (KUNA): The State of Kuwait stressed that the UN Security Council must take responsibility for ensuring accountability for perpetrators of sexual crimes during times of armed conflict.

This came in a speech delivered by the Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi before the UN Security Council at the debate on sexual violence in conflict late Monday. “Political missions must include the empowerment of women in conflict situations in their agendas and refer those crimes to the justice system,” he noted.

Al-Otaibi highlighted how sexual violence in conflicts was linked to terrorism and extremism, recalling the Council’s position, as reflected in resolutions 2231 and 2253 (2015). Summarizing some of the findings of the Secretary General’s report on sexual violence in conflicts, Al-Otaibi said the crimes continued to be employed as a ‘tactic of war’ and a tool for political repression, attacking and altering ethnic or religious identity of persecuted groups and changing the demographics of disputed regions.

He said that the retreat by certain armed groups had created challenges in liberated areas, including the reintegration of survivors, adding that the best way to prevent sexual violence was to promote basic freedoms, human rights and political participation while assisting survivors of such violence. The Kuwaiti ambassador urged the Council to hold all perpetrators of such crimes accountable, stressing the importance of treating survivors as victims.

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