Delivered by: Shahad Matar, Second Secretary

Mr. President,

At the outset, I would like to thank the co-organisers for this meeting and the briefers for their valuable contributions to today’s discussion.

The United Arab Emirates reaffirms its condemnation of all acts of conflict-related sexual violence. As a member of the International Alliance on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, the UAE remains a steadfast partner in strengthening the global response to these crimes.

In this regard, I would like to make the following three points today:

First, as an integral part of our efforts to ensure peace and security, we must prioritise preventing sexual and gender-based violence by addressing the root causes of such crimes. resolution 2686 acknowledged the harmful impact of stigmatization and the rise of extremist views on women, which can undermine any hope of durable peace, security and reconciliation. We must therefore work to address such root causes, by eliminating structural gender inequality and harmful social norms through education, as well as strengthening women and girls’ resilience.

Second, we must uphold and strengthen the rule of law to ensure accountability. Capacity building for national institutions is the best pathway to ensuring accountability and upholding the rule of law in the long-term. The transformative period following conflict and crisis gives way to rebuild such capacity. Engaging with peace operations and entities, such as the UN Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence, can be an effective way to utilise their expertise and bolster national survivor-centred justice and accountability. This is critical for the protection of women and girls.

Third, we need to improve survivors’ access to necessary services and support. To do so, we must take into consideration the needs of women and girls, from early warning mechanisms to the provision of humanitarian aid. I would be remiss if I did not mention here the desperate need of thousands of women and girls trapped in Gaza, cut off from food, water, medicine, electricity, and with no safe place to go.

Mr. President, the Council must do more. Thank you.