NEW YORK – 17 July 2020 – The UAE reaffirmed its commitment to addressing conflict-related sexual violence at the UN Security Council’s meeting on sexual violence in armed conflict. 

In a written statement to the Council, the UAE emphasized the importance of collaboration in enhancing compliance measures and dismantling structural barriers to effectively address the situation, for both survivors and those at risk of violence.

“This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of Resolution 1325, and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,” the UAE stated.  “Sexual violence, including rape, continues to be widely used as a tactic of war in conflict situations, with devastating consequences for both individuals and their families, and for the broader sustainability of peace and economic recovery.”

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is exacerbating sexual and gender-based violence, underlining the need to increase global response efforts. The UAE has supported the UN Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, which would reduce conflict-related sexual violence and enable the delivery of services for victims. The UAE has called on Member States to support the UN Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict to continue its critical work of ensuring accountability for sexual violence crimes during these times.

The UAE stressed the need to strengthen prevention in the context of security sector reform and increase the representation of women in police services. The UAE also emphasized that the international community must ensure efforts to document and investigate sexual violence are survivor-centered and well-coordinated.

The UAE outlined its own efforts to strengthen justice, accountability, and a survivor-centered approach to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence. Recognizing the plight of the Yazidi women, the UAE is working with Nadia Murad’s initiative to ensure that the community of Sinjar recovers from conflict-related sexual violence. The UAE has also funded reconstruction efforts and donated over USD two million towards water, sanitation and hygiene efforts in six villages in Sinjar.

On its humanitarian efforts, the UAE noted that it co-hosted the ‘End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence’ with Norway, the UN and other partners, and pledged USD ten million to support anti-sexual and gender-based violence entities. The UAE added that it made one of the largest-ever humanitarian contributions to the UN Population Fund in 2019 of USD 25 million to ensure that the agency could continue its work in conflict-afflicted community. The UAE also stated that it has also earmarked its financial contribution to the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) to support their work relating to the investigation of sexual and gender-based crimes.

Furthermore, the UAE noted that its joint Women, Peace and Security Training Programme with UN Women, is building the capacity of women in the Arab region and beyond. The UAE stressed that the meaningful participation of women in the security sector actively prevents conflict-related sexual violence and also creates and empowering environment for women. The UAE also stated that its next high-level panel in a series co-hosted with the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security will examine women’s access to justice in post-conflict reconstruction and ways to improve the implementation of gender-sensitive legislation.