Pakistan hopes new UNSC resolution would help end impunity

UNITED NATIONS- Pakistan has expressed the confidence that a new UN Security Council resolution adopted on Monday would help in ending impunity for perpetrators of sexual violence in armed conflict, stating  that the scourge affects not only large numbers of women and girls but also men and boys.
"The resolution adopted will make an impact on implementation," Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Masood Khan told the 15-member Council on Monday after the unanimous approval of the resolution that targets perpetrators of sexual violence in war and recognises that rape can exacerbate conflicts and impeded the restoration of peace and security.
The text also equips different bodies and entities with tools to oppose impunity; empower women to seek redress; strengthen international political response; and foster national ownership.
"Sexual violence in armed conflicts is used to force displacement of population, illegally acquire natural resources, eliminate political opponents, and punish ethnic and religious groups," the Pakistani envoy said at a high-level meeting of the Security Council.
"Women, girls, men, and boys – all are targeted,"  Ambassador Masood Khan said. He pointed out that women bore the brunt of sexual atrocities in wars and armed conflicts.
"They are harassed, molested, raped, maimed and disabled. Other forms of violence - sexual slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced pregnancies, and enforced sterilisation  - are rampant. Such violence /assaults human dignity; ruins the lives of survivors and their families; and subjects communities and societies to torture and trauma."
The meeting, which heard from over 60 speakers, including several senior Government ministers, was chaired by William Hague, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, which holds the Council’s rotating Presidency this month.
The debate was opened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in which top Hollywood actress and Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie, also took part, alongwith Ban's Special Envoy on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura.
In his remarks, Ambassador Masood Khan said that, although the Security Council had developed a strong normative and institutional framework to fight the scourge of sexual violence, implementation had been slow and monitoring indifferent. 
Those who committed, commanded, and condoned sexual violence still, by and large, acted with impunity, he said.
The growing calls for stern action against perpetrators were not abstract, he said, adding, that they must resonate to real-life situations in Syria, Guinea-Bissau, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, and other armed conflict situations.
Further, more women professionals should be inducted into the security and justice sectors and should sit at the table where decisions were being made on peace and ceasefire accords, peacekeeping, stabilisation and reconstruction, he said.
Additionally, mainstreaming a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations and appointing gender advisers in the field was also very useful, he added.
"Pakistani women peacekeepers have served as police officers, doctors and nurses in missions in Asia, Africa and the Balkans," he told the 15-nation Security Council.
 "We have made gender-sensitisation a mandatory part of the training of our peacekeepers." In conclusion, the Pakistani envoy emphasised the need for devoting energies to addressing the root causes of conflicts.

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