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Consiglio di Sicurezza – Riunione in formato Arria su “Moving from a Culture of Impunity to a Culture of Deterrence: The Use of Sanctions in Addressing Sexual Violence in Conflict”

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Stefano Stefanile, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al meeting in formula Arria in Consiglio di Sicurezza su “Moving from a Culture of Impunity to a Culture of Deterrence: The Use of Sanctions in Addressing Sexual Violence in Conflict” —

Thank you very much, Mr President, and let me thank you very briefly for organizing this meeting and let me say we recognize the great importance of this subject and that’s why we are very keen to contribute to this discussion.

You kindly mention our participation in the split term in the Security Council together with The Netherlands so you will remember during our mandate in our term in the Security Council

r we promoted – together with other Member States – the inclusion of sexual and gender-based violence as a stand-alone designation criterion for the renewal of sanctions in the Central African Republic and furthermore, during our monthly Presidency of the Council, we also promoted the unanimous adoption of two resolutions: Resolution 2382, which strengthened the role the UN Police Components in the protection of civilians, including in preventing and addressing sexual and gender based violence; and Resolution 2388, which further highlighted the connection between trafficking in persons, sexual violence and terrorism and other organized criminal activities, and requested to further integrate these issues into the work of the relevant Security Council Sanctions Committees.

Consistent with these initiatives, we fully share the view that sanctions can be a valuable tool to prevent, curb or end sexual violence in conflicts around the world. We would like here to suggest two concrete lines of actions:

First: in his report on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, the Secretary-General recommends establishing sexual violence as an automatic and independent designation criterion; on the basis of the above-mentioned precedent relating to the Central African Republic and of the following one related to South Sudan, we believe that the Security Council should systematically follow up on this recommendation in all relevant sanction regimes.

Second: the engagement of the Security Council on this issue should go hand in hand with that of the International Criminal Court; the Rome Statute expressly lists the various forms of sexual violence as underlying acts of crimes against humanity and war crimes and the Security Council has already referred to the ICC cases of widespread human rights violations, which led to the listing of persons for sexual and gender-based violence.Although there has not been yet any final conviction for sexual crimes by the ICC; we believe, that the Court could find the legal basis for such convictions, which would represent a formidable deterrent for these violations.

To conclude, the Security Council can and should step up to contain these major violations of human rights and ultimately turn impunity into justice. Not only does the listing of perpetrators of sexual violence serve the purpose of preventingthese violations and restoring hope in the victims. It also represents a political signal of a change of mindset regarding the shame and stigma of sexual violence. Those who must be ashamed of these violations are certainly not the victims, but those who commit or condone these crimes.

I thank you.