Statement to the Security Council Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Security Council, 02 June 2016

I launched my UNite campaign to end violence against women, and created the post of Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Through the work of my Special Representative, the United Nations has agreed Frameworks of Cooperation and Joint Communiqués with governments and regional bodies.

The deployment of women protection advisors to peacekeeping and political missions has strengthened monitoring, analysis and reporting of conflict-related sexual violence and engagement with parties to conflict — vital steps towards accountability.

The United Nations will continue our own efforts to ensure that peacekeepers uphold the highest standards of integrity towards the people they serve.

Today, we and our partners are supporting thousands of survivors we were not reaching a decade ago with practical measures, ranging from reporting hotlines to community-based care. These policies not only help survivors; they enable societies to begin their own recovery.

International jurisprudence has also been developed around sexual violence in conflict, leading to landmark cases against political and military leaders. The recent conviction of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo by the International Criminal Court was the latest sign that the era of impunity for sexual violence as a tool of war is over.

Mr. President,

The past decade has shown that progress is possible, even in the most difficult and intractable situations.

However, we still face serious challenges. My latest annual report covers 19 situations of concern and lists dozens of parties who systematically commit these crimes.

One extremely disturbing aspect is the use of sexual violence as a tactic of terrorism. Daesh, Boko Haram and other extremist groups are using sexual violence as a means of attracting and retaining fighters, and to generate revenue. It is estimated that the Yezidi community gave Daesh up to $45 million in ransom payments in 2014 alone.

Abducted women, men, girls and boys suffer the most terrible trauma through brutal physical and sexual assault, child and forced marriages and sexual slavery on a massive scale.

The abduction of more than 200 girls from Chibok in Nigeria more than two years ago is one of the most horrific examples of the use of sexual violence as a tactic of terrorism. I call for the immediate release of all those taken captive, and for the care and support of those who return, who can suffer from social isolation and depression.