UN DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE ELIMINATION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT
New York, 21 June 2016
In conflicts around the world, women and girls, men and boys, are subjected to horrendous acts of sexual violence. These acts, rape, sexual slavery, forced marriage, and sexual torture, constitute abhorrent violations of human rights and human dignity.
June 19, 2008, the international community decided to take action to elevate conflict-related sexual violence to the international peace and security agenda. This was done through the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1820. I remember those years that we saw more and more that sexual violence was used as a method of warfare, and it was indeed appropriate to bring to the attention of the Security Council.
Last year, the General Assembly decided to commemorate this breakthrough. The intention was to help to break the silence that so often surrounds these heinous crimes, by designating the June 19 as the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.
This day reminds us of our mission. We must stand in solidarity with the victims and survivors of sexual violence. And we must support those working on the frontlines to fight this scourge.