Her Excellency Thilmeeza Hussain
at the UNSC Open Debate on ‘Women and peace and security: Accountability as Prevention: Ending Cycles of Sexual Violence in Conflict’
13 April 2022
Thank you, Mr. President, for convening the annual debate on conflict-related sexual violence under the agenda item “Women, Peace, and Security”. I would also like to extend my appreciation to the Secretary-General for his report, and to the briefers for their invaluable insights.
We are currently living in a world marred by multiple conflicts and humanitarian crises. We continue to be alarmed by reports of conflict-related sexual violence and its prevalence in conflict areas around the world. It is incumbent that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are brought to justice. To use sexual violence as a weapon to terrorize vulnerable populations and violate their dignity and most basic rights is grotesque and outrageous.
In this regard, the Maldives recalls resolution 1325 (2000), which compels all parties to the conflict—including non-state parties—to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual violence.
The perpetrators of these crimes, regardless of the conflict, on which side of the conflict they fought, or whether the conflict is still active or is in a post-conflict situation, must be held accountable for their actions and brought to justice. We encourage all investigations and prosecutions to be full, fair, and centered on justice for the victims and I repeat, justice for the victims.
As a peace-loving nation, Maldives welcomes the Secretary-General’s recommendation that women’s inclusion and participation in leadership roles in political, peace-making, security and rule of law institutions are fundamental to our efforts to build a durable and peaceful society. In this regard, we have implemented various policies including a zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of gender-based violence and have enacted the Prohibition of Sexual Harassment and Abuse Act, the Sexual Offences Act, and the Domestic Violence Prevention Act. We have also enacted a Social Protection Act to raise awareness and create the fundamental necessary conditions for the protection of all women and girls.
The Secretary General’s report is a stark reminder of the tremendous amount of work that remains to be completed to eliminate the abhorrent crimes of sexual violence. We must commit to implementing a survivor centered approach to preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations and address sexual violence and work to eliminate it at its root cause.