Prevention of conflict-related sexual violence

Statement by Minister Counsellor Tor Henrik Andersen on 'Prevention as Protection: Enhancing structural and operational prevention of conflict-related sexual violence', 17 June 2022.

The event was held in the Trusteeship Council Chamber in the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

I want to thank the Office of the SRSG on Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Office of the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict, and the Permanent Mission of Argentina for convening today’s event. I also want to thank Ms. Koofi for always being strong voices for women’s participation and rights.

Many country situations were mentioned here today: Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia, Ukraine and Afghanistan, to mention a few.

Reflecting on the extent to which Security Council resolutions, and the accountability mechanisms linked to them, are effective poses important questions which deserve consistent and thorough attention – across different forums. In this regard, we welcome the new framework on CRSV.

I will make three points from the view of an elected member to the Security Council:

First: operationalization.

We must support capacity-building of law-enforcement, security, and military sector personnel in UN peace operations and in national institutions. It is the only way to ensure that our words are translated into action. It also helps to address underlying harmful norms and attitudes. And reinforce accountability structures.

This is why Norway contributes to the UN specialized police team which supports South Sudanese police in investigating sexual and gender-based violence; and the development of DPO’s handbook for UN Field Missions on Preventing and Responding to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence.

Second: financing and resources.

Both are prerequisites for monitoring and implementation. It is as simple as that.

As co-chair of the States and Donors Working Group, we work closely with partners to increase political will, mobilise financial resources, and strengthen operational capacity on support for better services, and compliance with, relevant international law obligations related to CRSV and SGBV.

I also want to underscore the need for concerted efforts in the fifth committee to ensure sufficient resources to prevent and respond to CRSV. We need more deployed Women Protection Advisers and Child Protection Advisers. They are crucial in fulfilling what we, the member states, ask to be done through our resolutions.

Finally, agency and partnerships.

A survivor-centered approach should be a given. Those affected by sexual violence do not lose their agency – thus they have the right to help define their own needs and priorities.

The Secretary-General’s report highlights the importance of political and diplomatic engagement in the context of peace- and cessation of hostilities negotiations. In our experience, this engagement is most effective through enabling women peacebuilders, human right defenders and civil society to mobilise “their own”.

Ownership of the agenda, both from the parties and affected populations, is another prerequisite for impact.

Thank you.