Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC briefing on Peace and Security in Africa

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC briefing on Peace and Security in Africa

Mr. President,

My delegation appreciates the briefing by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed. We welcome both the conduct of such thematic regional visits and the initiative to inform the Council on their outcomes, especially on issues pertinent to the Council’s agenda.

Such visits and subsequent briefings provide us with additional insights and better understanding of situations on the ground, thus making the Council better equipped to properly evaluate problems and challenges in respective countries.

It is praiseworthy that the visit was conducted to raise the profile of gender-related issues in Nigeria and the DRC. The role of women in bringing about positive changes after conflict can hardly be overestimated. They are a driving force behind peacebuilding efforts in their communities. The direction of social and economic development depends on active participation of women in public life and entrepreneurial activities both on the local and national levels.

Ultimate success or failure of peace agreements and effectiveness of peacebuilding efforts quite often can be linked to the level of engagement of women in these processes. Having a seat at a negotiating table, shaping an agenda to ensure inclusion of gender related issues, playing a role in implementation of negotiated arrangements – all this is sine qua non if sustainable peace is to be built in conflict affected areas.

Thus it is highly commendable that the joint UN-AU delegation has stressed during its meetings with Nigerian and DRC high-level officials the importance of women’s participation in peace and security processes, as well as in elections and other political activities. Concrete and tangible follow-up steps are needed to promote women’s rights.

Mr. President,

In many places in Africa, conflicts and crises are accompanied by devastating upsurges of violence against women and girls. The persistent use of sexual violence as a weapon of war in conflicts on the continent leaves lasting scars on communities and societies.

In this regard, one of the stated objectives of the UN-AU visit – to bring greater visibility to consequences of conflict-related sexual violence against women and girls – is extremely timely.

Meetings and conversations with the Chibok girls in Nigeria and displaced residents in the North Kivu province in the DRC must have been really hard given the plight that many of them had endured.

Discussing sexual violence, sexual slavery, forced marriage, as well as physical and psychological abuse can be devastating. But such conversations are essential if we want to understand how we can support survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. There is no hiding from the fact that way too often these survivors are re-victimized through public shaming and stigmatization. Much more needs to be done to achieve their proper socioeconomic reintegration.

Another equally important aspect is to ensure accountability for committing crimes of sexual violence. It is needed not only to meet the demands for justice, but to help societies to break cycles of conflict. Perpetrators of sexual violence, without any regard for their affiliation and rank, must be brought to account.

Mr. President,

A pervasive nature of this horrible phenomenon makes it imperative for us, the international community, to double down on this scourge. Designing prevention policies, ensuring accountability for perpetrators and providing adequate support and rehabilitation for victims have to be part and parcel of any conflict resolution endeavor.

Thank you.