Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : The UK is working to close the gap between resolutions and reality – UK statement at the UN Security Council [October 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 18 October 2023.

Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the UN Security Council Arria Meeting on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence.

Thank you Foreign Minister Hasani for organising this important event, which the United Kingdom is grateful to co-organise alongside Albania and the US. Thank you also to President Osmani and all our briefers for their powerful remarks on the horrors of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV), and the need for robust international action.

In July, at the annual Open Debate on CRSV and as part of the UK Presidency, the Security Council again heard powerful statements from a survivor, a human rights activist and SRSG Pramila Patten on the urgent need for justice to address these crimes.

The message delivered then by Lord Ahmad, my Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict (PSVI) was clear: the Security Council and the wider international community must do more to close the gap between the strong normative framework on CRSV and the realities on the ground.

This includes implementing this Council’s resolutions, such as Resolution 2467, which calls for a survivor-centred approach. It includes mainstreaming a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations and it includes using this Council’s sanctions to deter perpetrators.

The UK is working to close the gap between resolutions and reality. We have partnered with the Mukwege Foundation to produce a new Guidebook on State Obligations for CRSV. We encourage all States to use this tool to understand their commitments and civil society and survivors to use this tool to hold States to account.

And we are building on last year’s international Conference on Sexual Violence in Conflict in the UK, by hosting a High-Level Meeting of the International Alliance on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict in the coming days. Since the conference the Alliance has grown to 25 members and it is vice-chaired by the Governments of Colombia and Ukraine. Together, we will amplify survivor voices, share expertise and strengthen international action.

Mr President, wherever sexual violence in conflict occurs it is our moral duty to stamp it out. And as Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said, it is not an inevitable consequence of war. We are determined to consign it to the history books.

Thank you.