NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia’s representative to the UN told a high-level meeting of the Security Council that the Kingdom condemns sexual violence in all circumstances, especially in conflict situations where victims struggle to access legal and justice services.
Mohammed Al-Ateeq said the world was witnessing an increase in all kinds of crises and expressed his country’s regret for the victims of multiple forms of sexual violence in conflict areas.
He called on the international community to unite to obtain remedies for the victims within the framework of the national systems of their countries and to bring them full justice.
Al-Ateeq was speaking at a Security Council meeting on women, peace and security that discussed conflict-related sexual violence under the theme “Accountability as prevention – ending cycles of sexual violence in conflict”.
He said: “My country believes in the importance of including the voices of women in vulnerable communities, in all humanitarian needs assessments, as well as involving them in the design and implementation of humanitarian programmes, in particularly those affected by armed conflict, in order to arrive at response plans that meet their real needs, especially in emergency situations.
He added: “Our contemporary world is going through many accelerating daily events and successive and overlapping crises, which add a new dimension to the negative impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on health, economic and social aspects. , and even clearly affected humanitarian work.”
Al-Ateeq said these challenges require countries to work towards developing joint and comprehensive strategies and approaches that strengthen the role of women in responding to these crises and facilitate their access to services provided to all, especially women who take care of their families. families, to maintain their capacity and resilience.
Based on the important role women play in building societies, the Kingdom follows a specific approach when providing any humanitarian assistance targeting women and their needs by analyzing UN reports related to women to link them humanitarian needs in affected countries, he said.
The envoy added that Saudi Arabia is keen to communicate with partners in the targeted countries to provide humanitarian and relief projects, focusing on alleviating women’s suffering and helping them lead a decent life.
“My country, represented by the King Salman Humanitarian and Relief Centre, has been instrumental in supporting and empowering women in humanitarian and relief work in various sectors of humanitarian work in disaster and armed conflict areas, through the implementation of 788 projects in 79 regions of the world. the world which included over 109 million female beneficiaries, amounting to over $520 million,” he said.
Al-Ateeq said that all these projects aimed to help increase women’s participation in the economy and the labor force, build women’s economic capacities and increase their participation in education and training programs. training in countries affected by armed conflict.
He added that these efforts include the provision of psychological and social services, protection services against the effects of gender-based violence and legal services for refugee women.
He referred to the Secretary-General’s report on sexual violence in conflict situations from January to December 2021, and said that the Saudi delegation supported the content regarding the phenomenon of terrorist and armed groups using sexual violence as a means to destabilize. fragile societies, noting that continued weaponization and the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons are among the factors that have fueled widespread and systematic conflict-related sexual violence.
Al-Ateeq highlighted the documented violations and acts of sexual violence against women committed by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in their areas of control in Yemen, and reiterated the importance of taking the necessary measures through of the Security Council to combat sexual violence in conflict and punish its perpetrators.
He called on the international community, particularly donor countries, to redouble their efforts to respond to crimes of sexual violence in conflict situations, stressing the urgent need for coordination and strengthening of the interconnected approach between humanitarian work, development and peace to ensure comprehensive and sustainable development in which women participate as a fundamental pillar.
He also called on countries to strengthen proactive and preventive measures, activate appropriate sensitization programs to address the root causes of sexual violence in conflict situations and strengthen the leadership role of women in political institutions. , safe and legal as an important step.
Al-Ateeq stressed that based on its international commitments and its support for all efforts aimed at achieving international peace and security, Saudi Arabia is working to implement the UN resolutions. , because the Kingdom Vision 2030 views women as an important element of strength in society, believing in the importance of equal participation, and the need for their full involvement in all efforts to maintain peace and security, and at all levels of decision-making.