Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
I am honoured to address this event to advance the fight against sexual violence in conflict.
Congratulations to Special Representative Patten on the launch of the Model Legislative Provisions, and on the new cooperation framework with the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
As a member of the UN Action Network, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime is proud to have contributed to the model provisions.
Sexual violence in conflict is a hideous crime against people when they are most vulnerable. It marks the lives of victims and their loved ones forever.
UNODC has longstanding experience in strengthening survivor-centred approaches and criminal justice responses to sexual violence, as part of our work to prevent and counter terrorism, human trafficking, violence against women, and violence against children.
In Nigeria, we have partnered with the UN Team of Experts on Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, to deliver capacity-building training to over 350 criminal justice officials on accountability for sexual and gender-based violence committed by Boko Haram.
In Iraq, we provide essential legal and psychological support to victims of terrorism, including those affected by sexual violence, and we are mentoring Iraqi law enforcement officials to correctly identify and investigate cases of trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation.
UNODC is also working with the Office of Counter-Terrorism and IPU to develop model legislative provisions that will help ensure that victims of sexual violence by terrorist groups are recognized as victims of terrorism, and receive adequate support.
I am grateful to the Special Representative’s Office for their contributions to these efforts, which are also informed by the model provisions being launched today.
Going forward, UNODC remains committed to working with governments, parliamentarians, criminal justice practitioners, civil society, and all our partners to help align responses to sexual violence in conflict with international standards, guided by the needs and rights of survivors.