UN condemns sexual violence and urges justice for survivors

Sep 2, 2022, 7:21 AM | Updated: 7:22 pm

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution Friday condemning all forms of sexual and gender-based violence and urging all countries to provide victims and survivors access to justice, reparations and assistance.

The resolution, co-sponsored by Sierra Leone and Japan, was adopted by consensus after votes were held on four amendments attempting to water down its language. All four were defeated by a more than 2-1 margin.

Sierra Leone’s foreign minister, David Francis, who introduced the resolution, cited U.N. World Health Organization estimates that 35% of women worldwide — about 1.3 billion — are survivors of sexual violence.

He called the resolution, titled “International cooperation for access to justice, remedies and assistance for survivors of sexual violence,” a “significant first step” to “address the scourge of sexual violence.”

“Our focus is to increase cooperation to eliminate sexual violence and step up the international response to support victims and survivors,” Francis said.

One amendment would have eliminated a reference to “intimate partner violence” in expressing grave concern that domestic violence “remains the most prevalent and least visible form of violence against women of all social strata in the world.”

Two of the amendments would have gotten rid of references that recognize “the particular risk of sexual and gender-based violence faced by all those who suffer multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination.”

The fourth amendment would have eliminated language from a previous General Assembly resolution urging countries to protect women’s sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, including by strengthening health systems “that make universally accessible and available quality, comprehensive sexual and safe and effective methods of modern contraception, emergency contraception, prevention programs for adolescent pregnancy.”

Nigeria introduced the amendments and many Middle East countries supported them, as did Russia, China, Malaysia, Nicaragua and others. Several countries claimed the language on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights would permit abortions.

In the end, the original resolution, which was overwhelmingly supported by Western nations and many other countries, was adopted without any changes and included all the language the amendments’ supporters sought to strip out.

Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding but they do have clout and reflect global opinion.

Czech Ambassador Jakub Kulhanek, speaking on behalf of the 27-member European Union, welcomed the resolution’s adoption. It came three years after the EU hosted a first U.N. town hall for survivors of sexual violence that called for the General Assembly to adopt a resolution “on the human rights of survivors”

“Beyond the trauma itself, survivors are too often faced with unacceptable barriers in their access to assistance, justice, and reparations,” Kulhanek said.

Unfortunately, he said, the pushback on gender equality and women’s rights that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned about two years ago was at work during negotiations on the resolution.

Nonetheless, he said the resolution outlines concrete actions all countries should take and also recognizes the need to combat conflict-related sexual violence

“Any attempt to go back on human rights is unacceptable,” Kulhanek said. “Women’s rights are human rights. … Discrimination fuels violence. To ban violence, we must ban all forms of discrimination.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Bulgaria: Borissov offers coalition, doesn’t want PM’s post

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, whose center-right GERB party emerged as the winner of Bulgaria’s parliamentary election, invited his political opponents Tuesday to talks on forming a government. Results from Sunday’s election showed GERB with 25.4% of the vote, edging out the reformist We Continue the Change party by more than […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Motorcycle-riding gunmen kill Philippine radio commentator

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Motorcycle-riding gunmen killed a longtime radio commentator in metropolitan Manila in the latest attack on a member of the media in the Philippines, considered one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. Police said Percival Mabasa, 63, was driving his vehicle Monday night when two men on a motorcycle approached […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

German minister tells Poland no chance for WWII reparations

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Germany’s foreign minister told her Polish counterpart Tuesday there will be no more World War II reparations because Berlin considers the matter is closed. Annalena Baerbock directly addressed Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau at a news conference in Warsaw following their talks on subjects that included Poland’s request for reparations. “The […]
1 day ago
A model wears a creation for the Chanel ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2023 fashion collection present...
Associated Press

Chanel goes understated in final day of Paris Fashion Week

PARIS (AP) — An understated collection awaited the VIP guests who attended Chanel’s show on the final day of Paris Fashion Week. Kristen Stewart and Diane Kruger were among those who arrived at the Grand Palais Ephemere for one of the day’s biggest events, while some eyes looked forward to Miu Miu and Louis Vuitton […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Russian court fines TikTok for not deleting LGBT content

A Russian court on Tuesday fined TikTok for failing to delete LGBT material, the country’s latest crackdown on Big Tech companies. The Tagansky District Court in Moscow issued the 3 million ruble ($50,000) penalty to the short-video sharing platform following a complaint by Russian regulators. TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance Ltd., didn’t immediately […]
1 day ago
FILE _ Queen Margrethe II of Denmark greets guests during a break at the Danish Royal Theatre to ma...
Associated Press

Danish queen refuses to backtrack on stripping royal titles

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark’s popular monarch, Queen Margrethe II, has apologized for upsetting members of her family with a decision to strip the royal titles from four of her grandchildren, but has refused to change her mind. Last week, the royal palace of Europe’s oldest royal monarchy announced that as of Jan. 1, the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
UN condemns sexual violence and urges justice for survivors