United Nations Resolution against Sexual violence in conflict
Resolution 2467: the text is not the end of our journey
Sexual violence in conflict - Adoption of Resolution 2467
Explanation of vote by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 23 April 2019
France welcomes the adoption of resolution 2467 (2019), submitted by Germany, which we thank for its initiative and efforts. The resolution enables several important advances, including strengthening the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Pramila Patten, as well as recognizing an approach focused on the survivors of sexual violence and including a request that by 2021 the Secretary-General produce a report on children born out of rape. That is my first point.
Secondly, it must be acknowledged that important concessions were made under pressure from several permanent members of the Council who did not allow the text to go as far as we would have liked. We were particularly shocked that one State demanded the removal of the reference to sexual and reproductive health, which had been agreed on in resolutions 1889 (2009) and 2106 (2013). We deplore the fact that permanent members of the Council should threaten to use the veto to challenge 25 years of progress on women’s rights in situations of armed conflict. It is inexplicable that access to sexual and reproductive health care is not explicitly acknowledged for victims of sexual violence, who are often the targets of atrocities and barbarous mutilations. The victims clearly need that care. We are aware of the differences of opinion among members of the Council on that point, but in the specific context of sexual violence in times of conflict, that omission is unacceptable and undermines the dignity of women.
It is also intolerable and incomprehensible that the Security Council is unable to recognize that women and girls who have been victims of sexual violence in times of conflict and have clearly not chosen to become pregnant should have the right to decide to terminate their pregnancies. France will maintain its position that we should ensure that women have full access to sexual and reproductive health care and rights in every context. We will continue to support and promote that approach in the Security Council, in other United Nations bodies and elsewhere. Women must be able to make decisions freely about their own bodies.
My third and final point, and I would like to conclude on a positive note, is that there is no ambiguity. All of the resolutions adopted by the Security Council on the women and peace and security agenda, which have been reaffirmed in the resolution we have just adopted (resolution 2467 (2019)), constitute the framework for our collective action, including paragraph 19 of resolution 2106 (2013) and paragraph 10 of resolution 1889 (2009) on sexual and reproductive health.
The text we have just adopted is therefore a significant milestone resolution, but it is not the end of our journey. On behalf of France, I would like to issue a renewed call that we continue together the fight against sexual violence in conflict.
Source: Permanent mission of France to the United Nations in New York.