We, the Security Council signatories of the Shared Commitments on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) – Ecuador, France, Guyana, Japan, Malta, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and my own country, the Republic of Korea – have gathered here today to voice our concerns on the dire situation for women and girls in Sudan.

The prolonged conflict in Sudan has created one of the world's largest humanitarian crises, with millions facing famine and lacking essential health services. The crisis has catastrophic impact on lives, dignity, and human rights of women and girls. We reiterate the call for an immediate ceasefire across Sudan and full compliance with the arms embargo in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions. All warring parties should ensure the protection of civilians, and full, safe, rapid, and unhindered humanitarian access, as called for, including at the international humanitarian conference held in Paris last April.

In light of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on the 19th of June, we express our strongest condemnation of sexual violence including when used as a tactic of war, and hereby reaffirm our commitment to supporting survivors, and empowering women’s participation in peace and security processes.  

First, we demand that all parties immediately cease all acts of sexual and gender-based violence, including rape as tactic of war and targeting women and girls based on ethnicity, and fully commit to preventing and addressing such acts. We welcome the prioritisation of these atrocities by the International Criminal Court and the UN Fact Finding Mission. We reiterate that those who commit violations of international humanitarian law or human rights law or other atrocities are to be held accountable and may be subject to targeted sanctions measures in accordance with Security Council resolution 1591.

Second, we are committed to supporting a comprehensive, survivor-centered approach. We urge international partners to direct funds to local women-led organizations and programs that assist survivors. We stress the importance of full access to life-saving services, including sexual and reproductive health services, and all attacks on medical workers and facilities must be stopped. Also, we condemn any threats or attacks against women human rights defenders and activists and urge the removal of any restrictions on their work.

Finally, we are deeply concerned that despite numerous calls, Sudanese women have been excluded from multiple talks and negotiations since hostilities escalated in April 2023. We demand the full, equal, meaningful, and safe participation of Sudanese women and women’s organizations in all political processes, including humanitarian and accountability efforts. We encourage the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy and major regional actors including the African Union, to support the inclusion of women in peace talks and to prioritise gender perspectives in their endeavours.

Thank you.

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