Mr. President,

I would like to thank the United Kingdom for organizing this debate, and the speakers for their contributions and their shocking testimonies.

"We need more than moral indignation. We need action." These are the words of Nadia Murad, who briefed this Council in April 2022.

15 years after the adoption of Resolution 1820, sexual and gender-based violence in conflict persists, as does impunity. In Myanmar, the DRC, Haiti, Sudan, South Sudan and in the context of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, state and non-state actors continue to use rape, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, abuse and trafficking as tactics and tools of war, torture and terrorism.

We must fully implement the requirements this Council set itself in Resolution 1820. I would like to highlight three points for action in this respect:

Firstly, we must invest more in the deployment of expertise and capacities in UN missions. To enable them to fulfill their mandates, women's protection advisors must be mobilized and provided with sufficient resources. Capacities and expertise in the prevention, protection, monitoring and prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence must be strengthened. They must be strengthened within troop- and police-contributing countries, within sanction expert groups and within national institutions.

Secondly, there is a close link between illicit arms proliferation and sexual violence, which we must take into account to better prevent these crimes. The illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons increases the risk of conflict-related sexual violence. In our prevention efforts, we need to systematically use arms control and disarmament tools in a gender-sensitive way. This also applies to sanctions regimes. Finally, we must promote the participation of women in forums aimed at reducing arms proliferation. This is why Switzerland supports the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research in its respective studies on the link with the gender dimension.

Thirdly, all survivors must have fair and unimpeded access to justice. Victims of conflict-related sexual violence are entitled to an effective remedy and reparation under international law. To this end, Switzerland supports the work of the Global Survivors Fund, which works to develop survivor-centered reparation programs. The documentation of crimes is crucial to their prosecution. Defending the right to the truth, Switzerland is committed, for example in Ukraine, Kosovo, Iraq and the DRC, to ensuring that survivors have access to justice and reparations.

Mr. President, without protection against and prevention of sexual violence, there can be no equal participation. And, as we well know, the full inclusion of women is a sine qua non for lasting peace.

Thank you.

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