Mr President,

Switzerland thanks Vietnam for organizing this debate and the speakers for their contributions.

We are concerned about sexual violence in conflicts around the world. While the majority of survivors of sexual violence are women and girls, men and boys also suffer from such violence, as recognized in resolution 2467(2019). Stigmatization and exclusion of victims can lead to even more unreported cases. As Nobel Peace Prize laureates Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad jointly told this Council ahead of the adoption of resolution 2467(2019), "without the will of the international community and imposed consequences, [these] crimes will continue to be perpetrated".

Switzerland would like to highlight three priorities that should guide the collective mobilization against sexual violence and its consequences:

First, we must take a community-based approach when taking care of survivors of sexual violence, including children born of rape. The rights and needs of survivors, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights, must be central to our actions. Switzerland concretely supports the strengthening of community networks and networks of solidarity with those affected, for example in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Great Lakes region. In accordance with resolution 2467 (2020), we call for support for all community-based prevention and response efforts, in particular those of civil society and local organizations.

Second, we must address the persistent lack of accountability at the national and international levels for sexual violence in conflict. Switzerland supports the efforts of the International Criminal Court to combat impunity for sexual and gender-based crimes. Switzerland also collaborates with national actors to facilitate access to justice for survivors in order to enable them to play a role in preventing and combating sexual violence in conflict. We call on the Security Council to pursue the fight against impunity with all means at its disposal.

Third, we must urgently address the challenges of preventing and combating sexual violence in conflict, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Switzerland urges all parties to an armed conflict to respect and ensure respect for the prohibition of rape and other forms of sexual violence, in accordance with international humanitarian law, human rights law and resolution 2532(2020). It supports the appeal of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict and her tireless efforts, while stressing that Member States have the primary responsibility to protect all persons from acts of sexual violence. Switzerland welcomes the different provisions in resolutions 2532(2020) and 2565(2021) in this respect, but calls on the Security Council to engage more systematically in monitoring the implementation of these resolutions, including in the context of the geographical situations on its agenda.

Furthermore, we also refer to the Declaration of the Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security.

I thank you.