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Chinese envoy calls for efforts to tackle sexual violence in conflict
July 20,2020   By:Xinhua
UNITED NATIONS, July 20,2020 -- A Chinese envoy on Friday called for efforts to tackle sexual violence in conflict by conflict prevention and the empowerment of women.
 
All countries should work together to build a peaceful and prosperous world free from conflict, said Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.
 
The best and most effective way to protect women, girls and other vulnerable groups from sexual violence is to prevent conflicts from happening and resolve these conflicts by peaceful means, said Geng.
 
Therefore, the international community needs to redouble its efforts to preserve peace for development, promote development for peace, and address the root causes of armed conflicts, he told the Security Council.
 
The Security Council should effectively carry out its primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security by promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue, mediation and negotiation, and ensuring the timely and complete implementation of the resolutions it has adopted, he said.
 
Geng asked for a holistic approach to promote gender equality and advance women's empowerment.
 
The spirit of the women, peace and security agenda is recognizing women not only as victims of war, but as contributors to peace with strength and expertise, he said, adding gender equality and women's empowerment are key to this transformation and for women to fulfill their potential.
 
"We need to intensify efforts on gender equality, to remove structural disparities, eliminate discrimination and stereotypes, and ensure women's equal access to education, health care, and decent work. We also need to move faster on the empowerment of women, to lift them out of poverty, increase their representation and leadership in decision-making, and strengthen their role in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals," he said.
 
Geng asked for a holistic and comprehensive approach in combating sexual violence in conflict, making sure that the proposed solutions take economic, political, counter-terrorism, security and humanitarian aspects all into consideration.
 
"Our response must tackle both immediate threats and long-term consequences, and should be carried out in a coordinated and integrated manner," he said.
 
Geng also asked for respect for national sovereignty and ownership in efforts to address sexual violence in conflict.
 
He urged the countries concerned to bear the primary responsibility and the international community to step up its assistance to relevant countries for national capacity-building, while noting national sovereignty, jurisdiction and legal systems, and the principle of non-interference into other countries' internal affairs must be fully respected.
 
China is firmly committed to gender equality and women's empowerment, Geng said, stressing that China will continue to work closely with the international community to advance the women, peace and security agenda, eliminate sexual violence in conflict, and build a peaceful and prosperous world where all women and girls can reach their full potential of development.