The annual Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict was held in the UN Security Council on 13 April 2022. The Open Debate was chaired by the UK, and focused on the topic ‘Accountability as Prevention: Ending Cycles of Sexual Violence in Conflict’.
With input from WO=MEN and its members, the Kingdom of the Netherlands contributed to this Open Debate through a national statement and joint statements. These contributions emphasized three key areas where action is needed: First, survivors’ leadership is an essential part of the survivor-centred approach. In responding to sexual violence, the diverse voices and needs of survivors should be prioritized, and their access to essential services and sexual and reproductive health and rights and mental health should be ensured.
Second, investing in civil society is needed, as these are the key enablers of democracy and the rule of law. This means for example that recommendations by Women Human Rights Defenders on how diplomatic missions can protect them should be implemented and that access to flexible funding should be ensured. Finally, mechanisms for holding those who perpetrate sexual violence accountable need to be strengthened, both at the national and international level.
A recording of the Open Debate can be viewed here, (contribution of Dutch delegation at 8:36) and a written report can be found here. The statements can be found via the following links: KNL national statement; EU joint statement and LGBTI core group joint statement. For the Group of Friends on WPS joint statement, please see this tweet.