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giovedì, Giugno 13, 2024

Ukraine: Massari to Security Council, rape is a form of military aggression

NEW YORK, JUNE 6 – Rape is the equivalent of a military assault in an individual scale. This message was conveyed by Italy during a Security Council on the humanitarian situation in  Ukraine. The debate was the first organized by the Albanian rotating presidency in the framework of its two-year term as a non-permanent member and for which Italy is carrying out a support activity. Pramila Patten, the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict who denounced increasing accusations of sexual violence (over 124 on women, men, girls and boys) said: “And it’s just the tip of the iceberg”. Speaking on behalf of the Council of Europe, President Charles Michel suggested to the Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia to leave the chamber: “Perhaps it is easier not to listen to the truth”.

At the meeting, on the theme of sexual violence and trafficking in women and children, the Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, Ambassador Maurizio Massari, recalled that Ukrainian women represent the majority of victims of sexual violence and human trafficking. Trafficking in human beings is yet another channel of violence and sexual exploitation. “Rape is like military aggression on an individual scale,” the Ambassador said, whose consequences reverberate on the children of the victims, sentenced to a life as displaced persons or refugees, who in turn expose them to an additional risk of violence and trafficking, depriving them of a future.

There are two main instruments in order to prevent war crimes as such. The first is to strengthen and implement the legal framework for accountability and for bringing those responsible to justice; The second is humanitarian assistance to protect women and children from the terrible crimes committed in Ukraine. “We must use them both,” said the Ambassador: “Obviously the main solution to ending these crimes is the cessation the of armed conflict. I therefore reiterate my appeal to the Russian Federation to stop it”.

Massari noted that “the terrible reality is that raping a woman in armed conflicts is still largely ‘without consequences’. To avoid the risk of impunity, we must increase the certainty of legal consequences for all those who commit this barbaric war crime”.

This is why Italy included trafficking in people during conflicts among the priorities of its mandate in the Security Council in 2017, a work that led to the unanimous adoption of Resolution 2388 on combating trafficking in people. Italy also supports the ratification and universal implementation of the UN “Palermo Convention” and its Protocol on Trafficking in Persons, and welcomes the recently signed cooperation agreement between Ukraine and the UN on sexual violence in conflicts.

In the end, when criminal investigations by national or international courts are impossible or ineffective – said Massari –  the General Assembly should be able to create international fact-finding mechanisms to conduct “gender-sensitive” investigations and ensure the collection and storage of evidence. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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