|Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Debate on Women and Peace and Security|
(Photo by Li Muzi, Xinhua News Agency)
China would like to thank the French presidency for its initiative in holding today’s open debate. I also thank Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Special Representative Bangura and Special Rapporteur Giammarinaro for their briefings. I also express my thanks for the briefing by the representative of civil society.
Regional conflicts are currently ongoing. Conflict-related sexual violence, including trafficking in persons, especially in women and girls, is very serious. Parties to conflicts are using such activities as trafficking in persons to raise funds and are utilizing sexual violence as a weapon of war. Vulnerable groups, such as women and girls, have become victims and bear the brunt. As victims, their lives, security, health and dignity are seriously threatened. China strongly condemns and resolutely opposes all forms of conflict related sexual violence, including trafficking in persons, especially in women and girls. We support the international community’s adoption of zero-tolerance policy and its effective implementation of S/PRST/2015/25, which comprehensively addresses trafficking in persons, especially in women and girls in armed conflict. China would like to highlight the following points.
First, there is a need to put an end to wars and conflicts as soon as possible in order to achieve peace and development in conflict areas. That would serve to eradicate the phenomenon of conflict-related sexual violence, including trafficking in persons, especially in women and girls, at its roots. The parties concerned should adhere to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations by engaging in dialogue and consultation to settle their disputes peacefully. The international community should attach importance to economic reconstruction and development in post-conflict countries, facilitate the empowerment of women and comprehensively raise the status of women by allowing women to become the masters of their own destinies and serve as a significant force in promoting the development of their countries.
Secondly, we must scale up efforts to fight the forces of terrorism and violent extremism. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and other terrorist organizations take advantage of regional conflicts to raise funds by trafficking in women and girls and engaging in sexual slavery and exploitation, as well as using sexual violence as a weapon of war. That is very cruel. Any and all acts of terrorism — wherever, whenever, by whosoever committed and for whatever motives — are unforgivable crimes. The international community should effectively implement political commitments, adhere to a uniform standard, resolutely counter all forms of terrorism and strengthen international coordination on counter-terrorism.
Thirdly, there is a need to fully respect the sovereignty of the affected countries and leverage the leading role of such countries. The affected countries are the main parties responsible for protecting their nationals. They must bear the primary responsibility for protecting women and girls and countering trafficking in persons, especially in women and girls. The international community should support the countries affected in adopting countermeasures in the light of their particular conditions and effectively counter trafficking in persons, in particular in women and girls. Against the backdrop of the needs of the countries affected, the international community should also provide them with assistance, in terms of financial, human and technical resources, as well as strengthen their capacity-building in combating trafficking in women and girls in conflicts, so as to enable the victims to access social and medical assistance.
Fourthly, there is a need to bolster international cooperation in countering trafficking in persons, especially in women and girls. At present, trafficking in women and girls has generated a chain of interests involving countries of origin, transit and destination. It is only through close coordination and full cooperation among the relevant countries and international organizations that we can really break that chain of interests and effectively crack down on this transnational crime. At the same time, trafficking in persons, especially in women and girls, in conflict areas touches on several elements, including the empowerment of women, child protection, education, employment and health. The relevant countries and international organizations should extend a helping hand and provide assistance, both material and financial. The World Trade Organization, UN-Women and UNICEF, as well as other organizations, should provide victims with medical, legal and psychological assistance to help them to better reintegrate into society.
Protecting women’s rights and promoting gender equality constitute the concrete embodiment of progress in human society and civilization. China attaches great importance to the protection of women’s rights. Last September, China and UN-Women jointly convened the Global Summit on Women. The international community reaffirmed the solemn commitment to the Beijing Declaration and Program of Action. While implementing the outcome of the Global Summit on Women, China stands ready to continue to work with the international community in jointly fostering an international environment of peace, security and stability, effectively protecting the rights and interests of women and girls and eradicating conflict-related sexual violence, including trafficking in persons, especially in women and girls.