United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his message on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, 19 June 2020 said perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict must be held accountable to their crimes.
Guterres’ message which was released on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict was sent to IRNA by the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in Tehran.
The full text of his message is as follows:
Sexual violence in conflict is a brutal crime, mainly perpetrated against women and girls, but also affecting men and boys.
It reverberates throughout communities and societies, perpetuating cycles of violence and threatening international peace and security.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages through regions of the world that are affected by armed conflict, survivors confront even greater challenges.
Reporting crimes may be difficult; shelters and clinics may be closed.
I commend frontline staff who are finding ways to support those affected despite lockdowns and quarantines.
On this International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we stand in solidarity with survivors. We vow to listen to them and act on their experiences and decisions.
We must prevent and end these crimes; place survivors at the centre of our response; hold perpetrators accountable; and expand support for all those affected.