The UN Security Council on Tuesday approved a watered-down resolution on sexual violence in conflicts, eliminating language on providing survivors “sexual and reproductive health care” to get US support in a move criticised by France.
Tuesday’s vote on the German-drafted resolution was 13-0, with Russia and China, which had submitted a rival draft, abstaining.
Both Russia and China said they opposed sexual violence in conflicts, but denounced “lax interpretations” in the text and a “manipulated” struggle to create new UN structures and “override” mandates already approved.
France vehemently criticised the US for threatening to use its veto over a reference in the text to reproductive rights, seen by Washington as an encouragement of abortion.
“It is intolerable and incomprehensible that the Security Council is incapable of acknowledging that women and girls who suffered from sexual violence in conflict — and who obviously didn’t choose to become pregnant — should have the right to terminate their pregnancy,” French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre told the 15-member body after the vote.
“We deplore that the veto threats were brandished by permanent members of the council to challenge 25 years of gains in favour of women’s rights in situations of armed conflict,” he said. [Continue reading…]