United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
June 18, 2021
Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict
On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we honor the victims and survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and urge the swift implementation of prevention strategies that are inclusive, intersectional, and gender-informed.
Around the world, sexual violence is used as a deliberate tactic in armed conflict – whether to terrorize, destabilize, or break bonds within communities. In 2008, the United States proudly wrote and sponsored the first United Nations Security Council resolution to specifically address sexual violence as a tactic of war. The reprehensible tactic of sexual and gender-based violence continues to be used in areas like Ethiopia’s Tigray region where deeply disturbing reports of widespread sexual violence have surfaced, including reports of women being sexually exploited by military elements in exchange for basic commodities and reports of sexual violence against women and girls in refugee camps.
The United States remains strongly committed to preventing sexual violence in conflict, holding perpetrators accountable, and supporting survivors. We are proud of our longstanding support for the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict. We must work diligently to safely identify and provide necessary services for survivors of sexual violence, including critical medical care and psycho-social support. It’s time to treat conflict-related sexual violence like a true emergency and address it with the urgency it demands.