76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly - Reparations for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence: status and prospects - Statement by Mr. Jean-Yves le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (Visioconference, 27 September 2021)


"Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, conflict situations continue to give rise to sexual violence, undermining the most fundamental human rights, and especially those of women and girls. Too often, rape is used as a weapon of war, which is truly revolting and completely contrary to international humanitarian law. The international community must take resolute action to tackle this unacceptable state of affairs.

By condemning these atrocities unequivocally;

By tirelessly fighting against the impunity of those who perpetrate them;

And by providing survivors with the care, support and assistance that they need.

France leads these combats for law, justice and humanity, and will continue to lead them

alongside its international partners, Madam Special Representative of the Secretary-General;

And alongside all civil society actors that share our commitment. I am thinking especially of you, dear Nadia Murad, dear Doctor Mukwege, and of the Global Fund for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence.

Since the Fund was launched in 2019, at the G7 under the French presidency, you have carried out remarkable work, especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq and Guinea.

You were the ones who broke the silence on a topic that was ignored for far too long.

You provided the victims with quality treatment that put them on the road to recovery of both mind and body.

And you walked alongside them every step of the way towards rebuilding their lives.

I would also like to commend the action of the Fund in documenting this violence, through the various studies that will be presented today. It is essential work.

We are therefore very proud to support this invaluable commitment in the field, and to victims, through the €6 million contribution we made to the Fund.

The fight against sexual violence during conflict is also a priority for France at the Security Council. It is one of the challenges of our commitment to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

More generally, the fight against all forms of gender-based violence is central to the feminist diplomacy that I endorse on behalf of France.

That is the meaning of our mobilization, in an extremely worrying political context, in support of the universalization of the Istanbul Convention.

This was one of the key projects for the Generation Equality Forum that we hosted in June with Mexico and under the aegis of UN Women. More than $40 billion was mobilized on that occasion to define in detail the gender equality imperative.

That is one of the main purposes of our Support Fund for Feminist Organizations, with a budget of €120 million over three years.

The determination of Nadia Murad and Doctor Mukwege and the extent of what they have already accomplished are a reminder to us all of our responsibilities. We must take a united stand against sexual violence, which intensifies the horror of armed conflict, and against the violations of the rights of women and girls, which have become all too commonplace.

By being completely uncompromising on respect for human rights because that is what is at stake.

And by equipping ourselves, collectively, with the resources to take action, to make a real difference.

You can count on France. And I hope that we can count on you too.
Thank you."