Slovenia condemns any form of conflict-related sexual violence

Today, the United Nations Security Council convened an open briefing on conflict-related sexual violence under the agenda item of the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten briefed the Council after the issuance of a report on the official visit to Israel and the West Bank earlier this year. Slovenia supported the meeting and condemned any form of conflict-related sexual violence as a gross violation of human rights.

The use of sexual violence in all settings must stop immediately, as it represents a serious violation of international humanitarian law and human rights law, and may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Using sexual violence as a method of war is repugnant and reprehensible. Ensuring accountability is of paramount importance.

“We are concerned that there are reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence occurred during the 7 October attacks in multiple locations across Southern Israel. We believe there is a need to further investigate these allegations in order to find perpetrators and hold them accountable,” underscored Ambassador Samuel Žbogar in the Council Chamber. He reiterated Slovenia’s position for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages while strongly condemning the Hamas attacks of 7 October 2023.

On the other hand, the Ambassador warned that we “are equally concerned about the reports of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of Palestinians in detention, during house raids and at checkpoints. These reports, too, need to be investigated.”

In his final remark, he touched upon the immense suffering of women in Gaza that have been facing a collapse of the health system, hunger and starvation. Women in Gaza have also been facing severe limitations in access to food, water, medicine, hygiene products, and safety in every sense of the word. Slovenia continues to call for an immediate ceasefire.

The full statement is available here.

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