Rape as weapon of war: US threatens to veto UN resolution

Washington says it will reject measure over language on reproductive and sexual health

News Desk April 23, 2019
Washington says it will reject measure over language on reproductive and sexual health. PHOTO: REUTERS

The United States (US) is threatening to veto a United Nations (UN) resolution on combatting the use of rape as a weapon of war because of its language on reproductive and sexual health, reported the The Guardian.

According to senior UN official and European diplomats, the German mission hoped the resolution will be adopted at a special UN Security Council session on April 23 on sexual violence in conflict.

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But the draft resolution has already been stripped of one of its most important elements, the establishment of a formal mechanism to monitor and report atrocities, because of opposition from the US, Russia and China, which opposed creating a new monitoring body.

Even after the formal monitoring mechanism was stripped from the resolution, the US was still threatening to veto the watered-down version, because it includes language on victims’ support from family planning clinics.

In recent months, the US has taken a hard line, refusing to agree to any UN documents that refer to sexual or reproductive health, on grounds that such language implies support for abortions.

It has also opposed the use of the word “gender”, seeking it as a cover for liberal promotion of transgender rights.

In cases of disagreement in the Security Council, member states often fall back on previously agreed text, but the US has made it clear it would no longer accept language from a 2013 resolution on sexual violence.

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European states have been resisting abandoning the language on access to family planning and women’s health clinics, as they believe it would mean surrendering the gains of recent decades in terms of international recognition of women’s rights.


This story originally appeared on The Guardian.


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