Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
June 19, 2022

Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

On June 19, we honor the courageous survivors of sexual violence around the globe, and we urge all countries to ensure accountability for the perpetrators of these horrific crimes. We cannot and must not turn a blind eye to this violence. We must renew our collective commitment and determination to address conflict-related sexual violence with purpose and vigor.

Less than two weeks ago, on June 6, I spoke before the UN Security Council to condemn the bone-chilling accounts of Russian soldiers raping Ukrainian women — and then killing them in cold blood. Multiple reports have cited soldiers breaking down doors to basements, killing women in front of their own children, and even filming their disturbing actions in the process.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia are among the many, many places where sexual violence has reportedly been used as a weapon of war. We know that for every case reported, countless others go entirely undocumented or addressed. Sexual violence harms people of all ages and genders, and especially women and girls.

Together, we must continue to deliver vital trauma-informed and comprehensive support services for all survivors, and we must work to end such ruthless acts of violence everywhere. Today, we recognize those who have survived these unimaginable acts of violence, and we commit — for them and alongside them — to work with the international community to better prevent and respond to these horrifying acts of violence.