Thank you, Chairperson.
I speak on behalf of the section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Local conflict and 400 years of harmful international interference have led to human insecurity, underdevelopment, poverty and human rights abuses in the DRC.
Sexual violence is not cultural or traditional in the DRC, but a consequence and a strategy of war. It has been used as a tool to humiliate, destabilize and displace communities. We cannot combat sexual violence without addressing the war and its roots causes. Statistics show that since 1997, the rate of sexual violence and other human rights atrocities such as mutilation, decapitation, live burials, and mass murders have increased proportionally due to the armed violence. The barbarity suffered by Congolese women will negatively affect future generations of Congolese in terms of fertility and food security.
The command of the army is dictated by the interest of multinational corporations active in the DRC. A lack of attention is paid to the psychological condition of soldiers, which leads to their perpetually violent behaviour. WILPF denounces this inhuman treatment of soldiers and emphasizes that they must be rehabilitated and properly reintegrated into normal society. WILPF denounces the strategy of some international interests to legitimate armed violence in the DRC and provoke a low intensity war. This has prolonged human insecurity, humanitarian disaster and the displacement of the population.
In order for change to occur in the DRC and to end sexual violence, WILPF calls for the restoration of the rule of law and the respect of human rights. WILPF calls on the international community to demonstrate a political will to end the conflict. WILPF is calling on you to de-legitimize armed violence, militarization and the support of oppressive regimes in the region. Furthermore, WILPF calls on the U.K. and U.S. governments to apply OECD guidelines and urges for effective inter-Rwandan and inter-Ugandan dialogues necessary for peace, security, good governance, economic development and regional stability in eastern DRC.
The second report of the Seven Special Rapporteurs adds to the list of resolutions, reports and recommendations from which the follow-up, implementation and accountability is far over due.
Thank you, Chairperson.