PRESS RELEASE BY THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTRY FOR EUROPEAN FUNDS, EQUALITY, REFORMS AND SOCIAL DIALOGUE Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne presides over U.N. Security Council meeting on conflict related sexual violence

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, as part of Malta's Presidency of the United Nations Security Council, chaired an Open Debate on the “Prevention of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence through demilitarisation and gender-responsive arms control".


This mandated Security Council debate met to discuss the findings and recommendations of the UN Secretary General Report on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence. Through its Presidency this month, Malta has been leading efforts on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and in this context, the promotion of demilitarisation and gender-based arms control as essential efforts in reducing conflict-related sexual violence.


Deputy Prime Minister Fearne explained that the aim of the debate was to catalyse momentum and share best practices in leveraging arms control and disarmament strategies to prevent conflict-related sexual violence. Evidence shows that the proliferation of arms and weapons contributes directly to sexual violence particularly in conflict-settings.


Deputy Prime Minister Fearne condemned all conflict-related sexual violence wherever and by whoever it is perpetrated, including in Israel and in Palestine, as well as the Taliban's systematic gender persecution in Afghanistan. He went on to express Malta's support for the codification of gender apartheid, which would enable victims and survivors, present and future, to hold perpetrators to account for the totality of crimes committed. Present UN Sanctions Committees, he insisted, should incorporate sexual and gender-based violence as a stand-alone designation criterion upon which sanctions can be imposed.


Upon Malta's invitation, the Security Council was addressed by Hollywood actress and playwright, Danai Gurira who also serves as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, and Neimat Ahmadi, a civil society briefer from North Darfur, founder and president of Darfur Women Action Group.​​