UN passes sexual violence resolution after reported US veto threat

The United Nations on Tuesday passed a resolution to combat the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, following a reported U.S. veto threat over a since-removed provision.

The resolution introduced by Germany aims to prevent rape in conflict situations. The measure passed with 13 countries voting “yes.” Russia and China abstained.

Resolution on sexual violence in conflict ADOPTED
13 in favour, 2 abstentions pic.twitter.com/PaJ3lnZCnM

— UK at the UN  (@UKUN_NewYork) April 23, 2019 


The U.S. had threatened to veto an earlier draft version of the resolution based on language regarding reproductive and sexual health, according to multiple reports.


Also removed from the resolution was a provision to create a mechanism to monitor and report sexual violence in conflicts, according to The Guardian.

The Trump administration in recent months has opposed U.N. documents that mention sexual or reproductive health, saying that it implies support for abortion. 

The veto threat had come despite the resolution having copied language from previous Security Council resolutions on sexual and reproductive rights, ABC News reported.

The Hill has reached out to the State Department for comment.

“The United States is resolute in recognizing that conflict-related sexual violence is a matter of international peace and security,” the Trump administration’s acting permanent U.N. representative, Jonathan Cohen, said in prepared remarks Tuesday.

“It demands collective action to promote prevention, hold perpetrators accountable, and support survivors. None of us can turn our backs on this issue. It requires the engagement of all Member States and of the United Nations to support the efforts of those fighting to protect women, provide accountability, and support survivors.”

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