Seychelles reinforces global call to action to end sexual violence in conflict
As one of the early signatories to United Nations (UN) resolutions last year aimed at ending sexual violence in conflict, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam has reinforced Seychelles’ commitment to this global cause at the Global Summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict held in London.
The summit, which has been billed under the banner of a ‘A Time to Act’ was convened by the Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Honourable William Hague of the United Kingodm, in partnership with UN Special Envoy for refugees, Angelina Jolie.
During his intervention on the subject of improving accountability, Minister Adam highlighted the importance of strengthening capacities at the local level and international level to investigate and bring to justice the perpetrators of such crimes.
He emphasised the need to strengthen local agencies and bodies, including for example human rights commissions, and also underlined that there was scope for an enhanced role for the International Criminal Court (ICC) in this regard.
“At the international level, organisations such as the ICC can play a key role. But those of us who are members of the ICC, must be prepared to strengthen the investigation capacity of the ICC. We must enhance the capacity to build coherent cases that are based on clear evidence collection standards, which respect the dignity of the victims. We must have transparent processes- to ensure that everyone understands that such crimes will always be punished,” the Minister stated.
The Minister also explained that while Seychelles is not plagued by conflict, it remains resolute in its determination to tackle the question of sexual violence in all its forms. He further situated the efforts of Seychelles in strengthening its own institutions and in building international partnerships as part of the wider effort to ensure equality and justice.
“We are determined to ensure accountability in our own space by strengthening our institutions.. We see the fight against sexual violence in conflict as part of the fight for equality and justice. As we increase accountability- we strengthen the space for our women to strengthen our societies.”
Minister Adam further noted mothers and women form the cornerstone of African society and are also the main demographic suffering the adverse effects of conflict. He noted that nations must actively encourage the participation of women in political life and decision making and that women’s stake in economic growth must be enforced.
Following his participation in this summit, the Minister has highlighted the importance that Seychelles places on rules and treaty based international cooperation, particularly in the field of human rights, and has stressed that such efforts are a fundamental tenet of Seychelles’ bid to serve on the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member for the period 2017-2018.
Seychelles’ High Commissioner in London, Marie-Pierre Lloyd, accompanied the Minister at the Summit.