UN: ICC reaffirms commitment to end sexual, gender-based crimes

New York, US (PANA) - The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Sunday reaffirmed its
commitment to accountability for perpetrators of sexual and gender-based crimes, stating that it would putting in more efforts to end those crimes.

In a statement to mark the International Women’s Day, ICC said one woman subjected to violence was one too many and women bear the brunt of sexual and gender-based crimes in conflicts around the world with alarming frequency and violence.

The statement, which was obtained by PANA in New York, said: "Putting a stop to the culture of discrimination that allows sexual and gender-based crimes to persist requires our collective efforts."

"We cannot and must not remain silent. Our collective voice to speak up for the victims, our will to act, our resolve to end the cycle of violence against women  and our commitment to hold perpetrators accountable through a robust and credible judicial process must remain firm and unabated.

"The Rome Statute is the most comprehensive international treaty in its recognition of the different forms of sexual and gender-based crimes as the most serious crimes under international law, including rape, sexual slavery, forced marriage, forced pregnancy, forcible prostitution and gender-based persecution," it stated.

"To date, charges for sexual and gender-based crimes have been brought in 70 per cent of the cases at the ICC, and the investigation and prosecution of such crimes is a key priority for the ICC Office of the Prosecutor," it stressed.

The ICC also noted that in 2014, the Prosecutor adopted a comprehensive Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes which guides the Office’s work in fighting against impunity for such heinous crimes.

It also said that by investigating and prosecuting sexual and gender-based violence where the ICC has jurisdiction and national judicial systems are unable or unwilling to do so, the ICC contributes to the prevention and deterrence of such crimes.

"On this International Women’s Day, the Court calls for greater support from states and other stakeholders worldwide and urges them to declare with one voice that sexual and gender-based crimes will no longer be tolerated, and that we will relentlessly pursue those who tear violently at the social fabric of society through such egregious crimes.

"Ending sexual and gender-based crimes must be a top priority for the international community, and the challenges are certainly many, but through our collective efforts, we must prevail," the ICC concluded.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 8March2015

08 march 2015 18:49:09

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