New York City: High-level side -event to the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly brings together Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, State Officials, Reparation Experts, and Survivors
Press Release 21 September 2022
Date and time
On September 22, 2022, nobel prize laureates Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad will participate in a side-event to the 77th Session of UN General Assembly at the Canadian Permanent Mission. Dr. Mukwege and Ms. Murad will gather alongside survivors of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV), high-ranking state officials from Canada, the United States, France, Ukraine, South Korea, and Japan, in addition to UNICEF's director, Catherine Russell, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, and other experts to discuss the essential participation of survivors in achieving justice through co-created reparation programs.
Though there is a recognised right to reparation, only a small percentage of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) worldwide ever receive reparations, yet there can be no true justice without reparation. They continually fail to be a policy priority at an international, national, and local level. Though there is a lot of rhetoric and discussed frameworks to endorse reparations as a right of survivors, with the un security council even adopting a resolution (2467) in 2019 to include reparation, there remains a huge gap in taking concrete actions to implement those frameworks. Lacking in even greater significance is the meaningful participation of survivors in these frameworks.
At the heart of the work of the global survivors fund are both a survivor-centred approach, and the meaningful participation of victims and survivors in its projects on Interim Reparative Measures (IRM) in Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Turkey (for Syrian survivors) and the Central African Republic. The Global Survivors Fund has developed a unique co-creation model, considering survivors as equal partners. Their agency is recognised and nurtured to ensure their ongoing engagement as full and active participants at every stage of the process and in every decision that may affect them. Moving from mere consultations of victims and survivors to a comprehensive co-creation model ensures that those whose lives depend on it experience a process that is itself reparative.
This side-event brings together the voices and expertise of all those actors that should and need to be involved in creating comprehensive reparation programs. It will be a unique opportunity when all participants are given an equal platform and space to note both the challenges implementing co-creation programs, as well as some of the small progresses made in ensuring that survivors are not just invited to the table, but are given the opportunity to meaningfully engage at the table. It is no longer enough to simply pay lip-service to the notion of survivors’ participation in the shaping of their lives. It is now time for action to surpass rhetoric and finally recognize the right of survivors to determine what their justice and healing process looks like.
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